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IDEA Complaint Decision 14-035

On June 6, 2014, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Madison Metropolitan School District. The issue in the compliant is whether the district, during the 2013-14 school year, properly implemented the student’s individualized education program (IEP), related to direct instruction at vocational sites.

The student’s IEP, developed October 30, 2013, called for the student to receive direct instruction at vocational sites four hours per week from October 31 to November 17, five hours per week from November 18 to December 8, seven hours per week from December 9 to December 22, and nine hours per week from December 23 through the end of the IEP. The district arranged for direct instruction at vocational sites, in accordance with the number of hours specified in the IEP. An off-site experience was scheduled for approximately four hours per week to occur in two afternoon sessions. The student was to use public transportation to travel from school to the off-site experience. District records are unclear as to the student’s participation in scheduled off-site sessions during November and December, though the district agrees the student may have missed some of the off-site sessions. In January, the student participated in four of six scheduled off-site sessions. In March, the student did not participate in any of the eight scheduled off-site sessions. Absences were the result of the student refusing to participate, or engaging in behaviors which resulted in missed transportation connections. In May and June, after the district made adjustments in response to the student’s behaviors, the student participated in all scheduled off-site sessions.

Particularly during March 2014, the IEP provisions related to direct instruction at vocational sites were not implemented as written. The district should have used the IEP process, before the student had missed a month of scheduled vocational experiences, to consider whether additional services, supports, or interventions were necessary to allow the student to participate as specified in the existing IEP.

As corrective action, the student’s IEP team must meet, within 30 days, to discuss whether the student needs additional services or supports in order to regularly participate in the vocational activities specified in the current IEP, and consider whether compensatory services are necessary to address any instruction missed during the 2013-14 school year.

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 8/4/2014
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support