IDEA Complaint Decision 05-052

On November 7, 2005, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Racine Unified School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues which follow relate to the 2005-2006 school year:

  • Whether the district properly reduced the student’s schedule;
  • Whether the district properly developed a behavioral intervention plan that included positive behavioral supports;
  • Whether the district properly implemented the student’s IEP with regard to positive behavioral intervention, strategies and supports; and
  • Whether the district properly considered parent concerns regarding individualized education program (IEP) goals, progress toward goals, amount of services and need for additional services.

Between June 7, 2005 and December 15, 2005, five IEP team meetings were conducted for this student. One or both of the student’s parents attended all of these meetings. On September 1, 2005, the first day of student attendance for the 2005-2006 school year, the student attended school on a full day schedule based on his June 7 IEP. However, on the first day of school the child was sent home during the morning and was suspended from school on Friday, September 2, 2005, due to unacceptable classroom behavior. On September 6, an IEP team meeting was held and the student’s schedule was reduced to two hours and fifty-two minutes a day. On September 22 an IEP team meeting was held and the student’s schedule was reduced to one hour and twelve minutes a day. On October 20, an IEP team meeting was held and the student’s schedule increased to two hours and forty-two minutes a day. On November 22, an IEP team meeting was held and continued on December 15, when the student’s schedule was reduced to two hours a day. At these meetings the IEP team decided, based on the student’s individual needs, to reduce the student’s educational day. The district properly reduced the student’s schedule through IEP team meetings which included the parents. The IEPs which were reviewed and revised during these meetings include various positive behavioral supports, which were developed by the IEP team based on the student’s individual needs, such as computer time, breaks, small games, drawing (coloring), frequent praise, and listening to music. The positive behavioral interventions, strategies, and supports were implemented by the special education teacher and other special education staff.

During the student’s IEP team meetings the student’s parents expressed concerns regarding the student’s academic IEP goals, progress, academic instruction, and need for additional services. Although the student’s IEP states that the student will receive special education instructional services in reading/language arts, math, and social skills coaching, IEP goals for reading/language arts and math are not included in the student’s September 6th, 22nd, or October 20th IEPs. IEP goals for reading/language arts and math are included in the student’s current IEP. At the student’s November 22 and December 15 IEP team meetings, the student’s parents and parent advocate expressed concerns about academics, instructional time, and occupational therapy services. Notes from an occupational therapy screening were shared by the district director of special education at the meeting. The student’s November 22nd and December 15th IEPs continue the related service of counseling for 60 minutes a week; however, it does not include a determination regarding occupational therapy services. It is unclear in the student’s current IEP as well as in the September 6th, 22nd, or October 20th IEPs if the counseling services for the student are in addition to the hours of special education instruction services or are part of the student’s reduced day schedule.

The district is planning to hold an IEP team meeting to review this student’s IEP and progress in February 2006. The district is directed to determine at the February IEP team meeting whether additional services are needed because reading/language arts and math goals were not included in the student’s September 6, 22, and October 20, 2005 IEPs. The IEP team must also clarify their decision regarding occupational therapy and if the related service of counseling is in addition to the hours of special education instruction services or are part of the student’s reduced day schedule. By March 3, 2006, the district must send to the department a copy of the student’s February IEP which documents the team’s decisions. In addition within 30 days of the date of this decision, the district must submit a proposed corrective action plan to ensure that district IEP teams properly consider parent concerns regarding IEP goals, progress toward goals, amount of services, and need for additional services.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed 12/21/05
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/jfd

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