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IDEA Complaint Decision 10-050

On June 29, 2010, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Kenosha Unified School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2009-2010 school year, properly implemented the student’s individualized education program (IEP) regarding providing redirection and sensory items and properly considered speech and language services.

On October 1, 2009, and May 3, 2010, the IEP team met, developed the student’s annual IEP, and determined the student’s placement. On February 16, 2010, the IEP team developed a functional behavior analysis (FBA) and behavioral intervention plan (BIP). On May 5, 2010, the IEP team met to update the BIP and include additional items.

The parent believes the student was denied a free appropriate public education (FAPE) because she did not receive redirection, have free access to sensory items, or have an individual area to meet her sensory needs. A school district must provide FAPE to each student with a disability by developing a program that meets the student’s unique needs, documenting that program in the IEP, and implementing the services articulated in the IEP. Both times the IEP team met, the team agreed the student’s behavior impeded her learning and developed a program to meet her needs through use of a first/then chart and individual daily schedule. At the May 3 IEP meeting, the team also added use of a Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) book and choice board to her program. The program was documented in the student’s IEPs developed on October 1, 2009 and May 3, 2010 and implemented by district staff. Redirection of the student was not a successful intervention in addressing the student’s behavior. This was documented in the FBA. Sensory breaks were added to the IEP through the BIP developed during the May 5 IEP team meeting, and these were also implemented. Neither of the IEPs included access to particular sensory items or an individual area to meet sensory needs. The district properly developed a program to meet the student’s needs which was documented and implemented.

The parent believes the district failed to consider the recommendation of a program support teacher and a clinical psychologist regarding the need for intensive speech and language services. The May 3, 2010 IEP states the student will receive 15 minutes of expressive language services three times per week and six hours of a multi sensory approach including signs and visuals each day. Interviews and information from the student’s IEP demonstrate considerable discussion about the student’s speech and language needs. The team determined the student would use a communications system throughout the school day and at home. The district properly considered speech and language services.

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

//signed CST 8/30/10
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy