IDEA Complaint Decision 05-012

On February 15, 2005, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Adams-Friendship Area School District. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2003-2004 school year, properly developed and implemented a student's individualized education program (IEP) regarding transition services for community experiences, employment objectives, and other post-school adult living objectives.

The parent previously filed a complaint with the department regarding whether the district properly graduated his child. The department concluded that the district properly determined that the student met district graduation credit requirements and substantially completed IEP goals prior to graduation. After the department reached its decision, the parent filed this complaint. The parent maintains that the district did not properly develop and implement transition services for the student.

Beginning at age 14, the IEP team must determine what instruction and educational experiences will assist a student to prepare for transition from secondary education to post-secondary life. A statement of the student's transition service needs should relate directly to the student's goals beyond secondary education and planned studies should be linked to these goals. Beginning no later than age 16, a student's IEP must include needed transition services. Transition services take into account the student's preferences and interests and promote movement from school to post-school activities. Transition services include instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. IEP teams should consider the student's preferences and interests when making these decisions. One way of determining preferences and interests is through the attendance of the student during the meeting.

IEP teams met in September and December 2003. The student, who was an adult at the time of the meetings, attended both meetings. The district also determined the student's preferences and interests when staff discussed his job interests with him and when he took a career aptitude, skill level and interest test. The September IEP identifies two general kinds of jobs which the student had identified as being of interest to him. The IEP contains four goals related to assisting the student to achieve his career goals. The IEP includes special education services to assist the student to reach the goals and it identifies needed transition services related to instruction, community experiences, employment objectives, other post-school adult living objectives and vocational evaluation. The December IEP was developed in light of a change in the student's educational needs. The IEP includes a goal and objectives relating to the student's transition to post-school objectives. The IEP includes special education services to assist the student to achieve the goal and it identifies needed transition services related to instruction, community experiences, employment objectives, and other post-school adult living objectives. The district provided the services identified in both IEPs and worked with the student to achieve the goals and objectives in the IEPs. The district followed procedures required for developing transition services and implemented the student's IEP related to transition.

This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing.

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

Dec/jrm

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