SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER
DUE PROCESS HEARING
Name of Child: JE
ODR #9228/08-09 LS
Date of Birth: Xx/xx/xx
Date of Hearing: October 24, 2008
Parties to the Hearing: Mrs.
School District of Philadelphia 440 North Broad Street, 3rd Floor Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130
Representative: Pro Se
Kenneth Cooper, Esquire
Office of General Counsel School District of Philadelphia 440 N. Broad Street, 3rd Floor Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130
Date Transcript Received: November 3, 2008
Date of Decision: November 8, 2008
Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D.
At the end of June 2008 Student, a then 8th grade teenaged student, aged out of Student’s full-time autistic support placement at the Elementary School (hereinafter The Elementary School) in the School District of Philadelphia (hereinafter District). Previously, in December 2007, the District had offered, and Mrs. (hereinafter Parent) had approved, a Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (NOREP) for an Approved Private School (hereinafter APS).
Although the Parent has visited several, she has not yet found any APS to be appropriate for her child, and wants Student returned to The Elementary School to help Student transition to an APS. The District maintains that The Elementary School is neither an available nor an appropriate setting, and that Student’s pendent placement is an APS as set forth in the approved NOREP. Originally the District had offered several public high schools as an interim placement in lieu of a stay-put placement until an appropriate APS that met the Parent’s approval could be located. However, the District has now withdrawn these offers based upon an unsuccessful visit to one of the locations, an autistic support classroom at The Middle School (The Middle School). The District now maintains that APS, (hereinafter APS) is appropriate for Student and that this should be ordered as the pendent placement for Student.
At the time of the hearing the Parent was keeping Student out of school and educating Student herself at home. Although there may therefore be justifiable concern that this matter has been delayed, it must be noted that the family was originally represented by counsel, and the parties with the aid of both attorneys were working towards a settlement such that they requested and received a continuance. Ultimately, however, the parties could not agree and this hearing was scheduled. A few days prior to the hearing, counsel for the family gave notice that Student no longer represented the family and that the Parent had stated her intention to proceed pro se.
The parties agreed on the record that the issue in this hearing is as follows: What is Student’s pendent placement?JE-School-District-of-Philadelphia-ODRNo-9228-08-09-LS