On September 11, 2017, the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Racine Unified School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, prior to and at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year: properly responded to a parent’s request regarding the educational placement of a student with a disability; properly provided the parent with a copy of the student’s IEP; and properly implemented the individualized education program (IEP) regarding preparation for the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year.
On May 26, 2017, the district held an IEP team meeting to review and revise the student’s IEP and determine continuing placement. At that meeting, the parent requested that the district retain the child in the fifth grade for the 2017-2018 school year. A school district generally has the authority to make promotion/retention decisions for all students, including special education students, by applying its promotion/retention policy. The district policy establishes an administration decision procedure to determine retention. Here, the parent raised the issue of retention at the IEP team meeting because she believed it affected her child’s special education program. The IEP team engaged in discussion about the parent’s request and documented their decision on the determination and notice of placement as an option considered and rejected. In addition, the parent was provided district contact information and further information about the district’s retention procedures and policies. On, June 2, 2017, the parent was provided a copy of the IEP and notice of placement.
On July 10, 2017, the district held an IEP team meeting to conduct a reevaluation, requested by the parent, determine continuing eligibility for special education, develop an annual IEP and determine continuing placement. The parent attended the meeting. The IEP evaluation team determined the student met criteria in three areas of impairment and continued to be eligible for special education. The parent raised the issue of retention at the IEP team meeting because she believed it affected her child’s special education program. The IEP team discussed the parent’s concern about the student moving to a middle school and documented the parent’s concern in the IEP. Following district policy the IEP team did not make a decision regarding retention, determined the student’s placement for the 2017-2018 school year would be at a district middle school and advised the parent to contact district administration about retention. The parent was provided a final copy of the IEP on July 10, at the IEP team meeting. On August 1, 2017, before implementation of the IEP, an additional copy of the IEP was mailed and sent attached to an email in response to the parent’s request for a copy. The district properly responded to the parent’s request regarding the educational placement of a student with a disability and properly provided the parent with a copies of the student’s IEPs.
At the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year the parent decided to home school the student. The student never attended the school determined by the July 10, 2017 IEP team. Although the parent believed a meeting, to meet middle school staff and prepare for the school year, would be held prior to the 2017-2018 school year, this meeting was not included as a service in the student’s IEP. The district did not fail to properly implement the IEP regarding preparation for the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year because the service was not included in the student’s IEP.
This concludes our review of this complaint.