On November 17, 2022, the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from #### (complainant) against the #### School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, bginning November 21, 2021, properly provided special education and related services to a student with a disability in accordance with the student’s individualized education program (IEP).
School districts must provide each student with a disability a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment to each student with a disability, in part, by developing a program based on the student’s unique, disability-related needs that are 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 as articulated in the IEP. 34 CFR § 300.22; Wis. Stat. § 115.787. A school district meets its obligation to provide FAPE to each student with a disability, in part, by providing special education and related services, as documented in the student’s IEP. 34 CFR §§ 300.320-300.324; Wis. Stat. § 115.78(2).
The student who is the subject of this complaint has significant disability-related health needs and receives educational services from the district through homebound instruction. The complainant, the student’s parent, alleges that the district has delayed the provision of the student’s homebound services. District staff maintains a detailed log of all homebound sessions, which are scheduled in accordance with the student’s IEP. During the 2021-22 school year, district staff sent the complainant a text message thirty minutes before the scheduled service per the complainant’s request. Unless the complainant contacted district staff and told them not to come, staff proceeded to the family’s home and knocked at the door. When the complainant answered the door, the district provided homebound services. In many instances, staff could enter the student’s home and provide services, but there were also instances when staff was not permitted to enter the home. Since the start of the 2022-23 school year, the district has documented multiple attempts to establish a schedule for services, introduce the student’s new speech pathologist, and establish services. The complainant has been reluctant to allow new district staff into the home. However, the district stands ready to provide services immediately.
The complaint expressed concerns about the district’s ability to provide sufficient staffing. The department’s investigation confirmed the district currently has a licensed special education teacher and licensed speech pathologist prepared to provide services and has had sufficient staff available throughout the period under review. The district met its responsibility to ensure adequate staffing to implement the student’s IEP.
The IEP team met prior to the 2022-23 school year and again on December 8, 2022. The current IEP documents a discussion of missed services and consideration of other placement options. The IEP team plans to reassess the student’s skills as soon as possible to address the potential lack of progress. Based on the unique circumstances in this case, the district has met its obligation and stands ready to provide special education and related services to the student in accordance with the student’s IEP. The issuing district properly provided special education and related services to a student with a disability in accordance with the student’s individualized education program (IEP).
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. For more information, visit the department’s website at http://dpi.wi.gov/sped/dispute-resolution or contact the special education team at (608) 266-1781.