On July 27, 2016 (form dated July 26, 2016), the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Kenosha Unified 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 math support, positive behavioral supports, and assistive technology; and
- properly implemented the IEP of a student with a disability regarding occupational therapy.
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.
The IEP in effect for the 2015-16 school year was developed on September 28, 2015. The IEP team met to develop the IEP and considered all the required information based on the student’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 writing and behavior support and included how the student’s disability affects his or her involvement in the general education curriculum. The IEP team developed annual goals related to writing and behavior support. 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 data collection and observation, written work samples, and anecdotal records and reports would be provided quarterly. The IEP included specialized instruction and academic support related to writing and behavior support and supplementary aids and services to support the student in the special education and general education environment. The IEP team developed positive behavior supports that included, but were not limited to, modeling of appropriate behavior, stress balls and fidget toys, use of a 5-point scale, visual timer, social skills intervention, using “first then” statements, extra processing time, and participation in a social group.
The IEP team determined that due to the student’s handwriting functionality and low work production in the academic settings, the student would benefit from the use of a computer for writing assignments. As a result of the implementation of the computer, the student’s frustration level decreased and work production increased throughout the school year. The student received 15 minutes of occupational therapy three times a month that provided instruction on keyboarding, keyboarding using practice assignments and tests, navigating the computer programs, and maintaining efficient keyboarding skills. The IEP team included assistive technology to assist with making the computer accessible to the student in all academic areas, provide instruction on the applications on the computer, and monitored the computer to ensure access to the general education curriculum. The student did not require any additional instruction in the area of assistive technology. The district properly implemented the IEP of a student with a disability regarding occupational therapy.
Based on information from the previous IEP and current assessment data, the IEP team did not identify math as a disability-related need. However, the student did receive supplementary aids and services that included retaking tests, extra time to complete assignments and tests, modified assignments, notes and study guides for tests and assignments, and a calculator. With the implementation of the supplementary aides and services, the student continued to make progress in the general education curriculum and did not require any additional specially designed instruction in the area of math. The district properly developed the IEP of a student with a disability regarding math support, positive behavioral supports, and assistive technology.
This concludes our review of this complaint.
//signed CST 9/22/2016
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support