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IDEA Complaint Decision 12-060

On December 18, 2012, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Washburn School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2012-13 school year, timely conducted an annual review of a student’s individualized education program (IEP).

A student’s IEP must be reviewed at least annually to determine whether the annual goals for the child are being achieved, and must be revised as appropriate to address any lack of expected progress toward the annual goals and in the general education curriculum, the results of any reevaluation, information about the student provided to or by the parents, the student’s anticipated needs, and any other matters. The school district must also ensure that each student with a disability has an IEP that is in effect during the school year.

On November 7, 2011, the IEP team determined the student continued to be in need of special education and began an annual review of the student’s IEP. The IEP team was unable to finish the review and met again on November 28 and December 19, 2011. The annual review was completed at the December 19, 2011, IEP team meeting. The parent participated in all of the IEP team meetings. In entering dates for the IEP, the district’s computerized software used between  November 8, 2011, and November 7, 2012, as the implementation dates for the IEP. The software based the implementation dates on the first meeting which occurred on November 7, 2011, rather than the date when the IEP was finalized. The district did not notice this error. The student received daily special education in both reading and math, and was provided supplementary aids and services such as the use of a text-to-speech program and replacing lengthy essay test questions with short answer and multiple choice questions.

The next annual review of the student’s IEP occurred on December 13, 2012, and the IEP went into effect on December 14, 2012. The parent also participated in this meeting. This meeting occurred within the one year time frame, and the IEP team properly conducted an annual review during this IEP team meeting. Because of the computer error, there was a gap between November 7, 2012 and December 14, 2012 in the IEPs. However, during this time, the student continued to receive the special education services and supplementary aids and services designated in the December 2011 IEP. Because an annual review was properly conducted, there is a current IEP in effect, and there was no lapse in services, no correction action is required due to the computer error in implementation dates.

This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing. You may contact Patricia Williams, Special Education Team, at (608) 267-3720 if you have any questions about this decision or for technical assistance.

//signed CST 2/14/2013
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support