Special Education Hearing Officer
Child’s Name: R.C.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: September 21, 2015 October 1, 2015 October 6, 2015
ODR Case # 16677-1516KE
Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]
Pittsburgh Public Schools 341 South Bellefield Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Representative: Pro Se
Rebecca Heaton Hall, Esquire Weiss Burkardt Kramer
445 Fort Pitt Boulevard / Suite 503 Pittsburgh, PA 15219
Date Record Closed: October 6, 2015
Date of Decision: October 20, 2015
Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
[The student] (“student”)1 is an [early elementary school-aged] student 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 with multiple disabilities, including intellectual disability, disruptive behavior disorder, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The student also has significant needs in speech and language.
The student has attended a supplemental life skills support program in a District elementary school. In June 2015, the student’s individualized education plan (“IEP”) team met, and the District recommended a change in the student’s placement to the District’s full- time life skills support program at another District school.
Both parties agree that the supplemental life skills support program is inappropriate for the student as the student requires more behavioral and instructional support. The student’s guardian objected, however, to the District’s proposed placement.
The guardian’s primary disagreement with the placement included concerns over the age-range of students in the program and transportation time. The guardian requested instead that the student be placed in a private setting near to the guardian’s home.
For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the District, although the order contains certain directives to the student’s IEP team.
Is a placement in the District’s full-time life skills program reasonably calculated to provide
a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”)?