IDEA Complaint Decision 07-003

On January 10, 2007, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Waupun Area School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2006-2007 school year, properly responded to a parent’s request for special education services for her child.

In the fall of 2006, the student moved from one district where she resided with her father to a second district to live with her mother. At the time of her registration, the student was not identified as a student with a disability. The mother contacted the district on September 5, 2006, requesting that her daughter attend a special education alternative high school for students with severe emotional and behavioral disabilities. The district met with the mother and explained that her daughter could not be directly enrolled in the facility as it was designed for students with disabilities, and her daughter was not identified as a student with a disability. The special education referral process was explained and the district told the mother that even if her daughter was identified as a student with a disability, the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team would determine the actual placement based upon the needs of the student, which may or may not be at that school.

During the course of this meeting, the district also offered some other accommodations to assist the student in transitioning to the high school. At the end of the meeting, the district asked the mother if she wanted to still make a special education referral or proceed with the modifications that had been discussed. The mother agreed to begin the school term using the modifications discussed and did not make a referral.

The district referred the student for an evaluation on January 11, 2007. The district was in the process of completing the consent to evaluate process when the student withdrew from the district and returned to the district where her father resided. The department concludes that the district properly responded to a parent’s request for special education services for her child.

This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing.

//signed 3/12/07
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/tag

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