IDEA Complaint Decision 06-013

On March 15 and 20, 2006, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Fort Atkinson School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are addressed below.

  • Whether the district, during the 2005-2006 school year, properly responded to a parent’s request in January 2006 for an individualized education program (IEP) team meeting.

The father maintains that he provided a written request for an IEP team meeting for his son on January 23, 2006, and that there has been no IEP team meeting scheduled. The father states that he gave the written request to a receptionist along with other papers.

The law requires a school district to hold IEP team meetings periodically to review a child’s IEP but not less than annually. Parents may request an IEP team meeting at any time. A school district should grant any reasonable parent request for an IEP team meeting. If the district does not grant the request for an IEP team meeting, it must provide written notice to the parent including an explanation of why the district has determined a meeting is not needed. The district did not properly respond to the parent’s request in January 2006. However, the district has tentatively scheduled an IEP team meeting during the later part of May 2006.

  • Whether the district properly determined speech and language services to be provided to the student and properly implemented supplementary aids and services in a student’s IEP regarding use of a calculator.

An IEP team meeting was held on August 29 and continued on September 12, 2005, for the purpose of annual IEP development, review and revision, and placement. Speech and language is listed as a related service for 60 minutes per week in the speech and language room to support the goals for improving oral expression and phonological awareness skills.

The father alleges that the student was being taken out of regular education classes to receive speech and language services. The father also contends that he had no knowledge of any problems that the student had in speech and language. Speech and language are noted on the student’s IEP as a related service and two annual goals related to these services are in the IEP. The district states that there was discussion regarding speech and language services at the IEP team meetings held on August 29 and September 12, 2005. An accompanying Notice of Placement was sent to the parents on September 30, 2005, reflecting this service. The district properly determined speech and language services to be provided to the student.

The father alleges that the district is not following the IEP in the provision of supplementary aids and services in the area of calculator use. The father also alleges that the student has not been taught how to use the calculator. The district states that a calculator is noted as an assistive technology tool and has been given to the student in the classroom setting.

The amount of services to be provided must be stated in the IEP, so that the level of the agency’s commitment of resources will be clear to parents and other IEP team members. The amount of time to be committed to each of the various services to be provided must be appropriate to the specific service and stated in the IEP in a manner that is clear to all who are involved in both the development and the implementation of the IEP. "Assistive technology (calculator, reading pens, device for written expression)" is listed on the IEP as a supplementary aid and service to be used daily but does not include an amount or location. This description is not stated clearly enough to be implemented as written. The district did not properly implement supplementary aids and services in a student’s IEP regarding use of a calculator.

The district has tentatively scheduled an IEP team meeting in May to address the lack of specificity with respect to assistive technology on the student’s IEP in terms of amount, frequency and location so that this description is stated clearly enough to be implemented. The district must provide a copy of the IEP developed at this meeting to the department within two weeks of convening the IEP team meeting, but no later than June 15, 2006. The district must also ensure that district staff are aware of the requirements for appropriate IEP statements of the amount of special education and supplementary aids and services to be provided. The district will submit to the department its proposed corrective actions within thirty days of the date of receiving this decision.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 5/12/06
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/tg

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