PC vs. North Penn School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: PC
Date of Birth: XX-XX-XXXX

Date of Hearing: 8/5/09

CLOSED HEARING

ODR No. 00004-0910LS

Parties to the Hearing: Parents
Mr. & Mrs.

School District

North Penn
401 E. Hancock St. Lansdale, PA 19446-3960

Representative: Parent Attorney:

Phillip Drumheiser, Esq. P.O. Box 890
Carlisle, PA 17013

School District Attorney

Brian Ford, Esquire
1800 Pennbrook Parkway, Suite 200 PO Box 107 Lansdale, PA 19446

Date Record Closed: August 10, 2009

Date of Decision: August 24, 2009

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

“Student” is transitioning from 3—5 year early intervention services to kindergarten in North Penn School District in the 2009/2010 school year. “Student” has been identified as IDEA eligible due to an autism spectrum disorder and speech/language impairment. [Redacted.]

The dispute in this case centers on the amount of time “student” should receive special education services, the location of those services and where “student” should participate in a regular kindergarten class. Parents contend that the District’s proposal to place “student” in a morning autistic support class daily, followed by a regular afternoon kindergarten class in a building other than “student’s” neighborhood school, violates the IDEA requirement that “student” be educated in the least restrictive environment.

The hearing was conducted in one session on August 5, 2009. Because “student” needs the special education services the District proposes and because the District convincingly justified its decision to provide those services at the intensity level and location it has chosen, the District will be permitted to implement its proposed autistic support program and to place “student” in a regular kindergarten class in the same building. The District will, however, be required to reassess location of the regular kindergarten class mid-way through the school year

ISSUES

  1. Is the North Penn School District’s proposal to provide “student” with both autistic support services and a regular education kindergarten class appropriate for “student”?
  2. Does the North Penn School District’s proposal for providing “student” with 15 hours/week of autistic support services in a special education class and 15 hours/week in a regular kindergarten class in a District elementary school other than the school “student” would attend if not disabled violate the requirement that educational services for IDEA-eligible students be provided in the least restrictive environment?
PC-vs-NorthPenn-ODRNo-00004-0910LS

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