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IDEA Complaint Decision 08-082

On October 15, 2008, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from xxxxx against the Delavan-Darien School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2008-2009 school year, properly implemented the student’s individualized education program (IEP).

At the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year, the student did not receive some of the related services and supplementary aids and services as required by the student’s IEP. The student did not consistently receive access to assistive technology. Text books were not provided on audio format and copies of board, overhead, and classroom notes were also not consistently provided. Furthermore, staff were inconsistently applying the provision regarding extra time for assignments.

The district has taken several steps to rectify the situation and ensure that the student receives the necessary supports. The district provided the text books in audio format. The district further developed an action plan, which went into effect on November 3, 2008. The plan assigns responsibilities to certain staff members. For example, the aide is designated as the staff member responsible for ensuring access to technology, including the internet. The principal is designated as the staff member responsible for ensuring the student receives typed notes one week in advance of classroom teaching. The plan also clarifies how Power Point charts and other written materials are to be provided and clarifies the student should not be penalized for requiring extra time to complete assignments, tests, and other tasks.

In reviewing the matter, the district further determined that the student’s IEP, in effect at the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year, was “far too ambiguous,” thus creating the difficulties in implementation. The student’s IEP team has met twice to revise the student’s IEP so it is more specific and readily understood by all staff members. The IEP also imposes timelines so that the student receives texts in audio format prior to the beginning of the school year. As a result of the actions taken by the district, the student’s IEP is currently being implemented, except there is still some confusion regarding the type and extent of notes to be provided.

The district is directed to conduct an IEP team meeting by January 15, 2009, to determine what additional services are required because of the delay in implementing the student’s IEP and to clarify what type of support is needed with regard to notes. The district is also directed to develop a corrective action plan within 30 days from the date of this decision to ensure that all IEPs are developed with the required specificity and implemented.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 12/15/08
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy