IDEA Complaint Decision 10-036

On May 17, 2010, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Sevastopol School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, in May 2010, implemented the student’s individualized education program (IEP) regarding access to the special education room.

On March 17, 2010, an IEP team meeting was held for a student for the purpose of evaluation, including determination of eligibility and initial IEP development. The IEP team determined the student was eligible for special education under the category of other health impairment and developed an IEP. The IEP provided, as a supplementary aid and service, access to the special education room when “behavior intervention is needed.”

On May 5, 2010, the complainant alleges the student’s IEP was not implemented, as the student was not allowed to go to the special education classroom when behavior problems arose during a language arts class. On May 6, 2010, the complainant sent an e-mail to the district stating the student should have been sent to the special education classroom when the student was struggling in class, not following directions after redirection, and not doing the work. On May 11, 2010, the district responded to the complainant’s e-mail by requesting the complainant first address her IEP concerns with the special education teacher and the general education teacher. The e-mail stated, if concerns were not resolved after meeting with the two teachers, to contact the director of special education. The e-mail further stated “the decision when to remove [the student] from the [general education] classroom is a daily balancing act between the content [the student] will miss in the [general education] classroom, the [student’s] disruptive behaviors and [the student’s] motivational/emotional state.”

Supplementary aids and services means aids, services, and other supports provided in regular education classes, other education-related settings, and in extracurricular and nonacademic settings, to enable students with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled students to the maximum extent appropriate. The amount of services to be provided must be stated in the IEP, so the level of the district’s commitment of resources will be clear to parents and other IEP team members. The amount of time to be committed must be appropriate to the specific service and stated in the IEP in a manner which is clear to all who are involved in both the development and implementation of the IEP. If it is not possible to specify an amount of time, the IEP must clearly describe the circumstances under which the service will be provided. The phrase “when behavior intervention is needed” does not clearly describe the circumstances under which the special education room was required.

On or before September 3, 2010, the district is directed to schedule and conduct an IEP team meeting to revise the student’s IEP to ensure supplementary aids and services include the amount and frequency. If it is not possible to specify an amount of time, the circumstances must be clearly described. If you want technical assistance, please contact Lynn Boreson at lynn.boreson@dpi.wi.gov or (608) 266-1218. By September 15, 2010, the district will submit a complete copy of the revised IEP to the department.

In addition, within 30 days of the date of this decision, the district must submit a proposed corrective action plan (CAP) to the department for approval prior to implementation. The CAP must ensure special education staff understand all special education and related services, supplementary aids and services, and program modifications and supports require clear statements of the amount, frequency, duration, and location of those services.

All noncompliance identified above must be corrected as soon as possible, but in no case more than one year from the date of this decision. This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST/SJP 7/12/10
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/tag

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