JA vs. School District of Philadelphia

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: J.A.

ODR #6341/05-06 LS

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Date of Hearing: April 18, 2006

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

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

Representative:
Pro Se – Did not appear

Kimberly Caputo, Esquire
Office of General Counsel
440 N. Broad Street, 3rd Floor Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130

Date Transcript Received: April 20, 2006

Date of Decision: April 23, 2006

Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D.

Background

[Student] is a [teenaged] 8th grade student in regular education attending [redacted] Elementary School in the School District of Philadelphia (hereinafter District). Pursuant to academic and behavioral issues the District sought to evaluate [Student] to determine whether [Student] is eligible for special education services. [The Parent] (hereinafter Parent) has been non-responsive to the District’s communications regarding permission to evaluate. The District, pursuant to its childfind obligations, requested this hearing to seek a hearing officer’s order to conduct an evaluation of [Student] without parental consent.

The Parent did not appear for the hearing at the scheduled 9:00 a.m. start time. The hearing officer telephoned her home at 9:12 and received a recorded message, “This number has been suspended; calls cannot be completed at this time”. The hearing officer telephoned the Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR) at 9:18 a.m. and left a voicemail message for the case manager, asking that she call the hearing officer on her cell phone in the event that the Parent had called to report a problem with her attending the hearing. There was no contact from ODR.

Given the Parent’s absence the hearing officer declared the hearing a Closed Hearing and began the proceedings. The hearing concluded at 10:10 a.m. The Parent did not appear.

Issue

Should the School District be permitted to conduct a multidisciplinary evaluation of [Student] without the permission of the Parent?

J-A-School-District-of-Philadelphia-ODRNo-6341-05-06-LS

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