IDEA Complaint Decision 07-011

On February 2, 2007, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the School District of Fort Atkinson. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2006-2007 school year, properly determined the present level of academic achievement in math for a student with a disability and properly responded to a parent’s March, April, May, and June 2006 requests for her child’s records relating to performance in math.

The parent contends the IEP team did not properly determine her child’s present level of academic achievement for the area of math at the April 4, 2006, IEP team meeting. The present level of academic achievement states “[the child’s] learning disability impedes him from being able to complete his grades [grade level] math curriculum.” The IEP does not include baseline information setting a starting point from which to measure progress on annual goals for math.

IEP teams must include a statement of child’s present level of academic achievement, including how the child’s disability affects the child’s involvement and progress in the general curriculum. The district did not develop a proper statement of the child’s present level of academic achievement in math. Within 30 days of receiving this decision, the district is directed to develop corrective action to ensure staff understand how to write proper statements of present level of academic achievement, including baseline information and how the child’s disability affects the child’s involvement and progress in the general curriculum. The district will hold an IEP team meeting within 30 days to address the child’s present level of academic achievement levels in math and will submit a copy of the child’s IEP to the department.

The parent also alleges she requested her child’s report card in March 2006, a copy of the current IEP in April 2006, and a copy of the IEP in May 2006, via letters and phone calls. She maintains she did not get a response or the records requested from the district. The child’s current IEP states the parents will be informed of their child’s progress through quarterly reports, parent/teacher conferences two times per year, written or verbal communication, IEP team meetings, and progress reports. Interviews with district staff and a review of documents indicate the district sent the parent via mail general education quarterly progress reports for all subject areas, quarterly IEP progress reports, and quarterly report cards. On March 2, 2006, the principal sent the parent a letter including recent progress reports, a grade report, behavioral and student record files since May 21, 2004, and a cumulative report card per the current school year. On April 4, 2006, a copy of the child’s current IEP was sent to the parent via certified mail and was returned unclaimed. On May 30, 2006, the principal sent the parent a copy of the child’s IEP via mail. The district engaged in written and verbal communication, invited the parent to parent/teacher conferences two times per year and set up a time to meet with the parent regarding her child’s IEP. The district properly responded to the parent’s request for her child’s records.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed 3/26/07
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/svb

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