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IDEA Complaint Decision 08-079

On September 12, 2008, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from xxxxx against the Portage Community School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during September 2007, properly developed and implemented the student’s individualized education program (IEP).

On August 21, 2007, the special education director spoke with the parent via phone regarding the child’s present level of academic achievement and functional performance and the child’s special education services. On August 22, 2007, an IEP team meeting was held to review and revise the student’s IEP for the 2007-2008 school year. The district properly notified the parents of the IEP team meeting and made reasonable attempts to convince them to attend. The parents did not participate in the meeting. The IEP team, in reviewing and revising the student’s IEP, considered the child’s unique educational and behavioral needs, addressed assistive technology options, and considered whether physical education should be provided in the general education classroom. In doing so, the IEP team considered information previously provided by the parents and reviewed the student’s progress toward the annual goals and general education curriculum. The district properly developed the student’s IEP.

On September 5, the first day of the school year, the district received a written request from the parents to provide their child with an approved medical excuse. The request included a doctor’s prescription asking the child be excused from school for a short period of time. The district provided an approved medical excuse, and, during this time, the district provided homework for the student. The parents called the district shortly thereafter and indicated the child would no longer be enrolled in the district. Generally, if a prolonged absence is anticipated, the district should reconvene an IEP team meeting to review and revise the IEP, if necessary, to ensure the student continues to receive free and appropriate educational services. However, in this case, the student was absent for a short period of time, and the district responded appropriately.

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

//signed CST/SJP 11/11/08
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy