RH vs. School District of Philadelphia

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: R. H.

ODR #3108/11-12-AS

Date of Birth:

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

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

[redacted]

Dates of Hearing:
June 1, 2012, 9:08 am – 3:27 pm June 18, 2012, 4:00 pm – 9:30 pm June 22, 2012, 3:30 pm – 9:00 pm July 2, 2012, 9:00 am – 4:33 pm

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

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

Representative:
David Arnold, Esquire
920 Matsonford Road Suite 106 West Conshohocken, PA 19428

Brian Subers, Esquire
Fox Rothschild
10 Sentry Parkway Suite 200 Blue Bell, PA 19422

Date Record Closed: July 21, 2012

Date of Decision: August 3, 2012

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

Background

Student1 is an elementary-school-age resident of the School District of Philadelphia [District] who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA]2 under the classification of Autism and consequently a protected handicapped individual under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 [Section 504],3 as well as the federal and state regulations implementing those statutes. Student’s current placement, an approved private school [Private School] for children with Autism, is funded by the District.

The current matter4 addresses the Parents’ belief that Student has been denied a free appropriate public education [FAPE] at the District’s current Private School placement [Private School].

Issues

  1. Did the School District of Philadelphia, through the Private School placement, deny Student a free appropriate public education in the areas of speech/language therapy and occupational therapy; feeding; staff training; behavior management; and/or assistive technology? Did Student fail to make meaningful educational progress as a result of any failure of the Private School to implement the IEP?
  2. If there was a failure to implement the IEP at the Private School, and if Student failed to make meaningful educational progress, what remedy is appropriate?
  3. Is the Private School a dangerous environment for Student?
  4. Should Student’s educational placement be changed from the Private School?
R-H-School-District-of-Philadelphia-ODRNo-3108-11-12-AS

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