DF vs. North Penn School District

DECISION

Due Process Hearing for D.F.

ODR File No. 6312/05-06 AS

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

Dates of Hearing: April 4 and 11, 2006 – Open Hearing

Parties to the Hearing: Parent(s)

North Penn School District 401 E. Hancock St. Lansdale, PA 19446-3961

Representative:

Mark Voigt, Esq.
Plymouth Mtg. Executive Campus 600 W. Germantown Pk., Ste. 400 Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462

Mark W. Fitzgerald, Esq. Sweet, Stevens, Tucker & Katz P.O. Box 5069
New Britain, PA 18901

Hearing Officer: Debra K. Wallet, Esq.

Record Closed: April 19, 2006 (filing of briefs)

Date of Decision: May 4, 2006

 

BACKGROUND:

Student [hereinafter Student] is [a pre-teenaged] (date of birth xx/xx/xx) fifth-grade student in the North Penn School District [hereinafter School District].

Since the first grade, Student has been identified as gifted and has had a Gifted Individualized Education Program [hereinafter GIEP]. This case is governed by the state regulations pertaining to gifted education. 22 Pa. Code Chapter 16 [hereinafter Chapter 16]. Parents argue that for some time the School District has failed to provide an appropriate program under Chapter 16 and they request immediate grade acceleration. They contend that Student has been bullied by another fifth grade classmate which has contributed to the inappropriateness of the educational opportunities provided. As a further remedy for the denial of an appropriate program, Parents request compensatory education for the fourth and fifth grade years.

The School District maintains that additional testing is required to make a determination about whether Student should be accelerated in grade. No reevaluation has occurred because Parents have refused to sign the permission forms. According to the School District, the Student’s needs have been addressed in a pull-out gifted setting as well as in the regular classroom. No compensatory education is due to Student, but if it is awarded by the Hearing Officer, the award should be limited to one year and limited to education available within the existing curriculum.

 

ISSUES:

  1. Have Parents filed their claim within the applicable statute of limitations?
  2. Did the School District provide Student with appropriately designed instruction based on the Student’s needs and ability during the fourth and fifth grade years?
  3. Did the conduct of a fellow student, interfere with the School District’s ability to provide an appropriate specially designed instruction based on the Student’s needs and ability?
  1. Is a reevaluation necessary to determine acceleration (grade-skipping)?
  2. Are Parents entitled to any equitable remedies for violations of Chapter 16? If so, what remedies?
D-F-North-Penn-ODRNo-6312-05-06-AS

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