IDEA Complaint Decision 08-021

On February 25, 2008, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Boscobel Area School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2007-2008 school year, properly implemented the student’s individualized education program (IEP) regarding the provision of special education support in mathematics and language arts and whether the district timely provided the parent with a copy of the student’s annual IEP after the IEP team meeting.

On December 5, 2006, the IEP team met and developed an annual IEP for the student. The IEP included 30-45 minutes of special education services to be provided in the student’s general education math and language arts classes. The services reflected the district’s service delivery model at the time which provided for a special education teacher assigned to co-teach certain general education classes. When the special education teacher was not in the class, a special education aide supported the provision of special education services listed on the IEP.

The student received special education services as written during the 2006-2007 school year. For the 2007-2008 school year, a special education teacher or aide was no longer assigned to the student’s reading and language arts classes on a regular basis and the student ceased to receive special education services in these classes as written on the IEP. Instead, the student received some additional support from the general education teacher, volunteers, or other staff during class and from the special education teacher or aide during scheduled resource periods in the special education resource room. The student was occasionally sent to the special education room to receive support during math or language arts class when the student required more assistance than the classroom teacher could provide.

The IEP team met on November 29, 2007, to review and revise the student’s IEP. No discussion or changes were made with respect to the amount, frequency, or location of the student’s special education services in reading and mathematics. The parent left the meeting with the understanding that a special education teacher or aide would provide special education support to the student in the regular math and language arts class. The IEP team did not properly determine special education services to be provided the student during the 2007-2008 school year.

The district acknowledges it did not ensure special education services were provided in the student’s math and language arts classes as written during the 2007-2008 school year. The district also acknowledges it did not discuss revising the student’s special education services to meet the student’s needs in math and language arts when a change in district staffing affected the implementation of the student’s IEP.

When developing a student’s IEP, a district must ensure the amount of time committed to each special education service is appropriate to each service and addresses the student’s individual needs. In addition, the statement of special education services including the amount, frequency, and location of services must be stated in a manner that can be understood by all involved in developing and implementing the IEP.

Within 30 days of receipt of this complaint decision, the district must reconvene the IEP team and review and revise, if necessary, the student’s IEP. The IEP team must also consider whether compensatory services are needed to address the district’s failure to provide needed special education services. The district will send to the department documentation of the completion of these corrective actions. In addition, the district is directed to review and revise, if necessary, the IEPs of all students with a disability at the student’s school of placement to ensure the IEPs correctly describe the statement of special education services based on the individual needs of the students. By May 31, 2008, the district must send to the department documentation of the results of the review.

Districts must provide written notice to parents a reasonable time before the district proposes or refuses to initiate or change the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child or the provision of FAPE to child. This includes providing a copy of the student’s IEP to the parent following an IEP meeting to review and revise the student’s IEP or placement. A copy of the student’s revised IEP was not provided to the parent following the November 29, 2007, IEP team meeting until the parent requested a copy in January 2008. Within 30 days of receiving this decision, the district must submit proposed corrective actions to the department to ensure a copy of a revised IEP or placement will be provided to parents following an IEP team meeting and before the IEP or placement is to go into effect.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 4/21/08
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

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