On January 12, 2006, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Chetek School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues relate to the 2005-2006 school year and are described below:
- Whether the district properly received informed parental consent to reevaluate a student with a disability.
The parent maintains she did not give the district her consent to reevaluate her child with a disability. On October 31, 2005, the district informed the parent via phone regarding her child’s upcoming 3-year reevaluation, and sent a Notice of Intent to Evaluate form. On that same day, a district staff person met with the parent to review the Notice and Consent Regarding Need to Conduct Additional Tests form. The parent signed the consent form and verbally indicated she agreed to the testing, but did not check the permission to administer tests box. District staff administered the tests and other evaluation materials to the child during the month of November. The parent subsequently objected to the testing. Once the district understood it had not properly documented consent, it did not use the information from the tests administered but conducted a review of existing data.
A school district must obtain informed, written parental consent before administering tests or other evaluation materials to a child with a disability as part of a reevaluation, except that such consent need not be obtained if the district has taken reasonable measures to obtain such consent and the child's parents have failed to respond. The district did not properly document parent consent due to a technical oversight. No corrective action is necessary.
- Whether the district properly informed the parent of her right to additional time and properly responded to the parent’s request for additional time to permit her meaningful participation in the individualized education program (IEP) team meeting.
On January 10, 2006, an IEP team meeting was held to determine the child’s eligibility, review and revise the IEP, and determine placement. The parent contends the district did not inform her at the beginning of the IEP meeting of her right to additional time to review the evaluation report. She also states additional time was not provided after the evaluation report was discussed and before reviewing the IEP. District staff state the parent was asked if she wanted additional time to review the evaluation report prior to writing the child’s goals and objectives and the parent indicated no. No verbal request was made by the parent at the IEP meeting. District forms document that this requirement was met at the IEP team meeting. The district properly informed the parent at the beginning of the meeting of her right to additional time after the evaluation report was discussed and prior to reviewing the IEP.
- Whether the district properly responded to the parent’s requests for copies of her child’s test results and provided the parent with a copy of the IEP team evaluation report.
On December 8 the parent made a verbal request to the special education teacher for a copy of her child’s test results, and she made the same request of the school psychologist the following day. On December 9 the school psychologist maintains she invited the parent and her mother via phone to review the assessment reports, and the parent did not respond back. On January 4, 2006, the school psychologist called the parent to resolve her request for reviewing the assessment reports. The parent requested the original test protocols, and stated she did not want to meet to review the assessment reports. The school psychologist informed the parent that the test protocols were copyrighted and were not available for public request. On January 4, she sent the parent a follow-up letter, which included an explanation of the test manufacturer’s “Maintenance of Test Security” agreement with the purchaser (the school). In the letter, she again offered to meet with the parent to review the test results.
The parent also alleges the district did not provide her with a copy of the evaluation report at the IEP team meeting or after. The district stated the parent was offered either a draft copy of the evaluation report at the IEP meeting or a final copy of the evaluation report to be mailed. The parent agreed to receive a copy of the final evaluation report. On January 16, the district mailed a final copy of the evaluation report to the parent and the revised IEP. The department concludes the district properly responded to the parent’s request for a copy of her child’s test results, and the district also provided the parent with a copy of the evaluation report within a reasonable amount of time following the January 10, 2006, IEP team meeting.
- Whether the district properly considered the results of the student’s initial and most recent evaluation and state- and district-wide assessments, and properly determined the student’s participation in state- and district-wide assessments.
On October 31, 2005, district staff met with the parent to discuss her child’s 3-year reevaluation. A district staff person addressed the 2003 initial evaluation results including the proposed tests and other evaluation materials for the current 3-year reevaluation. On January 10, the IEP team discussed the child’s most recent evaluation results based on a review of existing data because the district did not have parental consent to test. The review of existing data included current behavioral incident documentation, cumulative file, literacy profile assessments, district-wide achievement test results that included the North West Education Assessment Spring & Fall 2nd grade math test results, and teacher classroom observations and progress reports. The IEP team discussed the child’s participation in state- and district-wide tests for his 4th grade school year as indicated in the IEP. The current IEP states the child will participate in the Wisconsin Knowledge & Concepts Examination Test for 4th grade math, science, and social studies with accommodations and in the Wisconsin Alternate Assessment for 4th grade reading and language arts. The IEP also states the child will participate in district-wide assessments with accommodations. The district properly considered the results of the child’s initial and most recent evaluation and state- and district-wide tests at the IEP meeting.
- Whether the district properly developed the student’s present level of educational performance (PLEP) and measurable annual goals.
The parent alleges the annual goals are not measurable because achievement testing was not administered and, therefore, the PLEP statement does not include an accurate baseline that would show improvement of her child’s skills. On December 8 the parent wrote a letter to the district indicating the tests she would agree to have the district administer by the guidance counselor. On December 9, a district staff person called the parent and informed her that because she had not given her consent for testing, no formal individual assessment reports would be completed for the evaluation report. The evaluation report includes the following statement: “Testing information is not available at parent’s request.” The IEP team based the child’s PLEP statements on a review of existing data. The PLEP describes in detail how the child’s disability affects his involvement and progress in the general education curriculum for reading, writing, math, and social behavior. The annual goals and short-term objectives also address the areas of reading, writing, math, and social behavior. The district included the required statement of PLEP and annual goals for the 2005-06 school year.
This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing.
//signed CST 3/13/06
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy