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IDEA Complaint Decision 09-018

On February 19, 2009, and March 17, 2009, the Department of Public Instruction received complaints under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Cudahy School District. This is the department’s decision regarding those complaints. The issues are whether the district:

  • During February 2008 and March 2008, implemented the student’s individualized education program (IEP) regarding the provision of speech and language services;
  • In January 2009, implemented the student’s IEP regarding the provision of close adult supervision; and
  • During the 2008-2009 school year, properly implemented the student’s IEP regarding the provision of the diet plan and health services.

Special education law requires the IEP to state the amount of services in the IEP so the level of the district’s commitment of resources will be clear to parents and other IEP team members. The amount of time to be committed to each of the various services to be provided must be appropriate to the specific service and stated in the IEP in a manner clear to all who are involved in both the development and the implementation of the IEP.

The IEP in effect for February 2008 and March 2008 listed “speech and language therapy to address articulation and receptive/expressive language delays,” with the frequency and amount of “up to 60 minutes per week” in the “speech therapy room and classroom.” The district provided three 60 minute sessions of speech and language services in February 2008 and two 60 minute sessions in March 2008. Consequently, the services were not provided as required by the IEP. Further, the use of the term “up to” does not provide the required specificity to allow for implementation.

On the afternoon of January 28, 2009, the student was left unattended with another classmate within the special education classroom for approximately five-ten minutes. The IEP in effect at the time listed supplementary aids and services as “adult supervision during the school day” with a frequency and amount of “days of attendance” and a location of the “school setting.” Because the student was left unattended, the student’s IEP was not properly implemented on that date.

The father alleges the diet plan of the student’s IEP from August 15, 2008 to January 28, 2009 has not been implemented. There was no special education and related services, annual goals, supplementary aids and services, or program modifications or supports for school personnel that addressed a diet plan in the student’s IEP in effect during that period. Under program modification or supports, the student’s IEP required a “review of health related factors as coordinated by the health care professional” with a frequency and amount of “at least one time per semester” in the “school environment.” The use of the phrase “at least” does not provide the required specificity for implementation of the IEP.

Within 30 days of the date of this decision, the district will submit a proposed corrective action plan (CAP) for approval prior to implementation. The proposed CAP must ensure IEPs are implemented and are written with the required specificity so they can be implemented and the district’s commitment of resources is clear. The district must also reconvene the IEP team to revise the IEP to ensure the amount and frequency of services and program modifications or supports are clearly written and to consider what additional services are needed because of the failure to provide the required speech and language services. A copy of the completed IEP will be sent to the department within one week of the IEP team meeting and no later than May 29, 2009.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 4/17/09
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy