IDEA Complaint Decision 01-026

On March 26, 2001, a complaint was filed with the Department of Public Instruction by XXXXX against the Kaukauna Area 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. In investigating this complaint, department staff spoke with the complainants and with the director of pupil services for the district.

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ISSUE #1:

Did the district fail to conduct an annual review of the child's individualized education program (IEP) prior to its expiration date in February 2001?

ISSUE #2:

Did the district fail to regularly inform the complainant of the extent to which the child's progress toward annual goals is sufficient to enable her to achieve the goals by the IEP ending date?

APPLICABLE STATUTES AND RULES:

Section 115.77, Wisconsin Statutes
Local educational agency duties.

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(1m) A local educational agency shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the division that it does all of the following:

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(b) Makes available a free appropriate public education to children with disabilities as required by this subchapter and applicable state and federal law.

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

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(lm) APPOINTMENT OF TEAM. The local educational agency shall appoint an individualized education program team for each child referred to it under 115.777. (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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(2) REQUIRED COMPONENTS. An individualized education program shall include all of the following:

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(h) A statement of all of the following:

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2. How the child's parents will be regularly informed, at least as often as parents are informed of their nondisabled children's progress, of their child's progress toward the annual goals and the extent to which that progress is sufficient to enable the child to achieve the goals by the end of effective period of the individualized education program.

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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.

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34 CFR 300.347 Content of IEP.

(a) General. The IEP for each child with a disability must include--

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(7) A statement of-- (i) How the child's progress toward the annual goals described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section will be measured; and (ii) How the child's parents will be regularly informed (through such means as periodic report cards), at least as often as parents are informed of their nondisabled children's progress, of-- (A) Their child's progress toward the annual goals; and (B) The extent to which that progress is sufficient to enable the child to achieve the goals by the end of the year.

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FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSION:

The complainant's child is a child with a cognitive disability who attends high school in the Kaukauna Area School District. At the beginning of the 2000-2001 school year, the child had an IEP in effect. The ending date of the child's IEP was February 2, 2001. An IEP team meeting was not conducted prior to February 2, 2001, to review and, if appropriate, revise the child's IEP. The district acknowledges this error. An IEP team meeting was held and a new IEP was developed for the child on February 28, 2001; March 20, 2001; and April 18, 2001. The district has procedures to regularly inform special education staff of the dates IEPs are due for annual reviews. No further corrective action is required for issue #1.

The district IEP forms include a statement to ensure that parents of children with disabilities are informed of their child's progress toward annual goals. The child's IEP included such a statement. However, district staff did not provide information to the parent pursuant to this provision in the IEP. The district acknowledges this error. The district is now providing the parents of the student in this complaint with a journal and report cards pursuant to her IEP. No further corrective action is required for issue #2.

This concludes our investigation of this complaint, and we are closing this complaint investigation. 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 MJT
5/4/01
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Mike J. Thompson, Assistant Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

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