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IDEA Complaint Decision 19-075

On October 14, 2019, 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 October 14, 2018, properly implemented the individualized education program (IEP) of a student with a disability.

School districts must provide each student with a disability a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment. A school district meets its obligation to provide FAPE to each student with a disability, in part, by developing and implementing each student’s IEP. A student’s IEP must describe services such that the level of the district’s commitment of resources is clear to parents and other IEP team members. All services must be provided, as described in the IEP.

The student who is the subject of this complaint is a student with significant disability related needs. The student’s IEP team met on March 14, 2019, and determined that, due to the health needs of the student, the district would implement the student’s IEP in the student’s home. The projected implementation date for the IEP developed at this meeting was March 28, 2019. The district did not provide the services listed in the student’s IEP due to challenges locating staff available to provide services in the student’s home and capable of providing services adapted to the student’s significant disability related needs.

The student’s IEP team met on June 4, 2019, to determine compensatory services for services missed since March 28, 2019. The IEP team did not determine the compensatory services with specificity; however, district staff and the parent understood that the compensatory services identified during this meeting would correspond directly to the services missed and would be provided during the summer. Due to the same staffing challenges, the district did not provide compensatory services during the summer.

Additionally, at a previous IEP team meeting, the IEP team identified field trip opportunities as compensatory services. The compensatory field trip opportunities have not taken place.

At the start of the fall semester 2019, again, due to staffing challenges, the district did not implement the services in the student’s IEP. The district acknowledges that it has not properly implemented the student’s IEP since March 28, 2019. The district was able to locate staff to provide most of the services contained in the student’s IEP starting the week of October 28, 2019; however, as of the date of this decision, the district has not been able to provide the specially designed physical education services contained in the student’s IEP.

Within 30 calendar days of this decision, the district must fully implement the student’s IEP and submit evidence of implementation to the department.

Within 40 calendar days of this decision, the district must submit to the department a specific accounting of the services missed since March 28, 2019, and a plan to provide and document the missed services within one year of the date of this decision. The plan must describe services such that the level of the district’s commitment of resources is clear, including when and where the services and field trip opportunities will occur. Starting in February 2020, by the last Friday of each month, the district must provide the department and the parent monthly reports documenting the provision of compensatory services consistent with the plan.

Within 60 calendar days of this decision, the district must develop and submit for department approval a corrective action plan designed to ensure that the district provides services to students placed at home without interruption due to staffing. The plan must include written procedures the district will use to ensure services are provided to students placed in their home.

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 the department’s review of this complaint. This decision is final for the IDEA State Complaint process. These issues may be addressed through other dispute resolutions, including mediation and due process hearings. Visit http://dpi.wi.gov/sped/dispute-resolution for more information.

Sincerely,

//signed by BVH 12/9/19
Barbara Van Haren, PhD
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support
BVH:nam

For questions about this information, contact DPI Sped Team (608) 266-1781