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IDEA Complaint Decision 15-001

On January 5, 2015 (form dated January 3, 2015), 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 2014-15 school year:

  • Properly developed an individualized education program (IEP) that included a statement of the student’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance,
  • Properly developed measurable annual goals,
  • Properly measured the student’s progress toward the annual goals,
  • Properly informed the parent of the student’s progress toward annual goals,
  • Properly documented determinations made at the IEP team meeting, and
  • Improperly disclosed information from a student’s education record.

An IEP is a written statement for a student with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised during an IEP team meeting by a properly constituted IEP team. Each student’s IEP must include a statement of the student’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, including how the disability affects the student’s involvement and progress in the general education curriculum; measurable annual goals designed to meet the student’s disability related needs to enable the student to be involved in and make progress in the general education curriculum; a description of how progress toward meeting annual goals will be measured; and when periodic reports on the progress will be provided to the parent. Each student’s IEP must also include a statement of the special education, related services, supplementary aids and services, and program modifications or supports for school staff based on each student’s unique needs and an explanation of the extent, if any, to which the student will not participate with nondisabled peers in the regular education classroom and other school activities. 

On October 2, 2014, the IEP team met to develop an IEP that addressed the student’s unique needs and considered all the required information based on the child’s needs. The IEP team developed the IEP based on information from the previous school year, current district level assessments, teacher observational data, and parent concerns. The statement of present level of academic achievement and functional performance detailed the student’s needs related to current performance in the areas of reading, math, writing, and social independence and included how the student’s disability affects his or her involvement in the general education curriculum. The IEP team developed four annual goals related to reading, writing, math, and social independence. Each annual goal was measurable, addressed the student’s needs, and included how and when the parent would be informed of progress. The student’s IEP states that progress on the annual IEP goals would be measured through observation, rubric, work samples, teacher report, checklists, formal and/or informal testing, and observation, and reports on progress provided at the trimester. The IEP included specialized instruction and academic support related to reading, math, writing, and social independence and supplementary aids and services to support the student in the special education and general education environment. The district properly developed the IEP and properly developed measurable goals.

On November 12, 2014, the parent met with district staff to discuss revisions to the IEP that included adding baseline data, progress monitoring, revising goals, progress reporting, and adding adaptive education, adaptive art, and adaptive music services. During the meeting, the district informed the parent that the new progress monitoring data for social independence would be provided to the parent on November 24, and for writing, math, and reading on December 19. District staff informed the parent it would take a month to develop the new progress monitoring tools agreed upon at the meeting; however, the district would continue to progress monitor as determined at the IEP team meeting on October 2. Documentation provided by the district demonstrates the district measured the student’s progress as specified in the IEP, and that progress reports on each annual goal were provided at the trimester, as specified in the October 2 IEP, and the progress monitoring data was provided on November 24, and December 19, as specified in the revised IEP. The district properly measured the student’s progress toward the annual goals and properly informed the parent of progress. The district staff made the revisions to the IEP and sent the revised IEP to the parent following the meeting. The IEP included additional baseline data, how progress would be monitored, and adaptive education and adaptive art. However, the IEP did not include all determinations specific to omitting a math benchmark, how often the parent would be informed of progress, and adaptive music. An IEP must be written so IEP decisions are documented and the LEA’s commitment of resources is clear to the parent and all involved in developing and implementing the IEP. The district did not properly document all IEP determinations. Since filing the complaint, the district acknowledged this noncompliance and has properly documented all IEP determinations from the November 2 meeting. No further corrective action is required.

A district must protect the confidentiality of information contained in a student’s education records. On November 12, and December 19, the parent received progress monitoring reports that included names and academic information concerning multiple students in the district. The district conducted an internal investigation and determined that the district improperly disclosed information from the students’ educational records. Documentation provided by the district demonstrates that procedures are now in place to ensure confidentiality of student information is protected. No further corrective action is required.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 3/5/2015
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support