On April 25, 2001, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). The issue in this complaint is whether the district, between June and August, 2000, failed to provide the related services of transportation and a special education aide as extended school year services, consistent with a childs individualized education program (IEP). This is the departments decision for that complaint.
An IEP developed for the child during an IEP team meeting held February 15, 2000, requires the related services of transportation door to door and a paraprofessional aide in all school locations including to and from the bus on all school days of a 6-week summer session. An extended school year (ESY) services plan addendum attached to the childs February 15, 2000, IEP includes the statement, "A one-on-one aide has been requested per IEP so that constant supervision is provided through the summer session as well as to and from the bus." The related services of transportation and a paraprofessional aide also are included in the childs February 8, 2001, IEP. The services are required during the regular school term and as ESY during the summer of 2001. A school district must ensure that all services specified in a childs IEP are provided.
Based on materials submitted by the district, including portions of the childs records, and on discussions with the complainant, the childs guardian, the childs special education teacher, the childs assigned ESY teacher, two special education supervisors, the ESY coordinator, and two principals, the department determines that the district attempted to provide the related services in the childs IEP. The district made available door-to-door bus transportation and a paraprofessional aide. A letter with transportation information was sent to the guardian one week in advance of the ESY program. The childs guardian did not have the child ride the bus to the school because she maintains she had not received information, in advance of the buss arrival, about the bus route, time, and transportation company. A paraprofessional aide who had been hired as a one-on-one aide to provide services to the child was present in the classroom and in all school locations during the 6-week ESY special education program. The aide was available to assist the child to and from the bus at school. The special education teacher spoke to the childs guardian in June 2000 and informed her that an aide and an interpreter were assigned to assist the teacher to work with the child in the program and that the aide would accompany the child to and from the bus at the school. The teacher told the childs guardian to call the special education supervisor if she had questions about the paraprofessional aide assignment. The guardian never sent the child to the program because, despite the teachers assurances, she believed a one-on-one aide was not available for the child.
The related services of transportation and a paraprofessional aide are also included in the childs February 8, 2001, IEP. The services are required during the regular school term and as ESY during the summer of 2001. The district has provided door-to-door bus transportation and a paraproprofessional aide during the regular school term and has made arrangements, which will ensure the services are provided as ESY during the summer of 2001.
We are closing this complaint investigation.
//signed MJT 6/14/01
Mike J. Thompson, Assistant Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy