IDEA Complaint Decision 06-017

On April 3, 2006, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Franklin Public Schools. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2005-2006 school year, properly responded to a parent’s request for a special education reevaluation to determine whether her child continues to be a child with a disability.

On January 3, 2006, the district contacted the mother to set up an IEP team meeting for the student. Two contacts were by telephone and a letter was also sent home with the student. The student’s IEP ending date was January 10, 2006 and the district informed the mother that they needed to hold the IEP team meeting to be in compliance with the law.

Later on January 3, 2006, an IEP team meeting was scheduled for January 9, 2006 and an invitation to this meeting was sent home with the student. On January 4, 2006, the mother contacted the district to express concerns that she had been invited to an annual meeting again stating she believed that her daughter was no longer in special education.

By a letter to the district dated January 3, 2006, the mother maintains that the IEP team of January 2005 decided that the student would test out and be placed in a regular math classroom. The mother alleges that testing was done and the student was placed in a regular math classroom. The district agrees that the student was placed in a regular math classroom. The January 2005 IEP lists special education services as monitoring for comprehension of material taught in the regular education classes in the special education setting and support in English class in the regular education setting. The mother attended the January 2005 IEP team meeting. The district sent a Determination and Notice of Placement stating that the IEP developed on January 11, 2005 would be implemented in the district on January 25, 2005.

An IEP team meeting was held on January 9, 2006. The mother did not attend the meeting. The January 2006 IEP lists special education services as monitoring for comprehension of material taught in the regular education classes and are provided in the special education setting.

Current state law requires a reevaluation every three years and when requested by a parent or a teacher. It also requires that a reevaluation be conducted for a child with a disability before determining that the child is no longer a child with a disability. On January 31, 2006, the district sent a letter to the mother clarifying the status of the student regarding her placement in special education. The letter stated that the student’s IEP requires the district to provide special education services and that dismissal from special education can only occur if an IEP team conducts a reevaluation and determines that the student no longer has an impairment or no longer requires special education to access or progress in the general curriculum. The letter further stated that although reevaluations typically occur every three years, the parent has the right to request a reevaluation at any time.

On May 26, the district sent another letter to the mother suggesting that the district initiate reevaluation to consider a dismissal from special education. The mother did not respond. There is no indication that the mother requested a reevaluation to determine whether her child continues to be a child with a disability.

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

//signed CST 6/1/06
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