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IDEA Complaint Decision 12-052

On October 26, 2012, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Appleton Area School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, beginning on October 26, 2011, properly enabled a student with a disability to participate in extracurricular activities during the 2011-12 school year.

Districts must take steps, including the provision of supplementary aids and services determined appropriate and necessary by the student’s individualized education program (IEP) team, to afford students with disabilities an equal opportunity for participation in extracurricular services and activities. In accordance with the student’s IEPs in effect from March 7, 2011 until April 2, 2012, the district was to provide the student with one to one adult support and supervision in all school environments, which included extracurricular activities. In the fall of 2011, the student wanted to participate in the Boys and Girls Club after school program. The district considers this program a school-sponsored extracurricular activity. The district did not provide an aide in the fall so the student could participate in the after school program. The district did not properly enable the student to participate in an extracurricular activity during the first semester of the 2011-12 school year. Within 30 days of this decision, the district will submit to the department a corrective action plan to ensure staff understand the implementation of IEPs regarding extracurricular activities.

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. You may contact Allison A. Markoski, Special Education Team, at (608) 266-3126, if you have any questions about this decision or for technical assistance.

//signed CST 12/18/2012
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support