Local and federal officials are scrutinizing BASIS DC, a charter school known for its accelerated curriculum and rigorous expectations, in the wake of allegations that the school has failed to provide special-education students with legally required services.
The federal Department of Educationís Office of Civil Rights has opened an investigation into a complaint that BASIS DC discriminated against students with disabilities, according to federal officials.
Multiple parent complaints also prompted the D.C. Public Charter School Boardís staff to conduct a two-day review of the schoolís special-education program.
Board staff found that decisions to reduce studentsí services often had not been properly documented, according to a summary of findings posted on the boardís Web site. In many cases, legally required documents called individualized education programs (IEPs), which describe in detail a studentís goals and required services, were either missing from confidential student files or lacked required parent signatures.
In addition, board staff found that BASIS DC placed special-education students in a remedial classroom for failing students, where the special-education students were not provided the reading instruction they needed, according to the summary.
The board has required BASIS DC to fix the problems identified during the review and improve staff training in special-
education teaching methods and law. Board officials plan to meet with school officials four times during the coming school year to ensure that they are making progress.