IDEA Complaint Decision 03-010

On February 26, 2003, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District. The issue is whether the district, during the 2002-2003 school year, properly determined the extent to which a child with a disability is to be educated with students who do not have disabilities.

On April 10, 2002, the district held an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting and adopted the student's IEP from another district. The ending date of this IEP was January 6, 2003. The complainant was invited to, but did not attend, the IEP review meeting held on January 6, 2003. At the time of the meeting, the student was attending the school she would attend if she were not a child with a disability. The team reviewed the progress towards the goals on the IEP. The district documented the frequency, location, and duration of special education services, provision of supplementary aids and services, and program modifications to be provided. The IEP team determined that due to the student's academic, social, and communicative needs, significant modifications were needed in the content of academic subjects and in the delivery of instruction. The IEP team determined that without these services the student would not receive educational benefit.

In response to this complaint, the district invited the complainant to another IEP team meeting on March 3, 2003. At this IEP team meeting, current data and program options were again reviewed. The IEP team concluded that the present environment remains appropriate. The IEP team concluded that due to the student's academic, social, and communicative needs, significant modifications in the content of academic subjects and in the delivery of instruction were needed. The special education services and the supplementary aids and services listed accurately reflected that statement in addressing the student's participation in the general education curriculum.

The IEP team also considered more time with special education services on a daily basis. While the student benefits from contact with typically developing peers that assist her in her social and language development, the IEP team determined that providing more time in the general education setting would not meet the student's needs due to the significant modifications provided by her special education program in the core academic subjects to allow her to progress to the full potential of her ability, which the general education setting cannot provide.

The complainant requested a placement at the student's former school located in another district. This preference was based on the complainant's need for access to the student's school via public transportation. This option was considered and rejected. The IEP team included appropriate services that could be provided within the district. The district properly considered the student's needs in determining the program and setting where services would be provided.

This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing.

//signed 4/23/03
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

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