IDEA Complaint Decision 10-080

On December 15, 2010, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, in December 2010, properly responded to a parent’s request for psychological services.

On December 2, 2010, the child’s parent sent an e-mail request to her son’s special education teacher, asking that the school psychologist see her son once per week for 20 minutes as a related service. The child was identified as needing special education in the area of other health impaired (OHI), and behavior was identified as a special factor. On December 7, the teacher responded to the parent’s request by forwarding the e-mail to the school psychologist, adding the psychologist to the individualized education program (IEP) team for an IEP meeting previously scheduled for December 10, and mailing the mother a meeting notice. The meeting notice listed the school psychologist as a participant. On December 7, the school psychologist sent an e-mail to the parent and special education supervisor informing them she would not be able to attend the December 10 IEP team meeting. The teacher did not reschedule the meeting. On December 9, the school psychologist sent an e-mail to the parent and the child’s special education teacher stating she had met with the student and was not recommending psychological services as a related service. On December 10, an IEP team meeting was conducted to review and revise the child’s IEP and determine continuing placement. The child’s mother attended the IEP team meeting. Because the school psychologist was not at the IEP team meeting, the special education supervisor refused to consider or discuss the parent’s request for psychological services. Consideration of this request should have been through the IEP team process regardless of whether the school psychologist attended the meeting. The IEP team review could have included the information provided by the school psychologist. The team did not properly consider the parent’s request for psychological services.

Within 30 days of the date of this decision, the district must submit a proposed corrective action plan to the department. The proposed corrective action plan must ensure IEP teams at the special education supervisor’s schools properly consider the concerns of parents for enhancing the education of their child, such as the parent’s request for psychological services as a related service. Within 30 days from the date of this decision, the district must conduct an IEP team meeting to properly respond to the parent’s request for psychological services and send a copy of the IEP to the department.

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 2/10/11
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/jfd

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