IDEA Complaint Decision 01-043

On May 25, 2001, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). The issue in this complaint is whether the district failed to dispense a childs medication, as required by the childs individualized education program (IEP). This is the departments decision for that complaint. Department staff repeatedly requested materials from the district responding to this complaint, but as of July 19 the district had not sent materials. The department must issue complaint decisions within 60 days following receipt, absent an extension. The district has not indicated that an extension is warranted. This decision is based on materials submitted by the complainant.

On November 10, 2000, an IEP team developed an annual IEP for the child. The November 10 IEP includes the following supplementary aids and services statement: "a designee in the office will dispense (childs name) medication and will log it." The frequency is daily and the location is the office. In mid January the childs mother requested a copy of the medication log. The medication log provided to the parent indicated that medication was administered on 6 days between November 10, 2000, and mid January 2001. The school staff was unsure if the designee to administer the medication was the office staff, principal, or teacher. In January 2001, it was agreed that the principal or the principals secretary would be the designee and the special education teacher would escort the student to the office. According to the parent, after mid January, the teacher provided the parent a weekly report with the medication log verifying that the childs medication was administered daily. However, other materials provided by the complainant suggest that this did not occur until February. Without the districts response, the department cannot confirm with certainty when these corrective steps were taken.

On March 21, 2001, an IEP team determined eligibility for special education, developed an IEP, and determined placement for the child. The March 21, 2001, IEP includes the following supplementary aids and services statement: "Special education will accompany (childs name) to the office for his medication at 10:55 on school days. (One) 1 or 2 designees in the office will give him his meds (medication) and log this by recording the date, time, and his/her initials. A main page must include the 2 designees names and initials. The log must be kept in the office." A school district must ensure that all services specified in a childs IEP are provided and that the services are written in a manner understandable to all parties concerned. Between November 10, 2000, and mid January 2001, the district did not administer medication to the child daily. The November 10, 2000, IEP did not describe the supplementary service to be provided to the child in a manner understandable to all parties. In mid January or in February 2001, the district took steps to ensure that a designee in the office administered medication to the child daily as stated in the childs November 10, 2000, IEP. The childs March 21, 2001, IEP describes the supplementary service to be provided to the child in a manner understandable to all parties.

On June 4, 2001, the department issued the decision for complaint #01-032 regarding the same child whose education is the subject of this complaint. The department determined that the district did not provide related services in the childs March 21, 2001, IEP and did not describe the services in a manner understandable to all involved. A corrective action plan in complaint #01-032 to insure that the district provides this child and all children with disabilities the related services consistent with this requirement was due July 5, 2001, but has not yet been received. No later than July 31, 2001, the district must submit to the department a plan for complaints #01-032 and #01-043 to ensure that the district provides this child and all children with disabilities the related services and supplementary aids and services outlined in their IEPs and describes related services and supplementary aids and services in a manner understandable to all involved.

This concludes our investigation of this complaint.

//signed CST 7/20/01
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/jfd

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