IDEA Complaint Decision 07-029

On April 4, 2007 (form dated April 2, 2007), the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Madison Metropolitan School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues, which relate to the 2006-2007 school year, are addressed below.

  • Whether the district properly modified a student’s individualized education program (IEP) without conducting an IEP team meeting.

The parent claims the special education staff changed one goal on her child’s October 31, 2006, IEP without an IEP team meeting. After reading the daily communication notes, the parent stated one goal had been changed from “initiate greetings with peers” to “initiates bites” [of food]. On April 12, 2007, the special education teacher wrote to the parent indicating the daily communication notes contained a data form, which had been modified to collect more relevant data. The district did not modify the student’s IEP without conducting an IEP team meeting.

  • Whether the district properly responded to a parent’s request for information.

The parent alleges the district did not properly respond to her March 15, 2007, email, which included a request for a written reply regarding the discontinuation of draft IEPs developed prior to IEP team meetings and a request to be provided a draft of the IEP ten days prior to any scheduled meeting when the staff uses draft IEPs. On April 12, 2007, the special education teacher returned a written response to the parent and indicated prepared draft IEPs will be discontinued. There is no legal requirement that obligates a district to provide parents a draft of a child’s IEP ten days prior to an IEP team meeting. On April 12, 2006, the special education director sent the parent a letter, which encouraged the parent to communicate directly with the child’s special education case manager in order to facilitate timely communication and resolution. The district properly responded to the parent’s March 15 request for information.

  • Whether the district properly responded to a parent’s request for an IEP team meeting.

On March 13, 2007, the parent sent an email to the special education teacher which stated, "We are certainly open to meeting with [the child’s] IEP team to revise IEP goals and objectives. If you would like to schedule an IEP meeting to propose changes in [the child’s] IEP, we would be glad to do so." The district staff was unaware this statement was a request for an IEP team meeting. The district states numerous meetings with the parents were held between June 2005 and January 2007, and the parent is included in monthly meetings with district staff to discuss her child’s IEP services and educational needs. An IEP team meeting was scheduled for May 9, 2007. The district properly responded to the parent’s request on March 13 for an IEP team meeting.

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

//signed 6/4/07
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