IDEA Complaint Decision 08-017

On February 20, 2008, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Beaver Dam School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2007-2008 school year, implemented the student’s individualized education program (IEP) regarding participation in regular classes and properly considered parent concerns regarding placement.

The student’s IEP for the 2007-2008 school year was developed at an IEP team meeting on January 19, 2007. The IEP provided the student would participate in science and social studies in the regular education classroom. The IEP team determined that a one-on-one teaching assistant, shortened assignments, modified tests, highlighted texts, and underlined and guided worksheets would be among the modifications necessary for the student to succeed in the regular education environment. All modifications set out in the IEP were provided for the student. On October 18, 2007, the IEP team met to consider the student’s performance in science and social studies. The student’s teachers observed that the student had not been experiencing success in the regular education classroom despite the extensive modifications and recommended the student receive science and social studies instruction in the special education classroom. The parents objected to this change, and the IEP team decided to leave the student’s program unchanged. On January 23, 2008, the IEP team met again to consider the student’s performance in science and social studies. After considering the parent’s renewed objections to any changes, the IEP team decided to modify the student’s IEP to provide science and social studies instruction in the special education classroom. The parents were provided a copy of the student’s modified IEP, and the changes were implemented January 24, 2008.

The goal of an IEP team is to reach consensus as to the placement. Reaching consensus involves all team members sharing views and discussing areas of disagreement and alternatives. In instances where consensus cannot be reached, the district is obligated to implement an IEP that provides a free and appropriate public education to the student, regardless of any team member’s objections. A district must provide parents with prior written notice of the provisions of an IEP prior to its implementation. The parents then have the right to seek resolution of any disagreement by initiating available dispute resolution procedures. The district implemented the student’s IEP and properly considered the parents' concerns regarding placement.

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

//signed CST 4/16/08
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/ps

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