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IDEA Complaint Decision 13-043

On August 19, 2013, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against XXXXX. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2012-13 school year, properly implemented the student’s individualized education program (IEP) and properly responded to a parent’s request for an IEP team meeting.

The student’s IEP in effect for the 2012-13 school year included homebound special education services and supplementary aids and services that included directions and tests read orally, and behavioral and academic monitoring. The district acknowledges there is no documentation these services were provided consistent with the IEP between March 2013 and the end of the school year. The district indicated that there were staff changes that resulted in a lapse of services. In addition, the student did not receive counseling services for the entire school year. School districts must ensure that each regular education teacher, special education teacher, related services provider, and any other service provider who is responsible for the implementation of a child’s IEP is informed of his or her specific responsibilities related to implementing the child’s IEP and the specific accommodations, modifications, and supports that must be provided for the child in accordance with the child’s IEP. The individual assigned to provide the counseling services was not informed of her duties and was unaware of the services in the student’s IEP. The student’s IEP was not properly implemented during the 2012-13 school year.

School districts must hold IEP team meetings to review a child’s IEP periodically, but not less than annually. A parent may request an IEP team meeting at any time. The district should respond to any reasonable request from a parent for a meeting to review the student’s IEP. If the district denies a parental request for an IEP team meeting, the district must notify the parents of their refusal in writing, provide a reason for the decision, and inform the parents of their procedural safeguards.

On April 9, 2013, the parent requested an IEP team meeting to address concerns regarding the implementation of the IEP and the student’s participation in school activities and summer school. On April 9, the district contacted the parent by phone to discuss the concerns; however, the district did not hold an IEP meeting or provide notification of refusal in writing. The district did not properly respond to the parent’s request for an IEP team meeting.

Within 30 days of the date of this decision, the district must conduct an IEP team meeting to determine the compensatory services required as a result of the district’s failure to implement the student’s IEP during the 2012-13 school year, and to discuss the parent’s concerns regarding participation in school activities. Within five days from the date of the IEP team meeting, the district must submit to the department a copy of the IEP documenting the compensatory services and discussion of the parent’s concerns.

In addition, within 30 days of the date of this decision, the district must submit a corrective action plan to the department to ensure that IEPs are implemented when there is a change in staff, that the staff responsible for implementing student’s IEPs are informed of their specific responsibilities, and the district properly responds to a parent’s request for an IEP team meeting.

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.

//signed CST 9/30/2013
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support