On October 16, 2017, the department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Verona Area School District (district). This is the department’s decision regarding the complaint. The issue is whether the district, beginning in October 2016, properly implemented an individualized education plan (IEP) of a student with a disability regarding reading instruction.
The student’s IEP in effect for in October 2016, specified the following specially designed instruction:
- Reading Instruction (highly structured, multi-sensory, explicit, evidence-based),
- 75 minutes per week in the special education classroom
- Reading instruction (explicit, structured), 175 minutes per week in the regular education classroom
- Teaching reading strategies (i.e. tapping, chunking, context clues, etc.), 15 minutes per day in the regular education classroom
- Written language instruction, 90 minutes per week in the regular education classroom
The student’s IEP team met to conduct the annual IEP review on January 20 and February 10, 2017. After the review, the student’s IEP continued to require the specially designed instruction listed above.
The department interviewed district staff members responsible for providing the student’s specially designed instruction during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years. Staff members described the services provided to the student in both the special education and regular education classrooms. Staff members indicated that while the type of instructional materials used for reading instruction and strategies changed over the course of time, they adhered to instructional methods that were structured, multi-sensory, and evidence-based as specified in the IEP. Staff, with one exception, reported that the services were provided as scheduled and in the required frequency and amount. One staff member reported that she was unable to provide services as scheduled on approximately 10 days due to a conflict with extracurricular responsibilities. She indicated that make-up sessions were provided for the student as a result of the conflicts with her extra-curricular duties. The department also reviewed the student’s schedule, staff schedules, and other written materials which also indicated the specially designed instruction had been provided as specified in the IEP. The district properly implemented the student’s IEP regarding reading instruction.
This concludes our review of this complaint which we are closing. This decision is final for the IDEA State Complaint process.
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support