On November 23, 2021, the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from #### (complainant) against the #### (district). This is the department’s decision regarding the complaint. The issue identified is whether the district, during the 2021-22 school year, properly implemented the individualized education plan (IEP) of a student with a disability regarding nursing services.
School districts must provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to each student with a disability by developing a program that meets the student’s unique needs, documenting that program in the student’s IEP, and implementing the program as articulated. 34 CFR § 300.324. The number of services to be provided must be stated in a manner appropriate to the service and must include anticipated frequency, including the amount. In the case where it is impossible or inappropriate to describe services in daily or weekly allotments of time, the IEP must clearly describe the circumstances under which the service will be provided. 34 CFR § 300.320(a).
The student’s IEP in effect for the 2021-22 school year was developed on December 18, 2020. The IEP specified the student would be provided school nurse services daily for 60 minutes in the school nurse’s office. The IEP further specified the student would be provided attendant care daily for 240 minutes in all school environments, including field trips, summer school, and other school activities. The student has several health-related needs requiring the attention of school staff, including the administration of eye drops, monitoring of temperature, including use of a cooling vest, mouth care, and the use of a catheter. The IEP specifically describes frequency, amount, and location for the administration of eye drops and mouth care as supplementary aids and services, but it does not mention monitoring of the student’s temperature or the use of a catheter. The district did not provide the department with a separate health plan.
The student was scheduled to attend a field trip on November 11, 2021. In preparation for the trip, school staff developed a plan for how the student’s health-related needs would be met on the field trip. The district nurse trained the attendant care provider to assist the student with the catheter, administer eye drops, and monitor the student’s temperature. This plan was communicated to the parent on November 8. The student went on the field trip with the attendant providing the services according to the plan developed by school staff. Because the IEP fails to describe the frequency, amount, and location of the use of the cooling vest and catheter assistance, the department is unable to conclude the district appropriately implemented the student’s IEP during the field trip. As corrective action, the district shall convene the student’s IEP team within 30 days to consider and clearly document the provision of school nursing services and attendant care services, paying particular attention to reasonably predictable contingencies such as field trips. The district shall provide the department with a copy of the student’s revised IEP within five days of the IEP team meeting.
On November 21, 2001, the district learned that the school nurse or other appropriately trained staff member would not be available to provide the services specified in the student’s IEP on November 22, 2001. The district notified the parent of its inability to provide the required services. As a result, the parent accompanied the student to school the following day and provided the required services herself. The district did not properly implement the student’s IEP regarding nursing services on November 22, 2001. However, the failure to provide the required nursing services appears to be an isolated incident caused by factors beyond the district’s control, so no corrective action will be required.
This concludes our review of this complaint. All noncompliance identified above must be corrected within one year of the date of this decision. 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. For more information, visit the department’s website at http://dpi.wi.gov/sped/dispute-resolution.