PD vs. Mastery Charter High School

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION

DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: P.D.

ODR #17487 / 14-15-AS

Date of Birth:

[redacted]

Date of Hearing: May 2, 2016

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Mastery Charter High School Thomas 927 Johnston Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148

Representative: Pro Se

Lucas Repka, Esquire O’Donnell Associates 108 East Center Street Nazareth, Pa 18064

Date Record Closed: May 7, 2016

Date of Decision: May 10, 2016

Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D., CHO Certified Hearing Official

Background

Student1 is an 11th grade student attending a charter school (School). Student is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA] and 22 Pa Code § 711.3(b)(26) under the primary classification of Intellectual Disability, and secondary classifications of Autism and Speech/Language Impairment. As such, Student is also an individual with a disability as defined under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794. The School requested this hearing because it believes that in order to receive a free appropriate public education [FAPE] Student requires a change in educational placement to an Approved Private School (APS). The Parents2 oppose this change in placement.

The hearing was scheduled in accord with the 45-day timeline for an LEA-requested hearing. The parties jointly requested and were granted an extension of the decision due date to allow time for them to meet to try to resolve the dispute. As the parties ultimately could not come to an agreement, the hearing was held and completed in one session.

Based upon the preponderance of the evidence before me I find for the School.

Issues3

  1. In order to receive FAPE does Student require a change of placement from the School to an Approved Private School that offers full time autistic support services?
  2. May the School proceed with the Approved Private School application process over the objection of the Parents?
P-D-Mastery-Charter-ODRNo-17487-14-15-AS

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