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IDEA Complaint Decision 07-044

On June 6, 2007, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the School District of Kewaskum. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2006-07 school year, implemented five students’ individualized education programs (IEPs) regarding accommodations in administration of statewide assessment.

On October 25, 2006, a teacher, serving as the local educational agency representative and with the agreement of each of the five parents, added one new testing accommodation to five students’ IEPs without convening an IEP meeting, which is permitted. Statewide assessment began on October 30. The teacher intended to implement the new accommodation with four of the students during testing on October 30 and November 1. The fifth student would participate in testing with the new accommodation November 6 and 9. IEP documentation was completed the afternoon of October 30. Written notice was mailed to the parents either on October 30 or October 31. The teacher implemented the new accommodation with four students on October 30. After a meeting with administration on October 30, the teacher ceased implementing the new accommodation.

Prior written notice must be provided a reasonable time before a public agency implements proposed changes to the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child or the provision of FAPE to the child. Following proper notice, IEPs must be implemented, including modifications to IEPs made without a meeting. The parents of four students were not provided notice of the proposed IEP changes a reasonable time before the change was implemented. Appropriate notice was provided for the fifth student but the new accommodation contained in the modified IEP was not implemented. Since statewide assessment has already been completed, there is no student specific corrective action. Within 30 days of receiving this decision, the district must submit to the department a corrective action plan to ensure that written notice is provided to parents a reasonable time before the district implements proposed changes to the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of the child or the provision of FAPE to a child. The district also should ensure that staff properly understand all requirements related to timely modifying an IEP without conducting an IEP team meeting and implementing the modified IEP following proper notice.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 7/3/07
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy