On March 31, 2006, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the School District of Elmwood. This is the department's decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district failed to:
- Properly respond to the parents’ request to include specific information in their child’s individualized education program (IEP) in November 2005.
- Report information to the parents weekly as required in the IEP in March 2006.
- Provide required special education services to the student in March 2006.
The parents claim the district did not properly respond to their request to include specific information in their child’s November 9, 2005, IEP. The parents provided the department with a written list of eight items intended for review and consideration at the November IEP meeting. They maintain the list of items was not reviewed or considered at the November 9 IEP team meeting and the informal follow-up meeting on November 10.
During interviews with the department, district staff indicated they were unaware of the written list of eight items to be addressed at the November 9 IEP team meeting and the follow-up meeting on November 10. Nonetheless, the special education teacher stated that seven of the eight items were addressed at the November 9 IEP team meeting. The parents did not attend the November 9 IEP team meeting, and they left the November 10 meeting prior to the review of the IEP. Subsequently, the district wrote a letter to the parents, offering to convene an IEP team meeting with the assistance of an IEP facilitator appointed through the Wisconsin Special Education Mediation System. The parents did not accept the district’s offer. The district did not fail to properly respond to a parent request.
The parents contend the district did not provide them with written progress reports in all subject areas for three of four weeks in March 2006. The November 9, 2005, IEP does not require written progress reports sent to the parents on a weekly basis. Although not required by the IEP, the special education teacher often sends the parents written progress reports from each of the child’s teachers.
The parents also contend the district did not provide their child with appropriate special education support in the English classroom and other classes during the month of March. The November 9, 2005, IEP states "directions restated or given in a written format and/or oral format when given multi-step directions" must be provided to the child. Based on interviews with district staff, the child’s English teacher and other regular education teachers provided such support to the child on a daily basis. In addition, the regular education teachers encourage the child to go to the special education resource room for additional academic support. The regular education teachers also provide the special education teacher with the child’s homework assignment for follow-up support when the child refuses support in the regular classroom. The current IEP was implemented as required.
This concludes our review of this complaint, which we are closing.
//signed CST 5/30/06
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy