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IDEA Complaint Decision 04-053

On November 2, 2004, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the School District of Menomonee Falls. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2004-2005 school year, has implemented a student's individualized education program (IEP) regarding providing the student with lecture notes.

The parent alleges the district did not provide a copy of lecture notes as required by the student's IEP. Although the student has received some notes, the parent believes they have not always been complete or received in a timely manner. In addition, the parent alleges that some teachers have refused to provide notes, because they believe it is the student's responsibility to take notes in class.

The IEP developed on May 13, 2004, requires daily access to a "copy of notes." At the beginning of the semester, the staff were given a copy of an accommodations page from the student's IEP which indicates notes are to be provided. Teachers have provided their lectures notes when available, but not always on a daily basis. Although these notes are not verbatim, the district believes they capture the information covered in class. The district acknowledges that they have not obtained notes for the student from one of his peers when there are no teacher notes available, as discussed at the student's IEP meeting, because they believed the parent later decided she did not want notes from a peer for her son.

A district must provide special education and supplementary aids and services to a child with a disability in accordance with the child's IEP. The student did not always have daily access to a copy of notes as specified in his IEP. The amount of services to be provided must be stated in the IEP so that the level of the agency's commitment of resources will be clear to parents and other IEP team members. The amount of time to be committed to each of the various services to be provided must be appropriate to the specific service, and stated in the IEP in a manner that is clear to all who are involved in both the development and implementation of the IEP. There is no common understanding between the parent and district regarding the nature of the lecture notes, such as what format they will be in or the degree of specificity that is needed.

Within 45 days of receiving this decision, the district will hold an IEP team meeting to address the lack of specificity regarding the amount and frequency of supplementary aids and services regarding note taking in the child's May 13, 2004, IEP. Following the IEP team meeting, the district will submit the child's revised IEP to the department.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 12/3/04
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy