FR vs. Philadelphia City School District

F.R., 5935/05-06 KE

Name/File Number

[redacted]

Date of Birth

03/07/06; 04/18/06

Dates of Hearing

Closed Type of Hearing

Parties to the Hearing:

Parent[s] Parent(s) Name(s)

Philadelphia City School District

Office of General Counsel 440 N. Broad Street 3rd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19130 School District Address

Name
Deborah DeLauro, Esq. Office of General Counsel 440 N. Broad Street 3rd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19130 School District Counsel & Address

Barbara Ransom, Esq.
PILCOP Public Interest Law Center 125 South 9th Street, Suite 700

Philadelphia, PA 19107 Parent Attorney & Address

4/21/06
Date Transcript

Received

06/14/06
Date of Decision

Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

Hearing Officer

I. BACKGROUND

[Student] is a [late teenaged] Philadelphia School District [District] student who began receiving specially designed instruction in a part-time learning support setting after [Student] was identified in 2002 as an IDEA eligible student due to mild mental retardation.

After [a traumatic incident at a] school [Student] attended as a 9th grade student, [Student] was placed on homebound instruction for several months in the second half of the 2003/2004 school year. [Student] returned to classes at the beginning of the 2004/2005 school year in a smaller high school as a 10th grade student. When [Student]’s family moved [within] the School District in January 2005, [Student’s] Parents did not want [Student] to attend [Student’s] new regional high school because they felt its large size would be detrimental to [Student’s] safety and well-being. The School District eventually offered, and Parents accepted, a placement for [Student] at a smaller [school]. [Student] adjusted well to that placement, but both [Student] Parents and the School District believed that [Student] could not return there for the 2005/2006 school year, when [Student] would presumably be an 11th grade student. [Student]’s Mother contacted the School District during the summer of 2005 to determine where [Student] would attend school during the 2005/2006 school year, but the matter was not resolved until early November 2005, when [Student] returned to the same school [Student] had attended previously for a 45 day interim placement pending a reevaluation and IEP meeting.

Prior to [Student]’s return to school in November 2005, [Student’s] Parents had requested a due process hearing. Due to ongoing settlement negotiations, complicated by difficulties arranging IEP meetings, the hearing was postponed numerous times. During discussions with counsel just before convening the first hearing session, an agreement was reached to limit the issues, initially, to the following questions: 1) Whether the School District appropriately changed [Student]’s disability category to emotional disturbance; 2) Whether [Student] should receive compensatory education for the approximately 2 months [Student] did not attend school at the beginning of the 2004/2005 school year. The parties and counsel further agreed to adjourn the hearing to have an IEP meeting. Subsequently, the parties resolved their disputes with respect to a School District funded independent educational evaluation and with respect to developing an appropriate program and placement for [Student] for the future, leaving for decision only the two issues considered at the initial hearing session.

ISSUES

  1. Did the District appropriately identify [Student] as a student with emotional disturbance?
  2. Should [Student] be awarded compensatory education because [Student] did not attend school from September 5, 2005 the date the 2005/2006 school year opened until November 7, 2005?

F-R-Philadelphia-City-ODRNo-5935-05-06-KE

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