CH vs. School District of Philadelphia

This is a redacted version of the original decision. Select details have been removed
from the decision to preserve anonymity of the student. The redactions do not affect the
substance of the document.

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION

DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: C.H.

ODR #14530/13-14 KE

Date of Birth:
[redacted]

Dates of Hearing:
May 19, 2014
May 20, 2014
June 11, 2014
June 13, 2014
June 24, 2014

OPEN HEARING

Parties to the Hearing:

Parent[s]

School District of Philadelphia 440 N. Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19130

Representative:
Sonja Kerr, Esquire
Jason Fortenberry, Esquire Public Interest Law Center
of Philadelphia
1790 Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia, PA 19103

Brian Subers, Esquire
Fox Rothschild
10 Sentry Parkway Suite 200 Blue Bell, PA 19422

Date Record Closed: July 23, 2014

Date of Decision: August 3, 2014

Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D., CHO
Certified Hearing Official

Background

Student1 is a teen-aged student who resides with Student’s mother [hereinafter Parent] in the School District of Philadelphia [hereinafter District] and is eligible for special education under the current classifications of autism and speech/language impairment. During the 2013-2014 school year Student attended a District high school and completed the 9th grade. Student’s Parent requested this hearing, alleging that during the 2013-2014 school year the District denied her meaningful participation in the decision-making process regarding Student’s education, and denied Student a free appropriate public education.

Issues

  1. Did the District significantly impede the Parent’s opportunity to participate in the decision-making process regarding the provision of a free appropriate public education [FAPE] to Student in any or all of the following ways:
    1. Promising the Parent that an iPad would be provided but failing to notify Parent that compliance was delayed/not forthcoming; and/or
    2. Promising the Parent that a 1:1 aide would be provided so Student could attend regular education art and gym but failing to notify Parent that compliance was delayed/not forthcoming; and/or
    3. Implementing a “distributed practice” model for speech therapy without notifying the Parent; and/or
    4. Not having meaningful discussion with Parent about an ESY program; and/or
    5. Assigning Student to tasks unrelated to Student’s interest in art which the Parent brought to the District’s attention.
      2. Has the District failed to provide Student with FAPE during the 2013-2014 school year in any or all of the following ways:

      1. Failure to comply with the requirement in Student’s Individualized Education Plan [IEP] that Student be provided an iPad as assistive technology; and/or
      2. Denial of Student’s ability to participate in the Least Restrictive Environment through failure to comply with the requirement in the IEP as amended by a Notice of Recommended Educational Placement [NOREP] that Student be provided a 1:1 aide so that Student could participate in regular education art and physical education classes; and/or
  1. Has the District discriminated against Student because of Student’s disability in violation of Section 504 during the 2013-2014 school year by:
    1. Excluding Student from regular education art and physical education to which nondisabled peers had access; and/or
    2. Failing to protect Student from bullying when nondisabled students were protected?
  2. Should be District be ordered to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of Student?
C-H-Philadelphia-ODRNo-14530-13-14-KE

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