IDEA Complaint Decision 08-080

On September 23, 2008, the Department of Public Instruc¬tion received a complaint under state and federal special education law from xxxxx against the Marshall Public School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2008-2009 school year, properly responded to the parents’ request for an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting and whether the district properly responded to a pupil record request.

The parents of a child with a disability may request an IEP team meeting at any time, and districts must grant any reasonable parent request. The IEP team met on June 9, 2008 and at the end of the meeting the parents distributed three documents: a speech pathology report, an occupational therapy clinical evaluation note, and an April 2007 psychological evaluation. The IEP team discussed meeting the last week in August 2008 to review these materials and any new medical information and to update the student’s IEP, if necessary. On August 13, district staff sent the parents an e-mail suggesting three potential dates, August 26-28. The parents indicated they were unable to meet those days because of work-related commitments. On September 2, 2008, district staff asked the parent to provide alternative dates, and the parents proposed September 15th or 18th. On September 4, 2008, district staff informed the parents these dates would not work because team members were attending a conference. On September 9, 2008, the parents sent an e-mail stating they were again requesting an IEP meeting and they were available any time on Monday, September 15th, and in the morning of September 18th. On September 12, 2008, district staff responded to the parent reiterating staff was not available during that time. District staff offered September 22nd as a possible date, which the parents agreed to, and an IEP team meeting was held on that date. The district properly responded to a parent’s request for an IEP team meeting.

A district must permit parents, on request, to inspect and review their child's education records. The agency must provide copies of the records if the failure to provide the copies would effectively prevent the parent from exercising the right to inspect and review the records. In the complaint, the parents state they were not provided with copies of information discussed at the IEP meeting including the student’s April 2007 psychological evaluation, individual health plan (IHP), and the results on a classroom assessment.

On September 12, 2008, the parents requested an agenda and copies of any reports that would be discussed at the next IEP meeting. The district informed the parents the next IEP meeting would consist of a review and discussion of records the parent brought to the June 9 IEP meeting and any new medical information provided by the parents. District staff did not provide copies of any reports that would be discussed because the reports staff planned to discuss were provided by the parents, and the parents still retained copies of the reports.

On September 22, 2008 the IEP team met and discussed, among other things, a psychological evaluation from April of 2007 which was given to the district by the parent. The parent did not bring her copy of the evaluation to the meeting, but the district provided an additional copy. During the meeting, questions related to the student’s IHP were brought up by a team member. The district had not planned to discuss the IHP at the meeting, and, again, the IHP was information provided to the district by the parent.

On September 19, the parent asked the district to "bring the full assessment results to the IEP meeting." After the September 22 IEP team meeting ended, a teacher, a district staff member, and the parent met and discussed these assessment results. Because the assessments were based on a growth model and the results shared on September 22 was baseline data, the progress monitoring reports were not available until the end of the quarter. The district provided the progress monitoring report with the student’s report card at the end of the quarter. The district properly responded to the parent’s request to review records.

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

//signed CST/SJP 11/24/08
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