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IDEA Complaint Decision 05-001

On January 3, 2005, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Milwaukee Public Schools. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district properly responded to a parent's requests, in November and December 2004, for an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting.

On October 20, 2004, the district held an IEP team meeting for this parent's child. On October 30, the mother verbally requested an IEP team meeting for her daughter regarding further consideration of assistive technology and safety. On December 2, in response to the parent's request, the district sent the parent a notice of response to an activity requested by a parent. The district listed on the notice four proposed actions regarding the parent's request. However, the district did not either refuse to hold an IEP meeting or set a date and time for a meeting. On December 9, the child's mother requested an IEP team meeting in writing. On January 3, 2005, the district sent the parent a notice for an IEP team meeting to be held on January 14.

The law requires a school district to hold IEP team meetings periodically to review a child's IEP but not less than annually. Parents may request an IEP meeting at any time. A school district should grant any reasonable parent request for an IEP team meeting. If the district does not grant the request for an IEP meeting, it must provide written notice to the parent including an explanation of why the district has determined a meeting is not needed. The department concludes that the district did not properly respond to the parent's October 30, request for an IEP team meeting. The notice sent to the parent on December 2 did not refuse or agree to hold an IEP meeting. However, the district did respond to the parent's December 9 request for an IEP team meeting by sending a notice for and holding an IEP team meetings on January 14, 2005. No further child specific corrective action is required. By March 4, 2005, the district is directed to verify to the department that the special education leadership liaisons have met with special services supervisors to review district procedures for properly responding to a parent's request for an IEP team meeting and special services supervisors have reviewed the procedures with building staff authorized to respond to such requests. Department staff will continue to work closely with the district to assist in its continuous improvement and focused monitoring activities.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed 2/17/05
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy