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IDEA Complaint Decision 18-034

On April 2, 2018 (letter dated March 29, 2018), the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXXX (parent) against the XXXXX (district). This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2017-18 school year:
  • Properly implemented the individualized education program (IEP) of a student with a disability regarding supplementary aids and services to be provided in extracurricular activities; and
  • Properly followed special education requirements when the student transferred from one Wisconsin school district to another.

Each school district must take steps to provide students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities. Each student’s IEP team must determine whether the student needs supplementary aids and services in order to participate. Supplementary aids and services must be described in a manner that makes the district’s commitment of resources clear to the student’s parent and all involved in developing and implementing the IEP. The description of the amount, frequency, location, and duration must be appropriate to the specific service.

The student who is the subject of this complaint is an avid runner, and has participated in extracurricular activities of cross country and track. The student transferred into the district from another Wisconsin school district at the beginning of the 2017-2018 school year. The IEP adopted from the student’s previous school district indicated the student participated in cross country and track with adult support. The supplementary aids and services section of the student’s IEP indicates the student needs “proximal adult support” for 80% of the school day, during large school wide events, and field trips. The student participated in cross country in the fall of 2017, and the district provided an educational assistant for the student.

The student’s IEP team met to conduct an annual review on November 17, 2017. The resulting IEP describes the student’s need for an assistant during cross country, an extracurricular activity occurring in fall, but did not mention track season, which occurs in spring. The student began participating in track during the spring of 2018. Upon learning the student was participating in track practice without an assistant, the student’s parent contacted the district. The district began providing an assistant on

April 3, 2018. The student’s IEP team met on April 18, 2018, and revised the IEP to clarify the student requires an assistant for track training and at track meets. As soon as the district learned the student needed an assistant in track, the district promptly provided one. The district also promptly convened an IEP team meeting to clarify the student’s need for the assistant. The district properly implemented the student’s IEP regarding supplementary aids and services to be provided in extracurricular activities.

When a student with a disability transfers between Wisconsin school districts, the receiving district, in consultation with the student’s parent, must provide a free appropriate public education to the student without delay. This must include providing special education and related services comparable to those described in the student’s most recent IEP until the receiving school district does one of three things: adopts the student’s IEP (including the evaluation and eligibility determination) from the previous district and provides the parents with an updated placement notice; adopts the student’s evaluation and eligibility determination from the previous district and conducts an IEP team meeting to review and revise the IEP; or conducts a reevaluation of the student and develops a new IEP.

Upon transfer, the district adopted the previous district’s evaluation, eligibility determination, and IEP. However, the parent was not provided an updated placement notice reflecting the student’s attendance in the new district. The student’s IEP team met to conduct an annual review on November 17, 2017. Following that meeting, the student’s parent was provided an updated placement notice on

November 26, 2017. As such, no student-specific corrective action is required. Within 30 days of the date of this decision, the district must develop and submit to the department a corrective action plan to ensure the district properly provides an updated placement notice when a student transfers into the district.

All noncompliance identified above must be corrected as soon as possible, but in no case more than one year from the date of this decision. This concludes our review of this complaint. This decision is final for the IDEA State Complaint process. 

//signed by CST 5/31/18
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support