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IDEA Complaint Decision 08-002

On January 7, 2008, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Tomorrow River School District. On January 7, 2008, the department set aside its investigation of the complaint pending completion of the due process hearing filed by the student’s parent on December 29, 2007.

On May 6, 2008 (letter dated May 5, 2008), the department received an order of dismissal in the due process hearing which does not decide the issues in this complaint. The department must issue a decision within 60 days from May 5, 2008. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2007-2008 school year:

  • Properly developed an individualized education program (IEP) for a student with a disability;
  • Properly determined the student’s need for transportation;
  • Properly responded to a parent’s request for the student’s records; and
  • Properly responded to a parent’s request for amending the student’s records.

The complainant alleges the district did not develop an IEP appropriate to the student’s disability during the 2007-2008 school year. The IEP team met three times during the 2007-2008 school year to review and revise the IEP. Special education services provided included organizational support and assistance with organizational skills for five minutes per day and a study skills class for one period per day. Parental and student concerns and requests were considered at IEP team meetings. The IEP was revised as necessary, taking into account the unique organizational and time management needs of the student. The IEP team determined several supplementary aids and services to support the student’s successful completion of regular education classwork. Transportation as a related service was considered but was determined not to be necessary. The IEP team determined the student’s disability did not prevent him from using the same transportation as his nondisabled peers, since the student had obtained and maintained a valid driver’s license. The department concludes the district properly developed an IEP for a student with a disability and properly determined the student’s need for transportation.

A district must permit parents to inspect and review any education records relating to a student with a disability that are collected, maintained, or used by the district. The district must comply with a request without unnecessary delay and before any meeting regarding an IEP or any due process hearing. On November 26, 2007, the student turned eighteen, and all the rights previously held by the parent transferred to the adult student.

In April 2008, the adult student provided the district with a written request for the student’s records to be sent to his mother. The district sent the records requested in two separate mailings on April 14, 2008 and on April 18, 2008. The department concludes the district properly responded to the request for the student records.

On January 6, 2008, the parent and the adult student requested the date of the November 13, 2005 IEP be amended, as November 13, 2005 was a Sunday. In an email dated April 17, 2008, the parent, with a signed release from the student, again requested the amendment to the adult student’s record regarding the November 2005 IEP date. A parent of a student with a disability, or an adult student who believes information in the education records collected, maintained, or used is inaccurate or misleading or violates the privacy or other rights of the student, may request the district that maintains the information to amend the information. The district must decide whether to amend the information in accordance with the request within a reasonable period of time of receipt of the request.

In a letter dated May 2, 2008, the district responded to the parent’s request to correct the student’s records. The district met and reviewed district records regarding the student’s November 13, 2005 IEP. The district acknowledged, and agreed, the date was incorrect and there was no IEP team meeting conducted on that date. The district stated the IEP dated Sunday, November 13, 2005 was, in fact, developed on Tuesday, November 1, 2005. The district hypothesized either the teacher made a clerical error when she went back into the computer to finalize the document or an additional digit was a typographical error. The date on the IEP in question has since been corrected on the computerized system and now reflects the correct November 1, 2005 date. The district is prepared to send the complainant a copy of the revised IEP for her files once the district receives a permission from the adult student to release this specific piece of information to the complainant. The department concludes although there was a delay in responding to the request, the district has now properly responded to the request for amending the records and no further corrective action is required.

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

//signed CST 7/7/08
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy