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IDEA Complaint Decision 09-077

On November 25, 2009, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the La Crosse School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district properly considered whether the student required extended school year (ESY) services during the summer of 2009.

On December 2, 2008, an IEP team meeting was held to review and revise the child’s annual Individualized Education Program (IEP). The issue of ESY was not raised at this IEP team meeting. On May 19, 2009, the parent emailed a district staff person to inquire about when and where ESY would occur for her child. On May 21, the district staff person responded to the parent indicating ESY was not available and offering strategies for the parents to use at home during the summer. At the end of the school year, the parent contacted the special education director to inquire about ESY and was informed the child would not receive ESY services. On July 31, 2009, the parents met with a district administrator, special education director, and building principal to discuss the child’s need for ESY, and the district agreed to provide ESY services during August 2009. The district failed to amend the student’s IEP to reflect these services.

Although the district provided ESY services during the month of August 2009, it did not convene an IEP team to consider ESY services or, if the district and parent agreed not to convene an IEP team meeting, develop a written document to amend or modify the student’s current IEP. On November 17, 2009, an IEP team met to discuss and consider the child’s need for ESY services for the summer of 2010. The IEP team determined it would meet again in the spring of 2010 to address the child’s need for ESY services.

The district must, within 30 days from the date of this decision, develop a corrective action plan to ensure all district staff follow the proper procedures in considering ESY services. The district must also reconvene an IEP team meeting during the spring of 2010 to discuss whether the child requires ESY services. The district must submit documentation of the IEP team’s decision to the department as a part of the corrective action plan.

All noncompliance identified above must be corrected as soon as possible, but in no case more than one year from the date of this decision. This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 1/22/10
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy