On May 29, 2012, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the River Valley School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2011-12 school year, properly followed the required special education disciplinary procedures.
Beginning on the eleventh cumulative school day of removal in a school year, and during subsequent removals, the district must provide services to the extent necessary to enable the student to continue to participate appropriately in the general curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress toward achieving the student’s individualized education program (IEP) goals. If the removal will not result in a change of placement, the decision about the necessary services is made by school personnel, in consultation with at least one of the child’s teachers. School personnel determine where the services will be provided. The services may vary depending on the needs of the student and the length of the removal.
Throughout the 2011-12 school year, the student experienced removals from school by the district based on the code of student conduct. Many of these removals were for a half day or less. The district has an attendance system that tracks removals in half day increments, and this indicates the student reached the 10th day of removal on May 24, 2012. The district did not remove the student after that date. Because the student had not been removed for over ten days in a school year, the special education disciplinary requirements relating to disciplinary removals for more than ten cumulative school days did not apply.
This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing.
//signed CST 7/18/2012
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support