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Special Services Information
2007 State Complaint Reports
The following Complaint Investigation Report summaries are intended to be a reference guide only, and have no legal authority. If you are interested in learning more about any of the issues described in the summaries, please see the full reports provided.
Case Number: 07.009C
Case Title: Parent v. Manchester (Union #42)
Allegation Categories: IEP/IFSP Implementation, IEP/IFSP Process, Placement
Multiple violations were found relating to the district’s attempt to develop programming for a student with autism, including significant delays in a consultant’s submitting an ABA program summary, the failure to convene a PET meeting after the program summary was submitted, the implementation of an IEP which lacked specificity with respect to the ABA programming, the failure to design an appropriate behavior plan, placement in a classroom that was inappropriate due to the high level of distractions, the lack of Written Notice regarding programming changes. An ancillary allegation resulted in an additional violation for failure to respond to parents’ request to amend minutes of a PET meeting.
Case Number: 07.021C
Case Title: Parents v. SAD #6
Allegation Categories: IEP/IFSP Implementation; IEP/IFSP Process
Parents alleged that the district had not complied with a decision issued by a hearing officer in an earlier due process hearing with regard to an ESY program, that the district had improperly implemented a behavior plan during the program, and that parental concerns were not considered during a PET meeting to discuss placement. No violations were found based on the deadline provided for the district’s compliance with the decision not yet having been reached, the behavior plan being part of the IEP and necessary in order for the ESY program to be successful, and evidence that the parents’ input regarding placement had been discussed at the meeting.
Case Title: parent v. SAD #6
Allegation Categories: IEP/IFSP Content, IEP/IFSP Process, Placement
Although the district properly considered and implemented positive behavioral strategies, violations were found because it did not include reference to the use of a “quiet room” in the student’s IEP, despite the fact that the student made frequent use of the room, both voluntarily and involuntarily. Furthermore, the “quiet room” was out of compliance with the Department’s timeout room regulations (Ch. 33). A violation was also found due to the district’s decision to provide only a shortened school day to the student, without due consideration of alternative appropriate placements where the student could have been served.
Case Number: 07.075C
Case Title: parent v. Surry (Union #92)
Allegation Categories: Evaluation, IEP/IFSP Contents; IEP/IFSP Implementation, Placement
Numerous violations were found with regard to a severely challenged student with multiple disabilities, including: failure to implement various elements of the IEP; failure to consider the student’s need for assistive technology devices; failure to conduct necessary reevaluations; employment of unqualified staff; and failure to develop and implement a behavior plan. Ancillary allegations regarding comparability of educational facilities and placement in the least restrictive appropriate setting resulted in further findings of violation.
Case Number: 07.076C
Case Title: Parent v. Phippsburg (Union #47)
Allegation Categories: Child Find, Evaluation
A student, who exhibited a short attention span and some aggressive behaviors but who was making progress and whose pediatrician declined to diagnosis the student with ADD/ADHD, was transitioning from CDS to public school. The PET’s determination that the student was not eligible for special education services but that staff would monitor the student’s progress over the following months was found not to violate the district’s child find obligations. Violations were found, however, based on later failures to conduct evaluations in a timely manner, to properly apply eligibility criteria for both the SLD and OHI disability categories, and to properly respond to the parents’ request for an IEE.
Case Number: 07.078C
Case Title: Parents v. SAD #74
Allegation Categories: Discipline, Evaluation, IEP/IFSP Process
Parents complained about the tutoring provided to a student who had been expelled. Although the tutoring was found sufficient to enable the student to make progress in the general curriculum, the tutor had not been provided with a copy of the student’s IEP and therefore was neither aware of the IEP goals nor of the measures used to assess whether the student had made progress towards them. Further violations were found due to the failure to: ensure that the tutoring was provided by a certified special education teacher; make an individualized determination as to the level of service to be provided; conduct an evaluation of the student based upon a suspected emotional disability; and provide services that would enable the student to successfully return to school.
Case Number: 07.080C
Case Title: (Parent v. Surry (Union #92)
Allegation Categories: IEP/IFSP Content; IEP/IFSP Implementation; IEP/IFSP Process; Records
Violations were found based on the district’s failure to provide O & M services to a blind student for 3 months, and on the absence of goals for the O & M services in the student’s IEP. The parent’s complaint that she had received insufficient notice of a PET meeting did not result in a violation because the parent signed a waiver of the notice requirement. No violation was found regarding a complaint that the district had failed to convene a PET meeting at the parent’s request where the request came one month after the annual review had been held, and the district convened another meeting three months later. A violation was found, however, based on the district’s failure to respond to the parent’s request to amend the PET meeting minutes within 15 days of its receipt of the request.
Case Number: 07.083C
Case Title: Parent v. Lewiston
Allegation Categories: IEP/IFSP Content, IEP/IFSP Implementation, IEP/IFSP Process, Records, Written Notice
Upon a student’s discharge from Spring Harbor, the district developed an IEP that provided tutoring for two hours per day. Violations were found based on conclusions that the district failed to provide a rationale for the amount of tutoring to be provided, and failed to deliver even the amount specified in the IEP. Additional violations were found for a failure to maintain educational records of the student’s progress and of the services that were provided. Investigation into some of the parents’ complaints was precluded by the parents’ lack of cooperation with the investigation
Case Number: 07.085C
Case Title: Youth & Family Services v. SAD #54
Allegation Categories: IEP/IFSP Content, IEP/IFSP Process
An interested party alleged that the student, who was placed at a private day treatment program, required a FBA and behavior plan. No violation was found as the investigation revealed that several FBAs had been done of the student, and that, although all students at the program were governed by a program-wide behavior plan, the student’s FBAs had specifically informed and modified the general plan as applied to the student. Another allegation concerned the student’s academic program, and a violation was found based on the lack of progress shown in the student’s writing skills and the failure of the PET to adequately address that lack of progress.
Case Number: 07.092
Case Title: Parent & Adult Student v. Surry (Union #92)
Allegation Categories: IEP/IFSP Implementation, IEP/IFSP Process, Records
Where the district did not maintain a secondary school, a parent elected to have her child attend a private school under the tuition program. Although the district discussed with the parent that the private school did not have a special education program and discussed the services which the district would be able to provide to the student while at the private school, the district did not make clear to the parent that the student would not be able to receive a FAPE while at the school, and did not offer an alternative placement at which FAPE could be provided. Therefore, when the district was unable to provide O & M services that were specified in the student’s ISP, and failed to include speech/language services in the ISP without an explicit determination by the PET, violations were found. No violations were found with regard to an alleged inaccuracy in a Written Notice because the district corrected the error when it was pointed out by the parent, and no violation was found with regard to access to records because the district provided the student’s record in an accessible format.
Case Number: Parent v. SAD #28
Allegation Categories: Discipline, IEP/IFSP Content, IEP/IFSP, Implementation, IEP/IFSP Process, Placement, Records
Although the district developed a behavior plan for the student, the plan did not address the specific behaviors that needed to be targeted, and did not provide suitable positive reinforcement. In addition, school administrators developed and implemented their own behavior plan without consultation with the PET, which plan involved increasing the consequences of conduct violations beyond the norm for other students. Further violations were found based on a failure to conduct a manifestation determination review following the student’s suspension in excess of 10 days, and then conducting it improperly following a subsequent suspension, and a failure to provide educational services during the time the student served his suspension. Violations were also found due to a failure to amend the student’s IEP in response to determinations to make changes in the student’s program, and to unwarranted disclosure of records containing personally identifiable information.
Case Number: Case #07.108C
Case Title: DHHS v. SAD #47
Allegation Categories: IEP/IFSP Implementation
A guardian complained that the district was not properly maintaining the student’s FM system. The investigation showed that the district was performing proper maintenance, and that the system was working most of the time. No violation was found.
Case Number: 07.110C
Case Title: Parents v. Penobscot CDS
Allegation Categories: IEP/IFSP Process, Placement
Parents complained that the child had been placed in an unduly restrictive special purpose private program. No violation was found because the placement determination was based on the information available to the team at the time and on the opinions and expertise of the educator members of the team. An ancillary allegation led to a finding of violation due to failure to develop the initial IEP within 60 days from referral.
Case Number: 07.119C
Case Title: Parents v. Wells-Ogunquit CSD
Allegation Categories: IEP/IFSP Implementation, IEP/IFSP Process, Placement
A severely multiply-handicapped student’s medical condition deteriorated during the school year, causing the school to change the location of her art class from the 2nd floor regular education setting to the 1st floor resource room. As the need to change the student’s placement was necessitated by the absence of an evacuation plan for the student, which was not developed until 6 months later, a violation was found due to placement that was not in the least restrictive appropriate setting. Although the district initially failed to notify the parent of the change, this was considered to be minimal non-compliance and did not result in a violation. Likewise, no violation was found in regard to failure to work on a goal involving the student’s use of the stairs.
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