IDEA Complaint Decision 12-007

On February 29, 2012, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the School District of South Milwaukee. 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 parent’s request for a special education evaluation.

A district has an obligation to inform parents of the procedures for making special education referrals. All referrals must be in writing, include the name of the student and the reasons why the person believes the student is a student with a disability. The district is required to document and date the receipt of each referral.

A meeting was held on August 31, 2011 at the district office which included the student’s parents, the student, the school psychologist, and a social worker. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the student’s return to the district for the 2011-12 school year. In the letter of complaint, the parent alleged she verbally requested “an IEP (individualized education program) evaluation.” District personnel stated the special education evaluation process was explained to both parents and the student. The parent did not indicate she would be submitting a written referral. The district did not hear anything further from the parent until February 28, 2012.

On February 28, 2012, the district received a written referral for a special education evaluation from the parent. Within the required timelines, a review of existing data was conducted, and the district sent the parents a notice and consent form regarding the need to conduct additional assessments on March 20, 2012. The district received parental consent on March 21, 2012, and the district is in the process of timely completing the evaluation. The district properly responded to a parent’s request for a special education evaluation.

This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing. You may contact Teresa Goodier, Special Education Team, at teresa.goodier@dpi.wi.gov or (608) 267-2947 if you have any questions about this decision or for technical assistance.

//signed CST 4/24/2012
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support

Dec/tag

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