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IDEA Complaint Decision 13-045

On August 26, 2013, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Kenosha Unified School District. 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), properly responded to parent requests for student records, and properly determined the student was no longer eligible for special education.

  • Properly implemented the student’s IEP.

The student began attending a new school within the school district at the beginning of the 2012-13 school year. The IEP in effect was developed at the student’s previous school. The IEP was not implemented between the beginning of the school year and October 18, 2012. The IEP includes specially designed instruction in reading 15 minutes per quarter in a special education setting. The district acknowledges this service was not provided consistently. The district did not consistently implement the student’s IEP.

  • Properly responded to parent requests for student records.

A local educational agency (LEA) must permit parents to inspect and review any education record relating to their children, that are collected, maintained, or used by the district. A school district must comply with a request for access to education records without unnecessary delay and before any IEP team meeting. In all cases, the school district must comply with a parent’s request within 45 days.

On April 12, 2013, via email, the student’s parent requested educational records to review prior to the student’s IEP team meeting scheduled for April 25, 2013. Specifically, the parent requested copies of the IEP goal progress reports from the last two quarters and the information upon which the student’s progress reports were based. The district provided the student’s quarterly progress reports prior to the IEP team meeting. The district did not provide the other education records upon which the student’s progress was based until May 6, 2013. The district did not properly respond to the parent’s request for student education records.

  • Properly determined the student was no longer eligible for special education.

Once an IEP team has identified a student as a child with a disability, the school district must conduct a reevaluation at least once every three years, unless the LEA and the parent agree a reevaluation is not necessary. Under Wisconsin criteria, initial identification of a specific learning disability requires the IEP team to document a student’s inadequate classroom achievement and insufficient progress. Upon reevaluation the IEP team must document a student continues to demonstrate a need for special education, including specially designed instruction to remain eligible. If the student no longer needs specially designed instruction and can meet general education grade level standards with typical general education core instruction, interventions, or reasonable adaptations and modifications, the student may no longer need special education. The IEP team must also consider whether any exclusionary factors apply.

On April 25, 2013, the student’s IEP team determined the student was no longer eligible for special education. An eligibility checklist completed at the IEP team meeting indicates the IEP team considered the student’s current classroom achievement and grades, which indicated above average achievement in all areas. The team also considered standardized assessment data. The IEP team documented their decision, indicating exclusionary factors did not apply. The evaluation report indicates the parent did not agree with the IEP team’s determination and intended to pursue outside testing. The district properly determined the student was no longer eligible for special education.

Since the student has been determined to no longer be a student with a disability, no student-specific corrective action is necessary. The district is directed to develop a corrective action plan within 30 days from the date of this decision to ensure all IEPs are properly implemented and that parent requests for student records prior to IEP team meetings are responded to properly.

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 10/24/2013 (revised 12/5/13)
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support