SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER
DUE PROCESS HEARING
Name of Child: GT
ODR #9512/08-09 AS
Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx
Date of Hearing: February 10, 2009
Parties to the Hearing: Mr. and Mrs.
North Penn School District 401 E. Hancock Street Lansdale, Pennsylvania 19446
Frederick Stanczak, Esquire
179 North Broad Street Doylestown, Pennsylvania 18901
Brian Ford, Esquire
Dischell, Bartle, Yanoff & Dooley PO Box 107 1800 Pennbrook Lansdale, Pennsylvania 19446
Date Record Closed: March 9, 2009
Date of Decision: March 23, 2009
Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D.
Student is an early teen aged eligible 7th grade student who is enrolled in the North Penn School District. Student has a severe seizure disorder and has daily seizures such that throughout the school day Student is provided with a one-to-one aide who is a nurse. The issue in this hearing involves afternoon transportation services. The District has offered Student school-to-home transportation on the small school bus (hereinafter small school bus) which Student rides to school in the morning. However, Student and Student’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. (hereinafter Parents) want Student to ride home on the District’s large school bus (hereinafter large school bus) instead of on the small school bus.
The hearing was convened for one session, with the intent to reconvene by teleconference at the convenience of Student’s treating physician who was to testify for the Parents. The Parents ultimately decided not to call the physician as a witness, so the record was closed when Closing Arguments were received.
Prior to the hearing the District objected to the admission of one of the Parents’ exhibits (P-4). Because Student’s physician, the author of the document, was scheduled to testify the hearing officer admitted the document. Upon learning, well after the conclusion
of the first hearing session, that this witness would not be available for examination and cross examination, the District renewed its objection to the document. This hearing officer must agree with the District, and therefore is removing the exhibit P-4 from the official record of this hearing. Had it remained as an admitted exhibit, this hearing officer would have been inclined to give it little weight as the physician was not available for examination or cross- examination as to Student’s specific knowledge of the conditions on the large school bus and as to what if anything had changed since his correspondence of May 9, 2008 wherein he prescribed home schooling due to the frequency of Student’s seizures.1
Must the District allow Student to ride home on the District school bus (large school bus) as opposed to the transportation (small school bus) currently offered by the District?GT-North-Penn-ODRNo-9512-08-09-AS