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IDEA Complaint Decision 14-016

On March 26, 2014, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Palmyra-Eagle School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2013-14 school year, properly conducted a reevaluation of the student and properly implemented the student’s individualized education program (IEP), including the behavior intervention plan.

The reevaluation was initiated on January 14, 2014. The IEP team members, including the parent, reviewed existing data and determined that no additional assessments were required. On February 3, the district held an IEP team meeting and conducted a reevaluation to determine if the student continued to be a child with a disability in the area of autism. At the IEP team meeting, it was determined the student no longer met the criteria for autism. The IEP team determined that the student should be evaluated in the area of emotional behavioral disability. The district informed the parents that special education services would not continue during the observation time; however, documentation from district confirmed that all IEP services were implemented during February 3, and February 21. On February 21, the IEP team reviewed the observation data, completed the eligibility checklist, and determined the student to be a student with a disability in the area of emotional behavioral disability. The school district properly conducted a reevaluation within the required timelines.

The IEP team must consider the use of positive interventions and supports to address behavior when developing an IEP for a student whose behavior impedes the student’s learning or that of others. The IEP developed for the 2012-13 school year addressed behavior needs of the student. The IEP included several positive behavioral interventions, supports, and a nonviolent crisis intervention plan. On March 6, a behavior incident occurred on the playground. The behavior intervention plan states, if the calming strategies are ineffective, a trained nonviolent crisis intervention staff member will be contacted. If the behavior continues to escalate for more than five minutes, two additional trained nonviolent crisis intervention staff members will be contacted. The first nonviolent crisis intervention staff member was called to deescalate the situation. When the student continued to display behaviors, the two additional nonviolent crisis intervention staff members were not contacted to assist in the situation. The district did not properly implement the student’s behavior plan. In all other aspects the behavior intervention plan was implemented throughout the 2013-14 school year.

Within 30 days of the date of this decision, the district must submit a proposed corrective action plan to the department to ensure district staff behavior intervention plans are implanted as written.

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 5/20/2014
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support