IDEA Complaint Decision 03-052

On December 3, 2003, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Milwaukee Public Schools. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district between October 21, 2003, and December 3, 2003, improperly excluded the student from school and did not implement his IEP.

Between September 2 and December 3, 2003, the student was suspended from school on September 24, October 28-29, November 3, and 4, 2003. The school's discipline day recorder noted removals on a disciplinary removal calendar as required by the district's consolidated corrective action plan (CCAP). The disciplinary removal calendar includes these five suspensions and October 1, a day when the child was sent home early. The child's school removals do not exceed ten cumulative days. The department found no error regarding these removals.

On October 14, the district held an individualized education program (IEP) meeting to develop an annual IEP, determine placement, and conduct a functional behavioral assessment. The child's October 14, IEP includes behavioral improvement goals. Between October 21 and October 30, the child was at a private school. On November 4, the district held a central office disciplinary review and a manifestation determination IEP team meeting. The child's mother attended the meeting and was provided a notice of placement. The district changed the child's placement to a school "to be determined" with a projected date of implementation of November 4, 2003. There is no record of a subsequent IEP team meeting to review the child's IEP and determine the child's placement. On December 1, the child returned to his original elementary school. Between November 4, and December 1, 2003, there is no record that the child attended any school or received any services. The district determined the child's December 1, placement without conducting an IEP team meeting. By February 27, the district must hold an IEP team meeting to review the child's IEP, determine placement and appropriate services. The district must send the department a copy of the child's IEP with documentation of the team's decision by March 12, 2003.

Department staff will continue to work closely with the district to assist in its review and implementation of the discipline, placement, and IEP consolidated corrective action plans (CCAPs).

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 2/3/04
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

For questions about this information, contact Patricia Williams (608) 267-3720