On March 15, 2023 (form dated March 13, 2023), the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from #### (complainants) against the #### (District). This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue identified is whether the district, beginning February 13, 2023, properly responded to the request of a parent of a student with a disability for an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting.
The parents of a child with a disability have the right to request an IEP team meeting at any time, and districts must grant any reasonable parent request. The district must respond to the parent’s request within a reasonable amount of time and schedule the meeting at a mutually agreed upon time and place. 34 CFR § 300.322. School districts must provide parents with prior written notice when refusing to take action requested by a parent. The notice must contain several required components, including a description of the action refused, an explanation of why the district refuses to take the action, other options considered, and why those options were rejected. (34 CFR § 300.503[a]).
The student’s parent requested a facilitated IEP team meeting, and the district agreed to this request. On January 3, 2023, the district provided the parents with a draft copy of the IEP. The district provided the parents with a Parent Input Form prior to the meeting. Although the parents did not complete the form, they emailed their input and concerns to the special education director on January 5, 2023.
On January 9, 2023, the student’s IEP team and facilitator met to develop the student’s annual IEP. The IEP addressed the student’s unique needs and considered all required information based on the student’s needs, including developing accommodations for the student. The IEP also included input provided by the parent.
On February 13, 2023, the student’s parent and a family friend attended meetings with the student’s teachers. During the visit, the parent spoke with the principal and requested an IEP meeting. On February 14, 2023, the parent emailed the district’s special education director requesting an IEP meeting for the student. On the same day, the director replied to the parent and asked the purpose of the requested IEP team meeting. On February 15, 2023, the student’s parent responded they were “dissatisfied with the accommodations…or lack of…that my child is receiving. Despite your good intentions, I believe there is a lack of understanding of the amount and types of accommodations that can be requested by us for (the student).”
On February 28, 2023, the director responded to the parent’s request for an IEP team meeting by issuing a written notice indicating the district was denying the request. The notice states the student’s IEP team met to develop the student’s annual IEP on January 9, 2023, and the district implemented the IEP on January 16, 2023. The notice further states the district is providing the student a free, appropriate education (FAPE), and the accommodations developed for the student on January 9, 2023, were meeting the student’s disability-related needs.
The student’s IEP team had met only a few weeks prior to the parent’s request to reconvene. At that meeting, the IEP team conducted a lengthy and extensive review, including revising the student’s special education services and accommodations. Based on the information the district received from the parent on their reasons for requesting the IEP team reconvene, the district’s decision to deny the request was not unreasonable, and the district followed proper procedures in providing its written response. Given the specific circumstances of the case, the district properly responded to the request of a parent of a student with a disability for an IEP team meeting.
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.