IDEA Complaint Decision 03-027

On June 5 and 11, 2003, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint and supporting letter from XXXXX against the Racine Unified School District. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, following an IEP team meeting in February 2003, improperly modified an individualized education program (IEP) team's placement determination for a child with a disability without conducting another IEP team meeting.

On February 25, 2003, an IEP team met to review and revise the IEP and determine placement for a student with a disability attending the district middle school he would attend if he did not have a disability. The team developed a placement for the student at another district middle school, indicating on the placement notice that the student required placement in a different building because he required a "non-traditional, highly structured" setting due to his disability. The placement notice projected that the student would begin attending the new school on March 4. The student's placement developed at the February 25 meeting never was implemented because space no longer was available in the new building. It was not until April 16 that an IEP team met again to review and revise the student's IEP and develop a placement for him. The meeting was adjourned before placement could be completed and the team reconvened on April 29 to complete the placement. The placement developed on April 29 was for the student to continue attending the school he would attend if not disabled and begin attending a specified high school in the fall.

The district acknowledges that required placement procedures were not followed and will conduct training for the staff in the building involved. The district is developing additional placement options in each middle school to better address student needs. The district will review and revise its placement procedures to ensure that LEA representatives have current information regarding placement options, including space availability. Finally, the district will hold an IEP team meeting within 30 days of receiving this decision to determine whether the student requires services because the February 25 placement was not implemented or changed promptly.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 8/7/03
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

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