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IDEA Complaint Decision 05-004

On January 20, 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 issues are whether the district, during the 2004-2005 school year, improperly excluded a student from school and properly changed the student's special education placement.

The district acknowledges the student has not been in attendance since early in the first semester of the current academic year. The district is not able to locate a copy of the student's individualized education program (IEP) with placement documents. The student's record of attendance retrieved from the district electronic student information system (ESIS) reports the student suspended or absent since September 10, 2004. The student started the 2004-2005 school year at a district middle school/high school and attempted to enroll at a second district high school. The student and her family were referred to the district Department of Student Services for assistance to arrange an IEP team meeting to develop an IEP and determine placement.

The district has directed the special services supervisors from the school she attended and the school she attempted to enroll in to hold an IEP team meeting as soon as possible to develop an IEP and placement for the student. The IEP team will determine what additional services are required because of the delay in providing services. The district must send to the department a copy of the child's IEP with placement notice and an up-to-date attendance record by March 21, 2005. In addition, the district must review and revise, if necessary, the district's "June 12, 2003, MPS Placement Procedures/Change of Building Assignment" procedures to ensure that placements are determined properly. By April 15, 2005, the district must send to the department a copy of the revised procedures or a written statement documenting the procedures were reviewed and revisions are not needed at this time.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed 3/7/05
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy