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IDEA Complaint Decision 07-083

On November 16, 2007, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the School District of River Falls. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2007-2008 school year, properly implemented a student’s individualized education program (IEP) regarding the use of a sound field system.

The student’s IEP, developed on April 4, 2007, specified a sound field system would be provided in the student’s general education classroom as an assistive technology related service. On October 2, the parent informed district administration the classroom sound system was not working properly. The district had the system repaired on October 5. On October 8, the parent again informed the district the sound system was not working properly. The district’s electrician checked the system and verified it was working.

Following notification of the department’s receipt of the complaint, the district reviewed the matter and acknowledged the sound system did not work properly between September 5 and October 5, 2007. District administration demonstrated a clear understanding of state and federal requirements with respect to implementing IEPs. The special education director sent a letter to all district staff on December 13 clarifying state and federal regulations concerning the district’s responsibility to implement IEPs as written and staff’s role in carrying out the regulations. The district developed and informed staff of a process to follow if staff had questions about implementing a student’s IEP or believed a student’s IEP was not being implemented. No additional district-wide corrective action is needed.

With respect to student specific corrective action, the district held an IEP team meeting on December 19, 2007, and revised the IEP to include the use of a personal FM system as well as maintain the classroom sound field system. A backup plan is in place for times when the student’s FM system may fail. The district has agreed to hold an IEP team meeting to consider whether compensatory services are needed as a result of failure to provide the student with access to a sound field system between September 5, 2007, and October 5, 2007. By February 11, 2008, the district will submit to the department evidence of completion of this corrective action.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST/SJP 1/9/08
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy