On January 18, 2013, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Greendale School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, on January 21, 2012, properly obtained written consent from the student’s parent prior to conducting an initial evaluation for special education.
The parent states staff administered a test as a part of an initial special education evaluation for their child without obtaining written parental consent. During this time, the student had been receiving accommodations through a section 504 accommodation plan. On January 16, 2012, staff and parents met to discuss the effectiveness of the student’s section 504 accommodations and determined more information was needed regarding how to work with the student. The parents did not express any disagreement in collecting this information. The information gathered was intended to help identify appropriate section 504 accommodations to support the student in the classroom, and was not used for the special education referral. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR), U.S. Department of Education, in a letter dated January 11, 2013, determined that consent was not needed in order to gather this information. OCR is the enforcement agency for section 504 provisions.
On February 15, 2012, the student was referred for a special education evaluation. The district properly requested consent from a parent to conduct testing, and the parent did not provide consent. The district has not pursued the referral further.
This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing.