SB vs. School District of Philadelphia

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION

DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: S. B.

ODR #6444/05-06 AS

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

Date of Hearing: May 22, 2006

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent

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

Representative: Pro Se

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

Date Transcript Received: May 28, 2006

Date of Decision: June 4, 2006

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

Background

Student is an eligible student enrolled in the School District of Philadelphia (hereinafter District). His mother asked for this hearing because she believes that Student’s IEP is not being implemented and that he therefore is not being offered a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The District’s position is that Student is being offered FAPE, but that he is not taking advantage of what the District has offered.

Student was the subject of a previous due process hearing (#5999/05-06 KE) that resulted in this hearing officer’s December 2005 ruling that she lacked jurisdiction over the issue, a parental request for a change in schools. However, some information from that hearing is offered as background to aid in understanding the student. 1

Behavioral problems were present from preschool and, subsequent to inpatient hospitalization in February 1999 for physical aggression and other dangerous behavior at home, Student attended a partial hospitalization day treatment program. At that time a psychiatric evaluation noted frequent school absences, difficulty getting along with teachers, peers and adults, and an inability to focus on schoolwork.

In June 2003 (end of 6th grade) an evaluation found him to be functioning in the average to low average range (VIQ 97, PIQ 83, FSIQ 90), his teacher reported he was instructional at a 6th grade level in reading and at the middle of 5th grade in math, and his WIAT standard scores were Basic Reading 91, Reading Comprehension 95, Mathematics Reasoning 73, and Spelling 96. He was not disruptive in the classroom.

He continued to be found to have a disability (emotional disturbance with other health impaired as a secondary category) but not to be in need of specially designed instruction, and with his mother’s approval was exited from special education. In May 2003 Student received an occupational therapy evaluation, and although some difficulties were noted, particularly in handwriting, occupational therapy was not found to be necessary.

In December 2003 Student received another evaluation. On the Stanford Binet he achieved a Standard Age Score (SAS) of 88 in verbal reasoning, an SAS of 82 in visual abstract reasoning, an SAS of 74 in quantitative reasoning, and an SAS of 78 in short term memory. Achievement testing with the WIAT yielded standard scores as follows: Basic Reading 77, Reading Comprehension 94, Mathematics Reasoning 85, Numerical Operations 83, Spelling 96 and Listening Comprehension 95.2 He was again found to be eligible for special education under the classifications of emotional disturbance and other health impairment (ADHD).

Issue

Has the School District failed to offer Student a free appropriate public education (FAPE) by failing to follow the Behavior Support Plan, failing to implement the specially designed instruction in the IEP, failing to supply the Parent with reports of her son’s progress and failing to accommodate his difficulties with handwriting.

S-B-School-District-of-Philadelphia-ODRNo-6444-05-06-AS

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