NM vs. Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: N.M.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

ODR No. 17214-15-16-KE

OPEN HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School 1332 Enterprise Drive
West Chester, PA 19380

Representative:

Robert B. Gidding, Esquire 2 Bala Plaza, Suite 300 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

Jeffrey F. Champagne, Esquire McNees, Wallace & Nurick, LLC 100 Pine Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Dates of Hearing: March 17, 2016; April 18, 2016; May 3, 2016

Record Closed: June 13, 2016

Date of Decision: June 27, 2016

Hearing Officer: William F. Culleton, Esquire, CHO

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The child named in this matter (Student)1 was an eligible enrollee of the Charter School named in this matter (Charter), which provided services to Student as a cyber-charter school. Prior to enrolling in the Charter, Student had been enrolled in a public elementary school in another state. At the time of the hearing, Student was enrolled in a public high school (School) for the 2015-2016 school year. The Student is classified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1401 et seq. (IDEA) as a child with the disability of Serious Emotional Disturbance.

Student’s mother (Parent) requests due process, asserting that the Charter failed to evaluate Student and failed to provide Student with special education and related services that Student needed to address Student’s school avoidance behaviors and failing grades in sixth, seventh and part of Student’s eighth grade year.2 Parent filed this due process request, pursuant to the IDEA; section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794 (section 504); and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §12101, et seq. (ADA).3 Parent requests compensatory education.

The Charter asserts that its services were appropriate during the relevant period.

The hearing was completed in three sessions. I have determined the credibility of all witnesses and I have considered and weighed all of the evidence of record. I conclude that the Charter failed to provide a FAPE to Student during part of the period at issue, and I order the provision of compensatory educational services.

ISSUES

  1. During the relevant period of time, from January 7, 2014 to January 5, 2016, did the Charter provide Student with a FAPE?
  2. Should the hearing officer order the Charter to provide Student with compensatory education for or on account of all or any part of the relevant period?
N-M-Pennsylvania-Leadership-Charter-ODRNo-17214-15-16-KE

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