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IDEA Complaint Decision 15-009

On February 16, 2015, the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Lake Mills School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2014-15 school year, properly implemented the student’s individualized education program (IEP) regarding the provision of speech and language services in the classroom environment.

The student’s IEP in effect for the 2014-15 school year requires 30 minutes per week of speech and language services in the general education classroom. On November 6, 2014, the school district sent the parents a letter indicating that the student’s speech and language pathologist resigned from the district and that the district was actively searching for a replacement. To address the lapse in services, the school district notified the parents that compensatory services would be determined during the student’s next IEP team meeting. On January 19, 2015, the school district informed the parents that the student would begin receiving speech and language services through telespeech, a web-based video conferencing method of service delivery by a licensed speech and language pathologist. The student began receiving telespeech services in the special education classroom in February of 2015. This change was made without holding an IEP team meeting to determine if telespeech was appropriate to meet the student’s needs and without amending the student’s IEP accordingly. The school district did not properly implement the student’s IEP regarding speech and language services in the general education classroom. Since the complaint was filed, the IEP team has met to determine the appropriateness of telespeech and to discuss compensatory services.

During the course of the department’s investigation, it became evident that other students were affected by the speech and language pathologist’s resignation. The district has convened IEP team meetings for some affected students and confirmed plans to schedule the remaining IEP team meetings in a timely manner. Within 30 days from the date of this decision, the district must develop a corrective action plan to ensure that appropriate speech and language services are provided in accordance with each student’s IEP. The district must submit to the department all documentation of individualized determinations regarding compensatory services for each affected student.

//signed CST 4/17/2015
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support