On January 11, 2017 (form dated January 9, 2017), the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2016-17 school year:
- properly developed the individualized education program (IEP) of a student with a disability regarding math;
- properly changed the IEP of a student with a disability; and
- properly implemented the IEP of a student with a disability regarding special education services focusing on functional academic skills.
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 2016-17 school year was developed on May 10, and November 9, 2016. The IEP team considered information from the previous school year, current district-level assessments, teacher observation data, math assessment, 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 math, reading, writing, and speech and language and included how the student’s disability affects the student’s involvement in the general education curriculum. The IEP team developed annual goals related to math, reading, writing, and speech and language. 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 teacher logs, assessment tools, observations, informal/formal assessments, parent and staff reports, observation, and work samples and reports would be provided quarterly. The IEP included specialized instruction and academic support related to math, reading, writing, and speech and language and supplementary aids and services to support the student in the special education and general education environment. The district properly developed the individualized education program (IEP) of a student with a disability regarding math.
On October 5, 2016, the parent contacted the district with concerns about the student’s current performance in the area of math. The district immediately responded to the parent and arranged a meeting to discuss these concerns. On November 8, the parent met with district staff, including the district’s math interventionist. Following the meeting, in response to the parent’s concerns, the math interventionist conducted screenings to assist the IEP team in identifying appropriate instructional strategies for the student. The IEP team met on November 21, to review the results of the math screenings and revise the student’s IEP. The IEP team determined the student needed to focus on foundational math skills including number sense before more complex functional math concepts including time and money, and revised the student’s IEP accordingly. On January 6, the parent contacted the district with concerns about the student’s math goals and services, specific to functional academic performance. On January 9, the parent met with district staff to address the parent’s concerns. The student’s IEP team met again on January 31, 2017. The team determined, based on current math assessments, district-level assessment, the student’s math progress, and teacher observations, that the student’s individualized math instruction would continue to focus on number sense. In addition, in response to the parent’s concerns, the team decided to reintroduce goals related to functional math concepts. The IEP team properly made changes to the student’s IEP in the area of functional math skills during the November 21, 2016, and January 31, 2017 IEP team meetings, and properly implemented the services as described in each of the revisions of the student’s IEP.
This concludes our review of this complaint.
//signed CST 3/9/2017
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support