On December 10, 2015, the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Sun Prairie Area School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2015-16 school year, properly developed the individualized education program (IEP) of a student with a disability regarding behavioral supports and properly implemented the IEP of a student with a disability.
The student’s IEP in effect for the 2015-16 school year was developed on September 25, 2015. The description of the student’s present level of academic achievement and functional performance includes detailed information about the student’s behavior. Behavior is identified as a factor that impedes the student’s learning, and the IEP includes a behavior intervention plan (BIP), which includes positive behavior supports and strategies such as step-by-step directions, visual schedule and checklists, social stories, concrete protocols, and explicit “first-then” language. The IEP contains a measurable annual goal with short term objectives to address behavior, with corresponding special education services. The student’s IEP was properly developed regarding behavioral supports.
On November 19, 2015, the parent observed the student in school. Following the observation the parent contacted the district and provided a list of services and supports in the IEP the parent was concerned were not being provided. The district responded to the parent on November 23 and scheduled an IEP meeting to address the parent concerns.
The student’s IEP includes special education services in social skill instruction including opportunities for modeling and guided and supported practice with peers. During the 2015-16 school year, the student regularly received social instruction and peer interactions as specified in the IEP.
The IEP team developed supplementary aids and services that included visual schedules and prompts; low assistive technology supports including visual cues and prompts, visuals for instruction, and visual timers; and sensory breaks. Staff interviews demonstrated that visual supports were provided which included a visual schedule, first-then board, pictures to identify materials, literacy instruction using pictures, a visual calendar, social stories, and visual timers during sensory breaks, and verbal instructions paired with pictures. The student consistently received sensory breaks after periods of academic instruction including the use of scents, weighted vests, tactile manipulatives, a swing, and scooter boards. Supplementary aids and services were provided as described in the IEP.
The student’s IEP states that the school will provide weekly communication with the student’s parents on behaviors and short term progress toward goals. The IEP also states the parents will be provided quarterly reports about the student’s progress toward meeting annual goals. Documentation provided by the district demonstrates district staff kept daily behavior charts and communicated the student’s behavior to the parents throughout the week. The parent was provided weekly communication on the student’s progress. The parent was provided quarterly reports regarding the student’s progress towards meeting annual goals. The district properly implemented the student’s IEP.
This concludes our review of this complaint.
//signed CST 2/3/2016
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support