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IDEA Complaint Decision 10-020

On March 16, 2010, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Waupun School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2009-2010 school year, properly applied eligibility criteria during an evaluation.

On December 12, 2009, the district received a referral completed by the parents for a special education evaluation for a student. On the referral form, the parents stated the student had been having a difficult time keeping up with peers, difficulty staying on task and completing work in a timely manner, especially in the area of math. The parents stated their son needed to work on controlling impulses to share his ideas and thoughts all the time and often needed to be redirected in class to stay focused on the lesson at hand.

On February 12, 2010, an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting was held for the purpose of determining initial eligibility for the student for special education under the category of other health impairment (OHI). The IEP team determined the student did not meet the eligibility for special education under the OHI criteria.

The complainant disagrees with the decision of the IEP team and believes the student should qualify under OHI. The complainant acknowledges the student has an above average intelligent quotient but believes the student is performing below the class average in regards to demonstrated mastery of academic material.

OHI means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness due to chronic or acute health problems which adversely affects a student’s educational performance. A student shall be identified as having a disability if the IEP team has determined from an evaluation that the student has an impairment that adversely affects the student’s educational performance, and as a result, needs special education and related services.

Using the Department of Public Instruction worksheet, the IEP team determined the student met OHI criteria in three of four areas including having a health problem, one which is chronic or acute, and the student’s educational performance is adversely affected in one or more areas. In the fourth area, and after much discussion, the IEP team determined the student’s health problem did not result in limited strength, vitality or alertness, including heightened alertness to environmental stimuli. The department concludes the district properly applied eligibility criteria during an evaluation to determine a need for special education services.

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

//signed CST/SJP 5/12/10
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy