IDEA Complaint Decision 02-065

On December 3, 2002, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Brodhead School District. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2002-2003 school year:

  • removed adaptations from the student's October 14, 2002, IEP without discussion by the IEP team;
  • provided instructional aide support in 9th grade art class, as required by the student's IEP; and
  • ensured that all staff responsible for implementation of the student's IEP during the 2002-2003 school year are informed of their responsibilities and specific accommodations, modifications, and supports to be provided under the IEP.

On October 14, 2002, an IEP meeting was held to review and revise the student's IEP. The accommodations and modifications to be provided to the student listed under supplementary aids and services were: frequent breaks, allow movement, written directions, highlighted texts and directions, chunking of directions, shortened assignments, adapted worksheets and modified tests, extra time and extended due dates, and the student may dictate answers to special education staff. On November 20, 2002, the father asked the student's case manager why his son was denied use of certain accommodations included in his IEP, specifically retaking test and using notes for test and quizzes. The case manager informed the father that these accommodations were not in the current IEP. The father stated that there was no discussion of omitting modifications his son had previously received during the IEP meeting on October 14, 2002. Through interviews and written responses, district staff verified that there was no discussion of former IEP accommodations and modifications at the meeting on October 14th. The discussion focused on accommodations and modifications which appeared to be currently appropriate.

The father was asked before the meeting concluded if he had any questions and if he was satisfied with what had transpired during the IEP meeting. He responded by saying that he was in agreement, would look over the IEP at home and call if he felt changes were needed. The father agreed with this statement but added that he believed accommodations in previous IEPs would remain in effect. He was not aware that the revised IEP would not include the same accommodations and modifications that his son had been receiving in previous IEPs. He stated he only became aware of this when he reread the IEP following this incident. The district responded to the father's concerns by holding another IEP meeting on January 9, 2003, to revise the IEP to include the accommodations of receiving credit for corrections on failed tests and quizzes and using notes on tests and quizzes with case manager approval. The district responded to the father's concerns and request for clarification by revising the IEP and clarifying the accommodations and modifications that the student was to receive. No further action is required.

On November 18, 2002, the father expressed concerns regarding his son's progress in his 9th grade art class to his son's case manager. The father stated that the level of support being offered by the district in the form of a peer mentor during the class period was not sufficient. The IEP developed on October 14, 2002, does not specify that individual aide support is to be provided to the student. The district responded to the father's request for more support by providing additional one-to-one teacher assistance for projects and assignments the student was having difficulty with. The father agrees that following his request, the student received this level of support for the remainder of the term. The department concludes that the district provided instructional support required by the student's IEP.

The father further contends that on November 18, 2002, his son attempted to use his notes while taking an art test but the art teacher took the notes away from his son. According to the father, when his son explained that he was allowed by his IEP to use notes when taking tests, the teacher responded that he had never seen the IEP. Staff interviews have substantiated that this statement was made by the teacher. Although this particular accommodation was not in the current IEP, the art teacher could not have been aware of this since he acknowledged he had not seen the document. The district is required to ensure that all staff responsible for implementing a student's IEP have access to a copy of the IEP and are informed of their responsibility. The department concludes that the district has not ensured that all staff responsible for implementation of the student's IEP during the 2002-2003 school year were informed of their responsibilities and specific accommodations, modifications and supports to be provided under the IEP. Within 30 days of the date of this decision, the district must submit to the department a corrective action plan to ensure that all staff responsible for implementing portions of the student's IEP have access to the IEP and are informed of their responsibilities.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed 3/7/03
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

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