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IDEA Complaint Decision 14-038

On June 20, 2014, the Department of Public Instruction (DPI) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the XXXXX School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2013-14 school year, properly informed the parent of the child's progress on IEP goals, properly responded to the parent’s requests, properly developed the student’s individualized education program (IEP) to reflect IEP team determinations made during an IEP team meeting, timely provided a copy of the student’s IEP, and properly determined transition services.

The student’s IEP, in effect during the 2013-14 school year, states that progress reports on the annual IEP goals would be provided to parents though quarterly report cards and annually at an IEP team meeting. Documentation provided by the district demonstrates that progress reports were provided throughout the year for adaptive physical education, speech and language therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy. However, the parent did not receive fourth quarter reports on all of the IEP goals. The district did not properly inform the parent of the student’s progress as specified in the IEP.

On May 15, 2014, the IEP team met to conduct an annual review and revision of the IEP. The parent attended the meeting and stated specific concerns related to a one-on-one paraprofessional support, progress reports, purchasing a new wheelchair, and maintaining the student’s energy level. The district addressed each of the parent’s concerns. District staff stated that a new wheelchair could not be purchased for the student and the student would not receive a one-on-one paraprofessional. On June 1, the parent requested a response from the district to address the refusal of purchasing the wheelchair and one-on-one paraprofessional support. Prior written notice must be provided whenever a district refuses to take action requested by a parent. The notice must contain certain requirements including a description of the action refused, an explanation of why the district refuses to take the action, other options considered and why rejected. Although it was discussed during the IEP team meeting, the district did not provide written notice of the refusal. The district did not properly respond to the parent’s request regarding the purchase of a new wheelchair and paraprofessional support.

Following the IEP team meeting on May 15, the district provided the parent a copy of the student’s IEP on May 23, and revisions on June 4, and June 20. The district provided timely copies of the IEP. However, the IEP did not properly reflect all IEP team determinations specific to the student’s present level of educational performance; the measurable annual goals, including benchmarks related to the student’s ability to progress in the general education curriculum; and how progress would be measured. The district did not properly develop the student’s IEP to reflect the IEP team determinations made during the IEP team meeting.

In Wisconsin, a description of transition services must be included no later than in the first IEP that will be in effect when the child is 14 years old, and updated annually thereafter. A postsecondary transition plan is developed through the IEP team process, and must include measurable postsecondary goals for the student based on age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and, where appropriate, independent living skills; and a description of transition services, including a course of study needed to assist the student in reaching those goals. On June 5, the parent received a copy of a postsecondary transition plan. However, the goals and services listed in the document were not developed or discussed at an IEP team meeting. The district did not properly determine transition services.

Within 15 days of the date of this decision, the district must provide proper written notice to the parent of its refusal to provide a new wheelchair and one-on-one paraprofessional support, as well as a copy of a fourth quarter progress report on all IEP goals. Within 30 days of the date of this decision, the district must conduct an IEP team meeting to develop a postsecondary transition plan, and revise the IEP to reflect the determinations made at the May 15, 2014, IEP team meeting. Within 30 days of the date of this decision, the district must also develop a corrective action plan to ensure IEP team determinations are reflected in the IEP, parents are properly informed of the student’s progress toward IEP goals, postsecondary transition plans are properly developed through the IEP team process, and prior written notice is provided when the district refuses to take an action.

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 8/18/2014
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support