IDEA Complaint Decision 05-018

On March 21, 2005, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Merrill Area School District. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2004-2005 school year, properly notified a parent of individualized education program (IEP) team meetings and whether the parent was properly provided notice of placement.

The parents of the student are divorced and the district acknowledges that it inadvertently failed to provide the father notice of the IEP team meeting for initial determination of eligibility and notice of placement. The mother did receive proper notification and attended the meeting. The district has offered to convene an IEP team meeting again, but the father has indicated both to the department and to the district that he does not want to reconvene the IEP team. No other child specific corrective is required.

In response to the complaint, however, the district has taken several steps to ensure that proper notification is provided. The district has changed procedures regarding receiving special education referrals so that contact information is included for both parents. Building principals, psychologists, and office staff have been directed to ensure that both parents receive notification. No further corrective action is required.

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

//signed 5/18/05
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/pmw

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