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IDEA Complaint Decision 15-070

On December 11, 2015 (form dated November 25, 2015), the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the River Valley School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2015-16 school year, properly developed the individualized education program (IEP) of a student with a disability regarding the student’s behavioral needs.

In the case of a student whose behavior impedes the student’s learning or that of others, IEP teams must consider the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and other strategies, to address the student’s behavior. IEPs including only negative measures to address student behavior do not meet this requirement.

At the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, the student had in effect an IEP developed at an IEP team meeting on August 28, 2015. The IEP team indicated the student’s behavior impedes the student’s learning. The IEP team indicated the student is motivated through receiving rewards for appropriate behavior. Several positive interventions including sensory supports, positive verbal and tangible reinforcements, and breaks are included in the IEP. The student’s IEP includes multiple annual goals addressing behavior and contains daily specially designed instruction in the area of social skills. The IEP team met on October 8, 2015, to review and revise the student’s IEP and to consider an alternative placement for the student. The team again identified the student’s behavior as impeding the student’s learning. In addition to the positive behavioral supports and interventions contained in the August 2015 IEP, the team added a motivation system and supervised choice time to be used as reinforcement for appropriate behavior. The student’s IEP also contains annual goals and services to address behavior. In October 2015 the student began attending a private school placement as determined at the October 8 IEP team meeting.  The IEP team met on November 23, 2015. The IEP team updated the student’s positive interventions and supports based on extensive information provided by the private school. The positive behavior interventions focus on sensory supports, structured schedules and incentive plans. The IEP team updated and revised the student’s annual goals addressing behavior and included daily specially designed instruction in social/emotional learning. The district properly developed the IEP regarding the student’s behavioral needs.

This concludes our review of this complaint. 

//signed CST 2/8/2016
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support


For questions about this information, contact Margaret Resan (608) 267-9158