IDEA Complaint Decision 08-039

On April 8, 2008, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Racine Unified School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2007-2008 school year, properly notified a parent of the April 2008 individualized education program (IEP) team meeting, including scheduling the meeting at a mutually agreed on time and place, and properly notified the parent of the purpose of the April 2008 IEP team meeting.

On April 3, 2008, the parent was sent an invitation for her child’s IEP team meeting to be held on April 8. The invitation notice states “If these arrangements are not agreeable to you, please call [special education teacher] at [phone number].” The parent also received information about the meeting by phone prior to the IEP team meeting. On April 4, when the parent received the written meeting notice, she called a district special education supervisor and expressed her concern about the short notice for the IEP team meeting and the lack of consideration for the parent’s availability. On Monday, April 7, the child’s special education teacher called the parent and rescheduled the IEP team meeting at a mutually agreed upon time, date, and place. On April 8, the parent was sent an invitation for her child’s IEP team meeting to be held on April 18. On April 18, an IEP team meeting was held, and the parent who filed this complaint attended. The district met its obligation to properly notify the parent of the April 2008 IEP team meeting, including scheduling the meeting at a mutually agreed on time and place.

The April 3 invitation to the IEP team meeting identifies the purposes of the IEP team meeting by checking the two boxes “Develop an annual IEP” and “Transition." On April 4, the special education teacher sent the parent a letter to remind the parent of the meeting and encourage the parent to attend. The letter was developed by the teacher and is not a district form letter. The letter includes the sentence; “At this meeting we will be presenting and discussing information pertinent to the issue of whether your child has a special education need.” This sentence unintentionally cited another purpose for the IEP team meeting. Although the letter was intended to remind the parent of the meeting and encourage attendance, which is a positive practice, the sentence inadvertently added an additional purpose that was not the purpose of the IEP team meeting, and this created confusion.

The April 8 invitation to the IEP team meeting identifies the purposes of the IEP team meeting by checking the two boxes “Develop an annual IEP” and “Transition." The April 8 invitation corrected the error of adding an additional purpose to the IEP team meeting and no further corrective action is required.

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

//signed CST 6/5/08
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/jfd

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