IDEA Complaint Decision 05-053

On November 11, 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 are whether the district:

  • Developed a proper statement of the child’s present level of education performance in the child’s April 2005 individualized education program (IEP);
  • Developed measurable annual goals including benchmarks or short-term objectives for a child with a disability for the 2005-2006 school year based on the student’s individual needs in social studies, science and math;
  • Implemented the student’s IEP regarding accommodations in administration of statewide and district-wide assessment on November 9, 2005;
  • Implemented the student’s IEP regarding modifications on tests, quizzes, and assignments in all classes including electives during September, October, and November 2005; and
  • Implemented the student’s IEP regarding informing the child’s parent through detailed daily progress reports of the child’s current classroom assignments, homework assignments, and grades, and weekly notification of missing assignments.

The student’s April 2005 IEP present levels of educational performance statement describes the student’s educational needs in several areas, including reading, science, language arts, and math. The statement does not include information on the student’s social studies educational performance. In addition, the IEP does not include annual goals based on the student’s individual needs in social studies, science, and math. However, the student received special education instructional support services for social studies, science, math, and english beginning September 2005. The present level of educational performance statement includes information on the student’s strengths, how the student’s disability affects his involvement in the general education curriculum, and the parent’s concerns for the student’s education. The district did not develop a proper present level of educational performance for the area of social studies and annual goals statements related to social studies, science, and math for which special education services were provided.

The student’s IEP provides that the student will receive the following accommodations in administration of statewide and district-wide assessments: “extra time allotments, directions reread, small group setting, use of a school based calculator and scratch paper, questions restated, answers restated and frequent breaks.” On November 9, 2005, during testing the student received four of these accommodations. However, three accommodations: directions reread, questions restated, and answers restated were not provided to the student. The IEP team should not have provided that questions would be restated during testing as this is not a permitted accommodation. The student’s IEP provides that the student will receive modifications on tests, quizzes, and assignments in all classes including electives. The modifications are available to the student in most classes but are not provided during elective classes. The student’s IEP provides that the child’s parents will be notified of the student’s progress through detailed daily progress reports indicating current classroom assignments, homework assignments, and grades. Classroom teachers are to notify parents weekly regarding missing assignments, or phone calls home, or quarterly home reports. District staff confirmed that the parent notifications described in the IEP were not consistently provided to the parent. Daily reports were more consistently provided than weekly or quarterly home reports. The use of the term “or” in the IEP procedures for notifying the parents of the child’s progress does not clearly explain the district’s commitment to the child’s parent or to district staff. The district did not implement the student’s IEP regarding accommodations in administration of statewide and district-wide assessment on November 9, 2005; modifications on tests, quizzes, and assignments in all classes including electives; and informing the child’s parent through detailed daily progress reports of the child’s current classroom assignments, homework assignments, and grades, and weekly notification of missing assignments.

The district is planning to hold an IEP team meeting to review this student’s IEP in January 2006. At the IEP team meeting the district is directed to develop a proper statement of the child’s present level of education performance including information about all areas the student receives special education services and measurable annual goals including benchmarks or short-term objectives based on the student’s individual needs. The IEP must also determine whether additional services are needed because goals for special education instructional services received were not included in the student’s IEP; modifications on tests, quizzes, and assignments in all classes including electives during September, October, and November 2005; and informing the child’s parent through detailed daily progress reports of the child’s current classroom assignments, homework assignments, and grades, and weekly notification of missing assignments. By February 10, 2006, the district must send to the department a copy of the student’s January 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 develop a proper statement of the child’s present level of education performance including information about all areas the student receives special education services and measurable annual goals including benchmarks or short-term objectives based on the student’s individual needs and do not include impermissible accommodations for statewide and district-wide testing. The plan must also ensure that staff implement IEPs as written regarding accommodations in administration of statewide and district-wide assessment; modifications on tests, quizzes and assignments in all classes including electives; and informing children’s parents of the student’s progress.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed 1/10/06
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