On February 27, 2008, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Elkhorn 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 September 11, 2007, an IEP team meeting was held and the parent and youth attended. In December 2007, the parent requested an IEP team meeting to address her child’s education needs prior to the youth turning 18 in January. District staff stated they attempted to convene a meeting in December 2007 but were unable to find a date that worked for the parent and child. On January 8, 2008, the parent again requested an IEP team meeting of the Walworth County special education director, who is the special education director for the district. However, the district did not hold an IEP team meeting until March 27, 2008. The parent and youth attended this meeting.
The parents of a child with a disability have the right to request an IEP team meeting at any time and districts must grant any reasonable parent request. If the district refuses to convene an IEP meeting, the district must provide written notice to the parents of the refusal, including an explanation of why the district has determined that conducting the meeting is not necessary. During the months of December 2007 and January 2008, the parent requested an IEP team meeting of school staff. By delaying until March, the district did not properly respond to the parent’s requests for an IEP team meeting. Within 30 days of receiving this decision, the district must provide the department with a corrective action plan to ensure that staff members properly respond to parent requests for IEP team meetings.
This concludes our review of this complaint.
//signed CST 4/28/08
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy