Special Education Hearing Officer

ODR No. 14922-1314AS

Child’s Name: M.S.
Date of Birth: [redacted]

Date of Hearing: 5/16/14


Parties to the Hearing:

Parents Parent[s]

Local Educational Agency Mastery Charter School Shoemaker Campus
5301 Media Street Philadelphia, PA 19131


Parent Attorney None

LEA Attorney
Lucas J. Repka, Esq.
King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul One West Broad Street Suite 700 Bethlehem, PA 18018

Date Record Closed: May 22, 2014

Date of Decision: June 1, 2014

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.


The IDEA eligible Student who is the subject of this case is enrolled in the Charter School but not currently attending classes. The School filed the due process complaint because it cannot currently provide an appropriate special education placement for Student in any of its existing programs and locations. The School’s complaint asked for an order allowing it to apply for Student’s admission to an Approved Private School (APS). At the due process hearing, the School presented evidence that because of significant behavior issues, Student cannot make meaningful progress without a therapeutic environment and treatment services that are not available in any of the School’s programs or locations.

The due process hearing was convened 30 days after the School’s mid-April due process complaint, but Parent did not attend. When she received notice of the hearing, Parent notified the case manager that she did not want to participate without counsel, but did not respond to, or acknowledge, instructions for requesting a change of the hearing date in e-mail communications sent to her from both the hearing officer and the case manager.

The School called three witnesses to testify and offered many educational records and e- mail communications between the parties as exhibits, all of which were admitted into the hearing record. Based upon the evidence of Student’s extensive needs which the School cannot meet within its own program, the School is permitted to do whatever is needed to obtain an appropriate placement for Student in an approved private school, or in another type program with a therapeutic component, or to fashion a community-based or other type of non-traditional educational program and placement for Student.


Should [the] Charter School be permitted to take whatever steps may be required, including preparing and sending application packets that include educational records, to approved private schools and/or to other agencies/facilities, for the purpose of obtaining an appropriate educational placement for Student?


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