IDEA Complaint Decision 09-033

On April 28, 2009, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Seymour Community School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues, which related to the 2008-2009 school year, are identified and addressed below.

  • Whether the district properly documented the determination of the student’s eligibility for special education.
  • Whether the district properly included, in the student’s individualized education program (IEP), measurable annual goals.

The IEP team determines whether the student is a student with a disability and the educational needs of the student. An IEP is a written statement for each student with a disability that is developed, reviewed, and revised in a meeting and must include a statement of measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals, designed to meet the student’s needs. The IEP includes a statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids and services to be provided to the student, and program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided to enable the student to advance appropriately toward attaining the annual goals.

On April 3, 2009, the IEP team determined the student met the eligibility criteria for other health impairment and completed and documented this through completion of the Eligibility Checklist for Other Health Impairment recommended by the department. The IEP team determined and documented the student’s need for special education. The IEP included two measurable annual goals related to task completion and following directions. The district properly documented the determination of the student’s eligibility for special education and properly included, in the student’s IEP, measurable annual goals.

  • Whether the district properly considered information provided by the student’s parent in determining the student’s eligibility for special education and properly determined the special education services.

In developing each student’s IEP, the IEP team must consider the concerns of the parents for enhancing the education of their child as well as information about the student provided to, or by, the parents. The parent alleges the IEP team did not review existing data from an outside neuropsychological evaluation report. Under the summary of previous evaluations, the April 3, 2009, IEP referred to the outside evaluation and provided a summary of the information contained in the report. The IEP also noted the parent was concerned about the student shutting down, the student’s organizational skills, the student bringing home daily assignments, and making the student accountable. The district properly considered information provided by the parent in determining the student’s eligibility for special education.

  • Whether the district properly considered including, in the student’s IEP, positive behavioral interventions and supports and other strategies to address behavior impeding learning and properly determined the special education services.

The IEP team must, in the case of a student whose behavior impedes the child’s learning or that of others, consider the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and other strategies to address that behavior. The student’s IEP team noted the student’s behavior impeded his learning and developed an IEP to address his behavioral needs. The annual goals related to behavior were to increase task completion and following directions. Under supplementary aids and services, it listed shortened assignments and redirection when the student was overwhelmed or frustrated. The IEP team also developed special education services to address the student’s needs regarding organization, following directions, and homework completion.

On May 22, 2009, the district conducted another IEP team meeting, which the parent attended. The team determined the student needed additional services and supports, and revised the IEP accordingly. The IEP included a behavioral intervention plan, homework help for 20 minutes per day, guided resource time for pre-teaching and re-teaching math, reading and language arts for 80-120 minutes per school week, team teaching math for 45 minutes per day, and reading and language arts support for 90 minutes per school day, as well as numerous supplementary aids and services.

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

//signed CST 6/29/09
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy

Dec/tag

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