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IDEA Complaint Decision 08-018

On March 10, 2008, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Green Bay Area School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2007-2008 school year, properly responded to a parent request for an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting.

On November 20, 2007, an IEP team meeting was held for the purpose of a reevaluation including determination of a disability, reviewing and revising the IEP, developing a transition statement, and determining placement for the student. IEP team participants included the parent, three special education teachers, a local educational agency (LEA) representative and a school district representative, a speech and language pathologist, an occupational therapist, a regular education teacher, a representative from the county, and a meeting facilitator. The student was invited but was not present at the IEP team meeting. The IEP team determined the student met the criteria for speech and language impairment, cognitive disability, and other health impairment. The meeting lasted for one hour and forty minutes. The IEP team meeting continued on December 6, 2007, for an additional five hours and was completed after three hours on December 11, 2007, with an implementation date of January 2, 2008. On December 11, 2007, when most of the paperwork details were addressed, a projection system was used so everyone could see the actual completion of the forms as it occurred. The total amount of time spent with the IEP process lasted nine hours and forty minutes.

If a parent requests an IEP team meeting because the parent believes a change is needed in the provision of free appropriate public education (FAPE) to the student or the educational placement of the student, and the district refuses to convene an IEP team meeting to determine whether such a changed is needed, the district must provide written notice to the parents of the refusal, including an explanation of why the district has determined conducting the meeting is not necessary to ensure the provision of FAPE to the student.

On January 3, 2008, the district received a letter dated December 19, 2007, and postmarked on December 31, 2007, from the parent requesting a corrected copy of the evaluation report and another IEP team meeting to discuss goals and placement for the student for the 2007-2008 school year. On January 3, 2008, the district prepared and sent a written response on a form indicating the copy of the evaluation was attached and on January 3, 2008, the district also prepared and sent a written response on a form indicating the district was refusing the parent’s request for another IEP team meeting. The district’s written response indicated the reasons for rejecting the parent’s request as “a comprehensive drafting of [the student’s] IEP occurred on December 6 for three hours and continued on December 11, 2007, for an additional five hours. The state’s IEP facilitation process was utilized.” The district included the required information related to the parent’s appeal rights in its denial of the request for another IEP team meeting. The department concludes the district properly responded to a parent request for an IEP team meeting.

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

//signed CST 5/2/08
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy