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IDEA Complaint Decision 18-039

On April 26, 2018, the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX (complainant) against the XXXXX (district). This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, since April 26, 2017, properly enabled a student with a disability to participate in field trips.

A district meets its obligation to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to a student with a disability, in part, by providing special education and related services that are provided in conformity with the student’s individualized education program (IEP). The IEP defines the services that a student needs in order to receive FAPE, and the extent to which the child will participate in the general education curriculum. Students participating in the general education curriculum must receive access to the entire curriculum, including curricular field trips. Each IEP must meet the individual needs of the student as determined by the IEP team. If a student requires additional special education services to allow them to participate in field trips, they must be considered, addressed, and documented in the student’s IEP The district must then provide the special education services consistent with the IEP.

On April 3, 2017, the student transferred into the district and the district adopted and began implementing the previous district’s IEP. The IEP stated the student participated full-time in the general education curriculum but did not include any specific services for participation in field trips.

On May 16, 2017, the student’s class took a field trip. The parent and school staff discussed transportation to and from and participation in the field trip and the student fully participated in the field trip. At several meetings in May 2017, the IEP team met to discuss the student’s annual IEP. The IEP team discussed the student’s participation in field trips. The annual IEP was implemented on May 30, 2017, and included proximal adult support to help with following directions, and which further supported participation in field trips. There is no evidence that the student was not included in field trips during the period of this complaint investigation.

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

//signed CST:bvh 6/25/2018
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support