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IDEA Complaint Decision 07-035

On April 11, 2007, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Peshtigo School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2006-2007 school year, properly determined and provided special education services to a student with a disability while temporarily receiving medical care outside the district.

On March 14, 2007, the parent informed the district that his child would be out of the district for medical treatment, to begin on April 2 and continuing to about April 30. He requested the district to provide special education services to his child at a prearranged out-of-district site while receiving medical treatment. In a March 29 email to the parent, the district shared two possible plans for providing services. On April 2, the parent met with the out-of-district staff and they determined the student would receive special education services on a daily basis at the out-of-district high school. On April 3, the district informed the parent they would not consent to the out-of-district plan for services and stated the student would receive two hours per week of tutorial support at an offsite location.

In a statement provided to the department, the district stated they accepted the parent’s explanation for the student’s medical absence as an excused absence. The district contacted the out-of-district special education director and informed them the student would receive tutorial support at an off-site location for two hours a week at district expense. The student’s teachers prepared packets for English, algebra and accounting school work including the course notes for the parent to pick up from the district high school office on Fridays. No individualized education program (IEP) team meeting was held to determine services to be provided to the student during his absence. Both districts had spring break from April 6 through the 16. The student was absent from school for medical treatment for 14 days.

If a district anticipates a student will be out of school for more than ten days, it must hold an IEP team meeting to determine how the student’s individual needs will be met. The district did not hold an IEP team meeting. Within 30 days of receiving this decision, the district must submit to the department a corrective action plan to ensure district administration and staff understand how to determine and provide special education services to a student with a disability out of school for more than ten days.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed 6/11/07
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy