On October 26, 2006, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the School District of Somerset. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2006-2007 school year, properly implemented a child’s individualized education program (IEP) regarding participation with typically developing peers and regarding receiving sign language education class.
The student’s IEP requires sign language instruction once each week during the 2006-2007 school year. The district did not start this service until November 14 and, consequently, acknowledges it did not implement this portion of the IEP prior to that date. The delay resulted because district staff unsuccessfully attempted to arrange instruction which would be provided to others interested in learning sign language. The district will be holding an IEP team meeting for the student early in 2007. The district will ensure that the team considers whether the student requires additional sign language instruction due to the delay in receiving these services and submit a copy of the IEP to the department promptly after providing a copy to the parent.
The IEP provides that the student’s instruction will be provided in a classroom attended only by students with disabilities. However, two of the annual goals provide that the student will work on achieving the goals both with students with disabilities and students who do not have disabilities. The district did not provide the student the opportunity to work toward achieving these two goals with students who do not have disabilities until after this complaint was filed. The IEP did not indicate there would be a delay in offering the student the opportunity to work toward achieving these two goals, and the parent understood her child would work on these goals with students who do not have disabilities throughout the year. The district will ensure that the IEP team which meets early next year will determine whether these IEP goals can be met by the IEP end date and clarify the amount of time the student will participate with students who do not have disabilities. Further, within 45 days of receiving this decision the district will submit corrective action to the department to ensure that IEPs properly explain the extent to which the children with disabilities will not participate with students who do not have disabilities in advancing toward attaining annual goals.
This concludes our review of this complaint.
//signed CST 12/20/06
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy