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IDEA Complaint Decision 08-036

On April 3, 2008, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD). This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district properly changed a student’s placement and properly developed and implemented a student’s individualized education program (IEP).

During the fall of 2006, the student was attending a KUSD school. In September 2006, the student was placed by the state at a juvenile correctional facility. In December 2007, KUSD was notified the student would be returning to the district with intensive outreach services including supervision with Kenosha County Division of Children and Family Services. On December 22, 2007, KUSD sent the student’s parent notice of an IEP team meeting to be held January 4, 2008. On January 4, an IEP team met to develop the student’s annual IEP, a transition statement, behavioral intervention plan, and determine placement. The student and the student’s parent attended the meeting. The implementation date of the IEP was January 4, 2008. The student started attending the school on Monday, January 7, 2008. On February 6, the district sent the student’s parent the finalized IEP with a placement notice. The student’s mother states she has not received a copy of the student’s IEP. The district must provide prior written notice whenever the local educational agency proposes to initiate or change, or refuses to initiate or change, the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of a child or the provision of a free appropriate public education to a child. In this case, the notice and the copy of the IEP were not provided until after the IEP was implemented. The district is directed to review and revise, if necessary, district policies and procedures to ensure proper prior notice is given. The district is also directed to ensure staff is aware of these required procedures. In addition, the district must send to the parent a copy of the January 4, 2008 IEP of the student. By June 30, 2008, the district must send to the department an assurance the district policies and procedures have been reviewed, revised if needed, and staff informed and documentation that a copy of the January 4, 2008, IEP was provided to the parent.

The January 2008 IEP indicated the student would receive 300 minutes a day of special education services at the separate KUSD school for students with disabilities. The IEP team determined this would provide for the student’s needs. The district implemented the student’s IEP when the student was in attendance at the school. Beginning January 18, the student’s parent, without consulting KUSD, enrolled the student in a part-day treatment program. The district continued to implement the student’s January 4 IEP during the portion of the day he attended school. The school principal talked to the student and the student’s parent regarding the student’s attendance and sent the parent a truancy notification letter. The Kenosha County youth worker, assigned to the school and student, talked to the student and the student’s parent regarding the student’s attendance, made numerous calls to the student’s home, and made home visits. In addition the Kenosha County youth worker regularly informed the student’s Kenosha County social worker about the student’s attendance. The district did not refer the student to the district attorney for truancy proceedings because the student was already involved in the juvenile court system and had a county social worker that regularly monitored the student’s attendance. The department determines the student’s IEP was properly developed and implemented.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 6/2/08
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy