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IDEA Complaint Decision 18-033

On March 26, 2018, the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX (complainant) against the Oshkosh Area School District (district), on behalf of XXXXX, an adult student. This is the department’s decision regarding the complaint. The issue is whether, during the 2017-18 school year, the district properly developed an individualized education program (IEP) for a student with a disability.

An IEP team is required to develop, and at least annually review and revise if necessary an IEP for each student with a disability. The IEP must include a statement of the student’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance. The IEP team must identify how the student's disability affects the student's involvement and progress in the general curriculum, develop measurable annual goals designed to meet the student's disability-related needs, and align special education services to enable the student to advance appropriately toward attaining the annual goals, make progress in the general curriculum and be educated with nondisabled students. The IEP must include clear descriptions of the amount, frequency, location, and duration of services so local education agency’s (LEA) commitment of resources is clear to the parent and all involved in developing and implementing the IEP.

The student is a senior in high school and has health issues that affect school attendance. The IEP in effect in September 2017 describes how the student’s disability affects achievement, noting the student’s behavior impedes learning, causing the student to miss time at school, and fall behind in classes. The IEP included specially designed instruction to address behavior. The special education teacher was required to consult with the student’s regular education teachers on the student’s progress and behavior in classes each week. The IEP included a behavior intervention plan with positive interventions, strategies, and supports. The IEP team placed the student at the district high school in the regular education environment except for one special education resource period daily.

On October 10, 2017, the IEP team reconvened to address concerns about the student’s absences from school. The behavior intervention plan was revised to address the attendance concerns. The IEP team did not revise the student’s annual goals, program summary, or placement. On March 15, 2018, the IEP team met to discuss the student’s attendance and credit status. The district offered to provide the student a regular education learning lab where the student could work on credit recovery in school, adjust the student’s schedule for a late start at school, and provide an online English class for the student to complete at home. This discussion is documented in the IEP within the description of the student’s current academic achievement; however the documentation does not include a clear description of the frequency and amount, location, and duration of the services. The IEP team did not revise the program summary or placement. On April 19, 2018, the annual IEP team meeting was held. To address lack of progress toward completing needed credits for graduation, the IEP team determined the student would complete a high school equivalency diploma test for English credit. This discussion is documented in the annual IEP goal progress report. The IEP team also discussed providing homebound instruction, although there is no documentation of this discussion in the IEP. The program summary in the IEP was not revised. The district provided the student homebound instruction beginning in April. On April 24, the IEP team met and after reviewing data, determined the student is expected to graduate this June.

Each time the IEP team met during the 2017-2018 school year, the team reviewed the student’s progress and discussed changes in the student’s program and placement in attempts to address the student’s disability-related needs. However, these revisions were not properly documented within the various sections of the IEP, leaving internal inconsistencies. The IEP team did not properly develop the student’s IEP with respect to documentation of IEP team determinations and clear description of the amount, frequency, location and duration of all services. As the student will be graduating with a regular high school diploma on June 3, 2018, no student specific corrective action is required. The district must submit to the department within 30 days of this decision a corrective action plan to ensure staff properly document IEP team determinations and clearly describe the amount, frequency, location, and duration of all services.

This concludes our review of this complaint. This decision is final for the IDEA State Complaint process.

//signed CST 5/23/2018
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support
For questions about this information, contact Margaret Resan (608) 267-9158