PA vs. School District of Philadelphia

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: P.A.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing:

December 11, 2014 January 14, 2015 February 10, 2015 February 11, 2015 February 20, 2015 February 26, 2015

CLOSED HEARING

ODR Cases (consolidated) 15461-1415AS 15661-1415AS

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

School District of Philadelphia 440 North Broad Street
Suite 313
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Representative:

Pro Se

Judith Baskin, Esquire 440 North Broad Street Suite 313
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Date Record Closed: February 26, 2015

Date of Decision: March 31, 2015

Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire

INTRODUCTION

Student1 is a kindergarten student residing in the School District of Philadelphia (District) who has been identified as a student with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA)2. The student has been identified under the terms of IDEA as a student with autism and intellectual disability.

The student’s grandmother acts as guardian of the student. At the outset of the current 2014-2015 school year, the student transitioned from early intervention services at a nearby intermediate unit (“IU”) to kindergarten in the District. The District implemented the individualized education plan (“IEP”) from the IU early intervention program. The guardian asserts that the District has denied the student a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) and requests compensatory education. The District counters that its hands have been tied because, having requested permission to evaluate the student, the guardian has withheld permission.

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor largely, although not uniformly, in favor of the guardian.

ISSUES

Did the District deny the student a FAPE
in its implementation of the IU early intervention IEP?

What, if anything, should be done
to address the evaluation impasse between the parties?

P-A-Philadelphia-ODRNo-15461-1415AS

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