Special Education Hearing Officer
Child’s Name: A. V.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
ODR No. 18090-16-17-AS
Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]
Capital Area IU/EI Program 55 Miller St.
Summerdale, PA 17093
Representative: Pro Se
Christopher J. Conrad, Esquire
Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, C. & G., P.C. 126 E. King St.
Lancaster, PA 17602
Date of Decision: September 22, 2016
Hearing Officer: William Culleton Esq., CHO
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The child named in the title page of this decision (Child) is an eligible child with a disability, receiving services from the Intermediate Unit Early Intervention Program named in the title page of this decision (IU). (NT1 9-11, 159-160.) Child is [redacted] identified as a child with Multiple Disabilities pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1400 et seq. (IDEA). (NT 9-11.). Child is age-eligible to transition to kindergarten. (NT 9.) Child resides with Child’s Mother in a local school district (District) within the boundaries of the IU region, and Father shares physical custody for some nights of the week. (NT 108-109.)
Child’s Parents are separated and share joint educational decision-making responsibility. Child’s Mother and Father disagree as to whether or not Child should transition to kindergarten. Child’s Father requested due process by filing a complaint against the IU, asserting that the IU should place Child in a Multiple Disabilities classroom for kindergarten. Child’s Mother, participating as a party in this matter (NT 11), disagrees, preferring to keep Child in the IU’s early intervention program for another year, as provided in state law and policy. 11 P.S. §875-103 (defining “Age of Beginners” as the minimum age defined by school districts for admission to first grade); 24 P.S. §13-1304(c)(age of beginner is above kindergarten age); 22 Pa. Code § 11.15 (school districts must establish minimum age for beginners to attend first grade); §14.101 (eligible young child defined as under “age of beginner”); Transition of Preschool Children to School Age Programs, Announcement EI-09#19 (Office of Child Development and Early Learning, Bureau of Early Intervention Services, October 20, 2009)(children eligible for transition to kindergarten may remain in early intervention services until they attain the age of beginners).
The IU takes the position that either its services or those of the kindergarten multiple disabilities classroom sought by Father are appropriate for Child. The IU further argues that the hearing officer has no authority to order the IU to place Child in a kindergarten classroom, because the IU has no authority to provide kindergarten services2. Father responds that the hearing officer has the authority to order placement in the multiple disabilities kindergarten class.3
1. Should the hearing officer order the IU to place Child in the multiple disabilities classroom selected by Father or take any action with regard to such placement?
2. Has the IU proposed and is it presently providing an appropriate placement for the Child?
3. Has the IU complied with the procedural requirements of the IDEA with regard to its obligations to Father?A-V-Capital-Area-IU-EI-Program-ODRNo-18090-16-17-AS