GC vs. Wayne Highlands School District

DECISION
Due Process Hearing for GC

ODR File No. 8406/07-08 LS

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

Dates of Hearing: February 25, April 2, April 3, May 7, 2008 – Closed Hearing

Parties to the Hearing:

Ms.
Mr.

Wayne Highlands School District 474 Grove Street
Honesdale, PA 18431-1099

Representative: None

Erin D. Gilsbach, Esq.
Rebecca A. Young, Esq.
King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC One West Broad Street, Suite 700 Bethlehem, PA 18018

Hearing Officer: Debra K. Wallet, Esq.

Record Closed: June 9, 2008

Date of Decision: June 24, 2008

BACKGROUND:

Student [hereinafter Student] is an [over twenty year] old (date of birth xx/xx/xx) who, by

stipulation, is a resident of the Wayne Highlands School District [hereinafter School District] where Student lives with Mother. Student is eligible for services as a result of emotional disturbance, autism, and psychosis.

After a series of in-state psychiatric hospitalizations of Student, the School District began the process of meeting Student’s educational needs in July 2007. In mid-November 2007, Student was hospitalized in [state redacted] while visiting Father. At least through the last hearing date of May 7, 2008, Student has continuously remained in [state redacted] either in the hospital or at a psychiatric treatment facility where Student was transferred as a result of an involuntary commitment in December 2007. There is no evidence on this record that Student will be ready to leave this [state redacted] facility in the near future.

At issue in this case is whether or not the School District has responsibility for providing a Free Appropriate Public Education [hereinafter FAPE] to Student while Student is out of state and whether or not FAPE has been provided for the short period of time when Student was physically resident within the School District. If not, what remedy should be provided?

ISSUES:

1. Is the School District responsible to provide Student with FAPE after November 12, 2007, when Student was hospitalized in [state redacted] due to a psychiatric emergency?

2. Does this Hearing Officer have jurisdiction to award compensatory education to Student for a denial of FAPE after December 26, 2007, when Student was involuntarily committed to a state hospital in [state redacted]?

3. Did the School District provide FAPE during the period between July 6, 2007 and November 12, 2007?

4. Is Student entitled to an award of alternative placement or compensatory education for any period after July 6, 2007?

GC-Wayne-Highlands-ODRNo-8406-07-08-LS

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