Iowa City fixing problems with special education program

State report said parents not informed, involved in all decisions

The Iowa City school district’s special education program is working to make changes following a May investigation by the Iowa Department of Education, which flagged more than 100 federal non-compliance issues in the program.

The state noted in a June report that parents of special education students weren’t always notified or involved in decisions about their child’s Individualized Education Program, which outlines a child’s needs and the services the district will provide.

The district was ordered to reconvene more than 100 IEP meetings to make sure they were done properly with parent participation.

Other corrective actions included providing more training for staff who write IEPs, requiring paraprofessionals to keep time logs and allowing students to participate in extracurricular activities no matter their program placement.

The only required fix that deals with seclusion rooms says students sent to seclusion at least three times in a year should have a new functional behavioral assessment and, possibly, a behavior intervention plan.

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