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IDEA Complaint Decision 06-026

On May 15, 2006, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district ensured that it properly determined and provided required special education and related services to a child with a disability between February and May 2006.

On September 15, 2005, the district conducted a manifestation determination for behavior the student engaged in earlier in September. The IEP team determined the behavior was a manifestation of the child’s disability. On that same date, the IEP team reviewed and revised the student’s IEP, including changing the placement. Due to the nature of the student’s behavior, the IEP team was concerned about the safety of others and, therefore, determined that the student was unable to attend school during the regular school day. The revised IEP provided for educational services after school for four days per week.

In February 2006 the parents of the student and the student’s psychologist met with district staff to discuss the student’s progress. The meeting was requested by the student’s psychologist, and this was not an IEP team meeting. The district did not construe the meeting request as a parental request for a change in placement. The student’s psychologist reported on the student’s progress and he believed that the student was able to return to school during the regular school day. The student’s teacher, and other district staff, however, felt that the student was not ready to attend during the school day with his peers. The teacher noted that the student, while receiving one-on-one instruction and supervision, still needed constant reminders about rules and expectations with regard to behaviors. The teacher felt that the student still lacked impulse control, and she believed that there would be future incidents if the student returned. The teacher was also worried about the safety of others. Consequently, district staff did not believe it was appropriate to change the student’s placement at that time. District staff also did not believe that the parents were in disagreement with them. The district continued to provide the special education and related services as required by the September 2005 IEP.

In May 2006, the student’s IEP team met to discuss the student’s education program and placement for the 2006-2007 school year. The IEP team determined that the student would begin transitioning back to a regular school day in September 2006, with the goal of attending a regular school day by October 2, 2006. The district properly determined and provided required special education and related services to a child with a disability between February and May 2006.

This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing.

//signed CST 7/12/06
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy