On January 27, 2020, and January 30, 2020, the Department of Public Instruction (department) received communications constituting 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 issues identified are whether the district, since January 27, 2019:
- Properly developed the individualized education program (IEP) of a student with a disability regarding reading;
- Properly implemented the student’s IEP regarding supplementary aids and services; and
- Improperly changed the student’s IEP outside of a meeting.
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. (34 CFR §§ 300.320, 300.323, 300.324; Wis. Stat. § 115.787).
On December 5, 2019, the department issued a complaint decision that addressed the development of the student’s IEP, including reading, from January 27, 2019, through August 29, 2019. On August 29, 2019, an IEP team meeting was held to review and revise the student’s IEP. The student’s parent attended the meeting. The IEP team reviewed the student’s supplementary aids and services. The parent also requested the addition of co-taught classes, a check-in with the case manager each week, and guided study notes for the student. All requests were added as supplementary aids and services in the student’s IEP. The IEP team also discussed removing the service of tests and quizzes being read aloud from the student’s IEP.
The IEP team, including the parent, agreed that the provision of this service was hindering the student’s performance and producing adverse effects that resulted in negative behaviors, such as shutting down, select mutism, and avoidance of tasks. Following the IEP team meeting, the parent contacted the district about whether the student was receiving tests and quizzes read aloud. The district staff person reminded the parent this service was removed from the IEP. The parent was upset with this response and asked the staff person to add the service back into the student’s IEP.
Following this conversation with the parent, although this service was not in the student’s IEP, the staff member asked the student’s teachers to provide this service to the student. The IEP team met on November 1, 2019; however, the parent was not in attendance, and the IEP team did not address the supplementary aids and service specific to reading tests and quizzes aloud. On December 20, 2019, the IEP team, including the parent, met and added back the service of tests and quizzes being read aloud to the student’s IEP. The district properly implemented the student’s IEP regarding supplementary aids and services and did not improperly change the student’s IEP outside of a meeting.
Following the August 29, 2019, IEP team meeting, the parent expressed concerns to district staff about the accuracy of the information in the student’s IEP regarding the student’s reading achievement. The student’s reading goal was developed at an annual IEP team meeting in May 2019. District staff expressed confidence in the accuracy of the information in the student’s IEP. However, to address the parent’s concern, on September 12, 2019, the district notified the parent of its intent to initiate a reevaluation.
The proposed reevaluation included academic achievement testing in the area of reading to ensure the IEP team had accurate information. On October 2, 2019, the parent responded to the request and refused to provide consent for additional testing. On January 24, 2020, the IEP team met. During the meeting, the parent again expressed concerns about the student’s reading achievement. Following the meeting, the district again initiated a reevaluation and requested the parent’s consent for additional academic testing.
On February 24, 2020, the parent responded to the request and refused to provide consent for additional testing. The district’s proposals to conduct reevaluations were appropriate responses to address the parent’s concerns regarding the accuracy of the information in the student’s IEP. However, since the student’s parent repeatedly refused to provide consent to the testing, the district was not able to proceed. The district properly developed the student’s IEP regarding reading.
This concludes our 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 the department's website at http://dpi.wi.gov/sped/dispute-resolution for more information.
//digitally signed by BVH 3/27/20
Barbara Van Haren, PhD
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support