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IDEA Complaint Decision 19-018

On April 8, 2019 (form dated April 4, 2019), the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX (complainant) against XXXXX (district). This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2018-19 school year, properly implemented the individualized education program (IEP) of a student with a disability.

School districts must provide a free appropriate public education to each student with a disability by developing a program based on the student’s unique needs that is reasonably calculated to enable the student to make progress appropriate in light of the student’s circumstances, documenting that program in the IEP, and implementing the program articulated in the IEP.

At the beginning of each school year, each district must have an IEP in effect for each child with a disability, and services must be provided to the student in accordance with the student’s IEP. The district must inform all regular education teachers, special education teachers, related service providers, and other service providers of the student and of their specific responsibilities related to implementing the student’s IEP. The services must be stated in the IEP in a manner clear to all who are involved in both the development and the implementation of the IEP.

The student’s IEP in effect at the beginning of the 2018-19 school year was developed on June 11, 2018. The IEP team considered information from the previous school year, the student’s achievement on current district-level assessments, teacher observation data, and concerns of the student’s parent. The statement of present level of academic achievement and functional performance detailed the student’s needs related to the student’s current performance in the areas of reading, math, writing, and functional behavior, and included information about how the student’s disability affects the student’s involvement in the general education curriculum. The IEP team developed annual goals related to reading, math, writing, and increasing school attendance. Each annual goal was measurable, addressed the student’s needs, and included how and when the parent would be informed of the student’s progress toward meeting the goal. The IEP included specialized instruction and supplementary aids and services to support the student in the special education and general education environment.

The district acknowledges the student did not have an assigned case manager for the majority of the 2018-2019 school year. However, in this situation, the role of the case manager was not to provide direct services to the student; rather, the case manager’s role was to provide IEP management and oversight. District staff provided all the specially designed instruction and supplementary aids and services in accordance with the student’s IEP. On March 18, 2019, the IEP team discussed the need for Extended School Year (ESY) services and decided that due to the student’s lack of progress across all academic areas, ESY services were required. The student’s parent agreed that ESY would benefit the student. The district properly implemented the student’s IEP.

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

//signed BVH:jh 6/7/2019
Barbara Van Haren, PhD
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support