IDEA Complaint Decision 09-002

On January 16, 2009, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Elcho School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the 2008-2009 school year, properly implemented the student’s individualized education program (IEP) regarding a portable FM transmitter and receiver ear piece, worn unilaterally.

The student’s May 6, 2008, IEP states under supplementary aids and services, “FM system is available except for physical education and lunch” on a “daily” basis in the “general education classrooms and SLD resource classroom.” In mid-September 2008, the student’s FM transmitter and receiver ear piece were damaged. The teaching staff did not inform the parents, special education director, and audiologist until mid-November. The student was without a properly working FM transmitter and receiver ear piece until February 2, 2009.

On January 7, 2009, an IEP team was held to address the supplementary aids and services and the program modifications for school personnel with regard to the student’s FM system. As of February 2, 2009, the student’s FM transmitter and receiver ear piece have been repaired. On January 31 and February 3, 2009, an in-service on the proper use and maintenance of the FM transmitter and receiver ear piece was held. In addition, an inspection log was developed to ensure that teaching staff monitor the student’s FM system for proper usage and performance on a weekly basis. The parents will also be contacted if there is damage to the FM transmitter or receiver ear piece.

The district has acknowledged not properly addressing the function of the FM transmitter and receiver ear piece. The district has taken measures to ensure that teaching staff are able to use a FM transmitter and receiver ear piece and to weekly monitor for improper functioning. The teaching staff will also maintain contact with the parents when the FM transmitter and receiver ear piece are in need of repair. The district has agreed to schedule an IEP team meeting to consider whether additional services are needed. The district will notify the department by April 3, 2009, regarding the results of the student’s IEP team meeting.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST/SJP 3/5/09
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/svb

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