RS vs. School District of Philadelphia

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: R.S.

ODR #6008/05-06 AS

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx
Date of Hearing: December 20, 2005

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent

School District of Philadelphia 440 N. Broad Street, 3rd Floor Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130

Representative: Pro Se

Kenneth Cooper, Esquire
Office of General Counsel School District of Philadelphia 440 N. Broad Street 3rd Floor Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19130

Date Transcript Received and Record Closed: December 28, 20051

Date of Decision: January 11, 2006

Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D.

Background

Student is a [teenaged] eligible student enrolled in the School District of Philadelphia (hereinafter District) and since September 2003 attending [Redacted] High School (hereinafter High School), a school that is not her regional neighborhood high school but which provides a “magnet” program for students interested in certain subjects, in Student’s case, the law. Student has been classified as having an emotional disturbance and at High School she receives itinerant emotional support. Almost from the beginning of her time at High School she has had a great many behavioral problems2 and, following a reevaluation in June 2005, in September 2005 the District recommended a higher level of special education services, namely a part-time emotional support class in High School, her regional neighborhood high school, which also offers a ‘law academy’. Student’s mother, Parent, declined to approve the Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (NOREP), preferring that her daughter remain at High School and contending that Student did not receive appropriate emotional support services at High School. The District requested this hearing so that the dispute over what level of programming Student requires and the location of that programming can be resolved.

The hearing officer excluded Christmas Eve and Christmas Day from the 5-day period in which the transcript was due. Nevertheless, the decision is rendered on Day 39 of the 45- day period beginning on the 31st day after the hearing request was received at the Office for Dispute Resolution.

Issue

May the School District of Philadelphia change Student’s special education placement from itinerant emotional support to part-time emotional support, with the understanding that if the level of intervention were changed the location of the intervention would also change, from High School (a non-neighborhood-region school) to High School which is located in Student’s neighborhood-region?

R-S-School-District-of-Philadelphia-ODRNo-6008-05-06-AS

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