On September 21, 2005 (letter dated September 18), the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the School District of Altoona. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2004-2005 school year, properly determined how staff would guide a student with a disability while moving within the school building and ensured that the determinations were properly implemented.
The student's individualized education program (IEP) which was developed in October 2004 indicates that the student does not have expressive language skills. It also indicates that the student generally requires direct assistance moving in the building, though it notes two activities which he can access without direct assistance. The special factors page of the IEP and the short-term objectives related to the transitions goal indicate that staff will provide visual, verbal and physical prompts to assist the student. Interviews with staff indicate that the student was able to follow directions and that, with very few exceptions, the student moved about the building with only visual or verbal prompting from staff. In the infrequent instances when the student did not respond to visual or verbal prompts, staff lightly touched the students arm or back with their hand. This was sufficient encouragement to initiate the desired response. The district properly determined how staff would guide a student with a disability while moving within the school building and ensured that the determinations were properly implemented.
This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing.
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy