IDEA Complaint Decision 04-010

On March 15, 2004, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Menomonee Falls School District. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during Spring 2003 and during the 2003-2004 school year implemented a student's individualized education program (IEP) regarding informing the parents of the student's progress toward annual goals.

An IEP team meeting was held on June 10, 2003, to determine continuing eligibility, review and revise the student's IEP, and determine continuing placement. Annual goals were developed in the academic areas of reading, mathematics, and writing. Additional goals were developed in the areas of self-advocacy, study skills, and test taking skills. The student receives special education outside of the regular education environment for two class periods per day.

The IEP noted procedures for measuring the student's progress toward annual goals as daily work, observation, and objective pre-test and post-tests. The procedures for informing parents of the student's progress toward the annual goals and the extent to which that progress is sufficient to enable the student to achieve the goal by the end of the year were stated as six-week progress reports and a report indicating progress towards IEP goals, parent/teacher conferences, phone calls and notes home, and emails.

The parents alleges that the six-week progress reports were not sent with each report card. The district maintains that each week, the special education teacher gathers reports from the student's regular and special education teachers. These reports are emailed weekly to both parents. The district maintains that these weekly reports include concepts covered in class; assignments turned in, coming up and/or due dates; test and quiz scores; the current grade; and any behavioral and/or social concerns regarding progress in regular education classes. The district also maintains that the weekly reports, emailed to both parents each week, clearly demonstrate the district's intent to provide information reflecting the student's progress towards meeting his annual IEP goals.

Federal and state laws ensure that parents are regularly informed about their child's educational progress, including the child's progress in the general curriculum. The law also requires that the IEP include a statement of both how the child's progress toward the annual goals in the IEP will be measured; and how the child's parents will be regularly informed, at least as often as parents are informed of their nondisabled children's progress.

The IEP specifically required a report that indicated progress toward the IEP goals. The district regularly informed the parent regarding the student's progress in the general curriculum through detailed and comprehensive weekly email reports. However, these reports did not specifically address the student's progress towards the annual IEP goals.

The district has agreed to reconvene the IEP within 30 days to develop a reporting system to the parents that will specifically address the student's progress toward his annual IEP goals, will be consistent with the IEP, and will occur at a frequency at least as often as parents are informed of their nondisabled student's progress. By June 14, 2004, the district will send a copy of the revised IEP including a report indicating progress toward IEP goals to the department.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST/SJP 5/14/04
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