By: Jillian Durgen, Kim Kokias, Patty Solano-Fah, Lindsay Wilson. Ms. S. v . Vashon island sd. “G.” is the child of “Ms. S” and has a diagnosis of Down Syndrome and Mild Mental Retardation G. began receiving special education services in Seattle Public Schools
Ms. S. received a letter that the district wanted to place G. in a temporary 30-day self-contained special education placement until she was properly assessed.
Ms. S. did not sign the paperwork. On the same day, she wrote back to the director of Student Services, stating that the district was refusing to assess G. until she was placed in a self-contained classroom.
In September, October, and November, several unsuccessful attempts from the district were made to Ms. S. to assess and evaluate G. and to discuss an IEP.
Due to attendance, VISD filed for due process.
The ALJ ordered VISD to reassess G.
Ms. S. disagreed with the results and demanded an IEE. VISD filed for another due process hearing.Facts, continued.
Did VISD violate the procedural requirements of the IDEA by failing to have an IEP in place “at the beginning of the school year”?
Did VISD predetermine G’s placement before involving Ms. S. ?
Did VISD fail to implement the last agreed upon IEP under “stay put”?
Did VISD attempt to schedule the first meeting to “initiate or change” G’s placement without prior written notice, contrary to statutory and regulatory command?
Did VISD violate the substantive provisions of the IDEA by failing to place G, “to the maximum extent appropriate” in a general education classroom with normally developing peers?issues
Because VISD had an IEP in place at the beginning of the school year, FAPE was not violated.
VISD did not violate the parent’s procedural rights to participation in the IEP process.
VISD did not violate the “stay put” provision and were not obligated to provide identical placement provided by the old agency.
There were minor procedural violations in providing notice, but those technical errors did not deny FAPE.
VISD offerred G. an interim placement that provided for mainstreaming to the extent appropriate.Holding
If a child with a disability has been receiving special education in one district, and moves to another, the new district may implement the last IEP from the old district (WAC 34 C.F.R. Pt.300app. C, no. 6 (1995).
The school district repeatedly provided the parent with the opportunity to participate (Roland M. v. Concord Sch. Comm).
The new district must adopt a plan that approximates the student’s old IEP as closely as possible until dispute between parent and school district is resolved (Honig).
Not every procedural violation amounts to a denial of a FAPE (Amanda J., 267 F.3d at 892)
Under the 4-part test, LRE was offered to G. (Rowley, Clyde K. v. Puyallup, Sacramento City Unified SD BOE v. Rachel H.)Reasoning/Rationale
The court upheld LRE – student is entitled to education with nondisabled peers in a general education setting to the “maximum extent appropriate” as determined by the 4-part test (Sacramento City Unified SD BOE v. Rachel H.).
Not every procedural violation amounts to a denial of FAPE.
If a school district does not have an identical program to the one that is specified in a transfer student’s previous IEP, they do not need to create an identical program. They must offer a new placement that is sufficiently close to the previous placement.Significance