On October 11, 2005, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the School District of Elmwood. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2005-2006 school year, implemented a child's individualized education program (IEP) in regard to providing reading assistance when he is unable to comprehend the general curriculum directions and properly reporting student progress to the parents.
The parents allege the school district did not implement their child's IEP in regard to providing reading assistance when the comprehension level of the general curriculum directions exceeded that of the child's. The parents state their child did not receive reading assistance from the beginning of school year until approximately October 27. The parents understood that the directions for all general curriculum areas will be read aloud when the reading level exceeds the child's reading level. They further allege the school requires their child to obtain his own assistance from teachers when he is unable to comprehend the general curriculum directions, but they state the child is afraid to ask teachers for help because he is teased by his peers.
The IEP in effect between November 2004 and November 2005 stated the student will receive supplementary aids and services including "directions restated or given in a written format when giving multi-step directions." District staff members maintain each of the child's regular education teachers was informed of their responsibility to read the directions for their general curriculum area when the child was unable to comprehend. The director of special education and the special education teacher confirmed that the child's regular education teachers were informed of this responsibility. District staff also indicated the child received reading assistance when he was unable to comprehend the general curriculum directions, from the beginning of the school year until October 27, in the special education resource room and the regular education classroom.
A district must provide supplementary aids and supports to a child in accordance with the child's IEP. The services must be stated in the IEP in a manner that is clear to all who are involved in the development and implementation of the IEP. The IEP written on November 17, 2004, explicitly states the supplementary aids and supports the child will receive (i.e., directions restated or given in a written format when giving multi-step directions). The child was provided with this service from the beginning of the school year until the present. The district convened an IEP team meeting on November 9 and 10, 2005, to review and revise the IEP; the IEP addressed the parent's concerns regarding providing reading assistance to the child.
The parents also contend the district did not properly report progress in all subject areas on a weekly basis. The parents maintain they asked the staff to provide a written explanation if a behavior was rated 3 or less, indicating the student was having difficulties. They indicate the staff did not provide adequate explanation for behaviors rated 3 or less. The November 17, 2004, IEP states the student will receive supplementary aids and supports including progress reports sent to the parents one time per week when there is a full week of school for all regular education classes. The district sent the parents weekly progress reports that sufficiently informed them of their child's progress toward his annual goals.
This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing.
//signed CST/SJP 12/12/05
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy