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IDEA Complaint Decision 10-031

On May 10, 2010, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Chequamegon School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2009-2010 school year, provided required special education services to a child with a disability utilizing properly licensed teaching staff and implemented the student's individualized education program (IEP) regarding involvement in the general curriculum.

The student's IEP required special education services and the parents allege the services were not provided by properly licensed teaching staff. Two special education teachers and three instructional aides provided the services to the student. Each of the special education teachers and instructional aides is properly licensed to provide the services required in the student's IEP. The district must ensure professional teaching responsibilities are carried out by a special education teacher who is licensed by the department. Special education aides may work under the direct supervision of a licensed teacher to support the lesson plans of the teacher, provide technical assistance, help with classroom control or management, and perform other duties as assigned. Aides work under the direct supervision of a licensed teacher which means regular, continuing interaction between the special education teacher and teacher aide, including time for the teacher to evaluate the services provided. There must be sufficient contact between the special education teacher and the aide, and between the teacher and the student, to enable the teacher to plan instruction, diagnose educational needs, prescribe content delivery through classroom activities, and assess student learning. In this case, the teacher has oversight of the student’s instruction through daily interactions with the student and the aides, emails to the aides, phone and radio contact with the aides, a written daily log, a weekly meeting between the special education teacher and aides, and a separate weekly meeting with the special education teacher, the regular education teacher, the aides, and the parent. The aides supported the teacher’s lesson plans, and the teacher was always available. The district provided special education services to the child utilizing properly licensed teaching staff.

The parent alleges the child was not provided with a general educational curriculum. The manner in which the IEP was written was too vague to determine the extent of the student’s involvement in the general curriculum. In complaint decision 10-025, the vagueness of the IEP was addressed and corrective action was ordered; no further corrective action is needed.

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

//signed CST 7/7/10
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy