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IDEA Complaint Decision 15-039

On May 18, 2015, the Department of Public Instruction (department) 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 conducted a reevaluation and properly developed an individualized education program (IEP).

Properly conducted a reevaluation

A reevaluation was conducted on May 12, 2015. The parent did not provide consent for additional testing, and consequently, the IEP team reviewed existing data. In conducting the reevaluation, the IEP team reviewed information from previous evaluations and information provided by the parent. The parent stated that the student has a history of seizures and she believed that the difficulties in reading and math were related to the seizures. The IEP team also reviewed previous interventions and their effects, classroom-based and district assessments, observations by teachers and related service providers, and outside medical information. All of the IEP team members agreed that the student continued to need special education services. District staff further determined that the student continued to qualify under the areas of specific learning disability (SLD) and speech and language. However, the parent believed that because of the seizures, other health impairment (OHI) was the more appropriate area of impairment. OHI was considered by the IEP team, but it was determined that there was not sufficient evidence the seizures were the primary reason for insufficient progress or inadequate classroom achievement. The district properly conducted a reevaluation.

Properly developed an IEP

The IEP in effect for the 2014-15 school year contains detailed present level information that covers academic areas of reading, math, and written language. The present level information also discusses the student’s functional performance and describes how the student’s disability affects his involvement and progress in the general education curriculum. The IEP includes measurable annual goals designed to meet the student’s disability related needs. The goals correspond to the present level information and pertain to reading, math, speech and language, behavior and functional performance. The IEP describes the procedures for measuring the student’s progress toward meeting the annual goals, and specifies when reports about the progress will be provided to the parents. Special education services correspond to the goals and the frequency, amount, and location of the services are clearly described. The IEP also includes related services, supplementary aids and services, and program modification or supports based on the student’s unique needs. Behavior is identified as a factor that impedes the student’s learning, and the IEP includes breaks, redirection, motor and sensory activities, and the use of a visual schedule as positive supports and strategies to address the behavior. Finally, the IEP clearly explains the extent to which the student will not participate in the regular education environment. The school district properly developed the student’s IEP for the 2014-15 school year.

IEP teams must meet at least annually to review the IEP for each student with a disability. On May 12, 2015, the IEP team met to determine eligibility, and review and revise the IEP. After the IEP team determined that the student continued to be eligible for special education, the parent requested additional time for reviewing the IEP, and requested another meeting date. On May 28, 2015, the IEP team met to conduct the annual review and revise of the IEP. The annual IEP team meeting held the previous year occurred on May 9, 2014, and therefore, the meetings in May 2015 exceeded the required one year time line. No child specific corrective action is required because the annual IEP team meeting was conducted. Within 30 days from the date of this decision, the district must develop a corrective action plan to ensure that annual reviews are timely conducted.

This concludes our review of this complaint. 

//signed CST 7/16/2015
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support