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IDEA Complaint Decision 18-046

On May 14, 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, beginning May 14, 2017, properly implemented the individualized education program (IEP) of a student with a disability regarding health needs.

School districts must provide a free appropriate public education to each student with a disability by developing a program that meets the student’s unique needs, documenting that program in the IEP, and implementing the program articulated in the IEP. School districts must ensure all regular education teachers, special education teachers, related service providers, and other service providers of the student are informed of their specific responsibilities related to implementing the student’s IEP. The services must be described in the IEP in a manner understandable to all who are involved in both the development and implementation of the IEP, including clear statements of the frequency, amount, location, and duration of services.

On March 23, 2017, the IEP team met and developed an IEP for the student, which was implemented on April 1. In developing and implementing the IEP, district staff used information provided from the parents of the student and the student’s physician. The IEP included “One-on-one Aide Support,” for “6.5 hours per school day excluding [the student’s] time in therapy.” The IEP also states that, “Due to [the student’s] communication needs and developmental delays… [the student] needs to have an attendant with [the student] throughout the day to have [the student’s] basic needs met.” Further, the IEP indicated the student would have daily use of a stander, with the frequency and amount of use dependent upon the student’s ability to tolerate standing, as determined by staff based on objective criteria, each day. According to information gathered and interviews with district staff, a staff member, either a special education teacher, related services provider, or paraprofessional accompanied the student at all hours of the day to attend to the student’s needs. School staff accompanied the student to, within, and from the regular education classroom, attended to the student during recess with the student’s peers, ensured daily use of the stander in accordance with the IEP, performed sanitary and toileting tasks and doctor’s ordered feeding instructions, and aided the student in any instructional work. Daily care instructions written by the parents, doctor’s orders for feeding instructions, an emergency seizure plan, and a daily care log of the student’s daily care and academic progress were stored in a care binder that was kept with the student and the attending aide at all times during the day. According to interviews with district staff, this care binder served as a comprehensive communication tool for all paraprofessionals, teachers, and therapists to facilitate and coordinate their attention to the student’s extensive health needs. This care binder was sent home with the student at the end of each day. A school nurse or nurse aide was on site to attend to any emergency. The student’s IEP was properly implemented regarding health needs.

This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing. This decision is final for the IDEA State Complaint process.

//signed CST 7/13/2018
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support