IDEA Complaint Decision 00-042

On June 14, 2000 (letter dated June 13, 2000), a complaint was filed with the Department of Public Instruction by XXXXX against the Jefferson School District. This complaint alleges a violation of special education law regarding the implementation of programs for children with disabilities.

Pursuant to 34 CFR 300.660-662 of the regulations implementing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and 115.762(3)(g) and 115.90(1), Wis. Stats., the Department of Public Instruction investigated this complaint. In investigating a complaint, the department reviews a district's compliance with state and federal requirements. During this investigation, department staff reviewed documents submitted by the complainant, the district's response to the complaint, and relevant education records of the child. Department staff also spoke by telephone with the district's director of special education and with the complainant.

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ISSUE:

the district, during the 1999-2000 school year, fail to conduct an annual review of the child's individualized education program (IEP)?

APPLICABLE STATUTES AND RULES:

Section 115.78, Wisconsin Statutes
Individualized education program team; timeline.

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(1m) APPOINTMENT OF TEAM. The local educational agency shall appoint an individualized education program team for each child referred to it under  115.777.

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(2) DUTIES OF TEAM. The individualized education program team shall do all of the following:

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(b) Develop an individualized education program for the child under  115.787.

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Section 115.787, Wisconsin Statutes
Individualized education programs.

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(4) REVIEW AND REVISION. (a) The individualized education program team shall do all of the following:
1. Review the child's individualized education program periodically, but at least annually, to determine whether the annual goals for the child are being achieved.
2. Revise the individualized education program as appropriate to address all of the following:
a. Any lack of expected progress toward the annual goals and in the general curriculum.
b. The results of any reevaluation conducted under  115.782.
c. Information about the child provided to or by the child's parents, as described in  115.782.
d. The child's anticipated needs.
e. Other matters.

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FINDINGS OF FACT:

The district has acknowledged that it did not appoint an individualized educational program (IEP) team to review, and as appropriate, revise, at least annual, the IEP for the youth whose education is the subject of this complaint. As a consequence of the district's inaction, the youth's IEP dated March 1999, was not reviewed during the 1999-2000 school year. The district, following receipt of this complaint, began attempts to schedule an IEP team meeting with the parent at a mutually agreed on time and place. IEP team meetings, which the parent attended, were conducted on or about July 11, 2000, and on July 26, 2000, to review the youth's IEP, and the IEP was revised.

CONCLUSION AND DIRECTIVE:

As acknowledged by the district, the department concludes a violation occurred with regard to the issue in this complaint. Because the district did conduct two IEP team meetings in July 2000, to review and revise the youth's IEP, the district is not directed to take further corrective action specific to the youth. With regard to conducting annual IEP team meetings for other children with disabilities, the district shall, within 30 days of receipt of this report, submit to the department a corrective action plan (CAP) to ensure that IEP teams are appointed, at least annually, to review, and as appropriate revise, the IEP of each child with a disability.

The CAP shall include the activities the district will undertake to implement the directives, the personnel responsible for each activity, the date by which each activity will be completed, and the type of documentation that will be submitted to the department as evidence of completion of each activity. The CAP will be reviewed and the district will be informed if any revisions are required. The district should implement the CAP after it has been approved by the department.

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This concludes our investigation of this complaint. This letter is not intended, and should not be construed, to cover any other issues regarding compliance with the IDEA or Chapter 115, Wisconsin Statutes, which may exist and which are not specifically discussed herein. Under the Wisconsin public records law, 19.31-19.39, Wisconsin Statutes, it may be necessary to release this document and related correspondence and records upon request.

signed JSP
8/4/00
_____________________________________________
Juanita S. Pawlisch, Ph.D., Assistant Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

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For questions about this information, contact Patricia Williams (608) 267-3720