Information Update Bulletin 04.04

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July 2004

TO:District Administrators, CESA Administrators, CCDEB Administrators, Directors of Special Education and Pupil Services, and Other Interested Parties
FROM:Carolyn Stanford Taylor, Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy
SUBJECT:Handling of IEP Documents for Students Placed at the State Schools

Procedures for Preparing and Sharing Documents Related to the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team Process for Students Placed at the Wisconsin Educational Services Program for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired (State Schools)

The department has reviewed procedures for preparing and sharing required documents related to students placed at the two state schools. Historically, the school district where the student resides has been responsible for preparing and sharing these documents with parents and the state schools. In some cases, this practice has created duplication of efforts and delay. The use of various local forms and formats, including handwritten notations, requires state school staff to use additional time ensuring relevant content is fully understood and shared with staff. In some cases, clerical error at the district or state school level has required additional IEP team meetings to ensure a common understanding of IEP content. Sometimes the state schools have not received IEPs from resident districts in a timely manner. This is especially problematic when additional time for Braille translation is needed to permit teachers who are blind to deliver IEP services.

In an effort to enhance services to students placed at the state schools and to improve administrative efficiency at both the local and state school levels, the department has revised the procedures for preparing and sharing documents related to the IEP team process effective July 1, 2004. As discussed in the Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy Information Update Bulletin 02.06, when placement of a student at a state school is being considered, at least one representative of the state school must participate as part of the student's IEP team in the development of the student's IEP and determination of placement. When considering an initial placement for a student at a state school, the resident district will contact the state school to obtain the name and title of the state school representative to include on the district's notice of IEP team meeting. A representative of the state school will participate in the meeting and will take detailed notes on the team's decisions related to development of the IEP. After the IEP is developed, if the IEP team determines placement should be at the state school, the state school representative will become responsible for preparing and sharing future IEP and placement notices with parents and the resident district. Whenever possible, the state school representative will document the team's decisions on the model IEP form and review the contents at the meeting to ensure accuracy and a shared understanding of the contents.

After a student is initially placed at a state school, a state school representative will be responsible for scheduling and preparing documents related to subsequent IEP team meetings. The state school representative will contact the parents and the resident district to schedule the meeting at a mutually agreeable time and place, and to obtain the names and titles of resident district participants. If placement continues at a state school, the state school will maintain the responsibility for preparing and sharing documents related to the IEP team process. If the student leaves the state school, the resident district will resume this responsibility.