On January 24, 2012, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Greenfield School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2011-12 school year, properly responded to a pupil record request.
The student’s placement is in an out-of-district program. The district is responsible for the development and implementation of the student’s individualized education program (IEP) and provision of a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). The complainant maintains she made multiple requests for copies of records during the 2011-12 school year, including requests for a copy of the student’s IEP, IEP goals, and progress reports. All but one request, as discussed below, were directed to staff at the out-of-district program and were not for education records collected, maintained, or used by the district.
The student’s IEP was reviewed and revised on October 3, 2011. The complainant maintains she never received a copy of the IEP. Documentation provided by the parent and the district indicates the parent received a copy of the revised IEP following the meeting. On November 18, 2011, the parent verbally requested a copy of the student’s IEP. In response, the district mailed another copy of the IEP to the address provided by the parent. On December 21, 2011, the parent sent a letter to the district requesting IEP records. Subsequent verbal requests for the records were made. However, these requests were for the records of a different child of the same parent. The district filled these record requests, which did not include records of the student named in this complaint.
The student’s IEPs in effect during the 2011-12 school year specify the parent is to be notified of the student’s progress toward IEP goals at least quarterly. Copies of e-mail correspondence provided by the parent documents requests for weekly reports directed to non-district program staff. However, there is no evidence the IEP requires weekly reports of the type described by the parent. Documentation provided by both the parent and district indicates the parent has thus far received quarterly reports on IEP goals for the periods ending October 2011 and January 2012.
A local educational agency (LEA) must permit parents to inspect and review any education record relating to their children that are collected, maintained, or used by the district. The right to inspect and review education records includes the right to request that the district provide copies of the records if failure to do so would effectively prevent the parent from exercising the right to inspect and review the records. In this case, the district properly responded to parental requests for pupil records collected, maintained, and used by the district.
This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing. You may contact Paula Volpiansky, Special Education Team, at (608) 267-3725 if you have any questions about this decision or for technical assistance.
//signed CST 3/9/2012
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy