JV vs. School District Philadelphia

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

ODR No. 2663-1112 AS
Child’s Name: J.V.
Date of Birth: [Redacted]
Dates of Hearing: 1/24/12, 3/30/12,

4/5/12, 4/12/12

OPEN HEARING

Parties to the Hearing:

Parents Parent

School District Philadelphia
400 N. Broad Street Suite 313
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Sonja Kerr, Esq.
Public Interest Law Center
of Philadelphia
1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Second Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103

School District Attorney
Anne Hendricks, Esquire
Levin Legal Group
1301 Masons Mill Business Park 1800 Byberry Road

Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006

Date Record Closed: May 1, 2012

Date of Decision: May 16, 2012

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

This matter began in the spring of 2011 with a due process complaint that asserted an ESY claim for the summer of 2011, along with placement and program concerns, including Student’s proposed re- assignment to a different elementary school for the 2011/2012 school year. Accordingly, after the ESY hearing, the remaining issues were given a new case number and a hearing was convened in June 2011.

By that time, the District had abandoned its plan to transfer Student to a different building, removing Parent’s immediate concern for the 2011/2012 school year. The parties also announced that they had reached an agreement to resolve a transportation reimbursement claim and Parent’s compensatory education claims through the end of the 2010/2011 school year. The case remained open, however, because Parent, did not consider the matters asserted in the original complaint to be entirely resolved. Ultimately, by agreement of the parties, Parent submitted an amended complaint that raised program/placement concerns that Parent alleged arose or continued during the 2011/2012 school year, the new complaint was given the above case number, and the 2010/2011 case was closed with remaining issues preserved in the new case. After a ruling on the District’s motion to dismiss the new complaint and listing the matters to be included in the hearing, the first session on the new complaint was convened in January 2012, and the prior hearing records were incorporated into the current record.

After two additional sessions to take evidence and one brief session to discuss scheduling the final witness, the record closed with the parties’ submission of final arguments on May 1. For the reasons that follow, the District is directed to assure that it complies with the IDEA least restrictive environment (LRE) requirements for placement, assure that Student’s speech/language services are consistently delivered on a weekly basis, and to assure that missed services are replaced. Student will also be awarded compensatory education.

ISSUES

  1. Has the School District provided Student with an appropriate program of special education services during the 2011/2012 school year, including an appropriate level of inclusion in regular education classes with non-disabled peers?
  2. Has the School District appropriately implemented Student’s IEP and appropriately met Student’s needs during the 2011/2012 school year by
    a. providing an appropriate level of support in all school settings including a 1:1 aide; b. providing the agreed amount of speech/language services and an appropriate level of services?
  3. Did a lack of training for District staff result in a denial of FAPE to Student?
  4. Is Student entitled to an award of compensatory education, and if so for what period, in what amount and in what form?1
J-V-Philadelphia-ODRNo-2663-1112AS

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