On December 13, 2005, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Elkhorn Area School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2005-2006 school year, properly developed and implemented an individualized education program (IEP) regarding the provision of accommodations in the general education environment.
On December 8, 2005, an IEP team meeting was held for the purpose of reviewing and revising the IEP, developing a transition statement, as well as determining continuing placement. The IEP provided for three accommodations in the general and special education environments under supplementary aids and services. The amount of services to be provided must be stated in the IEP, so the level of the agency’s commitment of resources will be clear to parents and other IEP team members. Two supplementary aids and services listed on the IEP do not provide the specificity needed for consistent implementation across regular and special education environments. The "as situations arise” and “depending on content and manner of evaluation" provisions in the student’s IEP do not clearly specify the amount of resources and do not identify the specific circumstances under which a particular service will be provided and under what types of situations. Through district staff interviews, the department determines the district has implemented one accommodation for the student in both environments. The department is not able to determine whether the other two services were provided pursuant to the IEP, or because the amount of services stated is not clear.
The district must review the current IEP language related to supplementary aids and services so any service provider who is responsible for its implementation is clear as to his or her specific responsibilities related to implementing the child’s IEP consistently across regular and special education environments. It would be appropriate for the IEP to specify, based upon the IEP team’s determination of the student’s unique needs, that particular services are needed only under specific circumstances, such as the occurrence of a particular behavior or the presence of a particular stimulus.
Within thirty days of the date of this decision, the district must hold an IEP team meeting to review and revise the applicable provisions of the student’s current IEP so the description and amount of supplementary aids and services clearly identify the level of the district’s commitment of resources, including the specific circumstances under which a particular service will be provided. A copy of the revised IEP must be submitted to the department within forty five days of the date of the decision.
This concludes our review of this complaint.
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy