SM vs. Haverford Township School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: S.M.

ODR #8020/07-08 LS

Date of Birth: Xx/xx/xx

Date of Hearing: October 5, 2007

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Mr. and Mrs.

Haverford Township School District 1801 Darby Road
Havertown, Pennsylvania 19083

Representative: Pro Se

Natalie Habert, Esquire BeattyLincke
2 West Market Street, 6th Floor West Chester, Pennsylvania 19383

Date Transcript Received: October 10, 2007

Date of Decision: October 12, 2007

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

Background

Student is a xx year old student who resides in the Haverford Township School District (hereinafter District) and is currently parentally-placed at a parochial school. Mr. and Mrs. (hereinafter Parents) have asked the District to provide Student with occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) services. The District has requested permission to complete an occupational therapy evaluation and a physical therapy evaluation in order to assess eligibility for the services and, if Student is eligible, to establish baselines and plan the treatments. The Parents have refused the District permission to evaluate their son.

The District requested this hearing to obtain an order that Student be evaluated against the wishes of his Parents, and an order relieving the District from any responsibility to provide occupational and/or physical therapy to Student if the Parents do not make him available for the scheduled evaluations, if they are in fact ordered, until such time as the Parents do make him available for these evaluations.

On the date of the hearing Mrs. (whose name appeared on the hearing notice) had not arrived by the appointed time, and had not contacted the District or the hearing officer to request a time or date change. The hearing officer called the Office for Dispute Resolution and also ascertained that no call had been received at that office and that Notices had been sent from that office to the Parents. The District’s Pupil Services Office and the Coordinator for Secondary Special Programming had left messages on the Parents’ answering machine a few days prior to the hearing and the District’s attorney had sent the required 5-day notice and information. The hearing officer called the home, and Mr. answered. He confirmed that the District’s Attorney’s letter had been received, and he agreed to try to contact Mrs. When he was unable to reach his wife on her On- Star system, Mr. offered to attend the hearing, and arrived within 15 minutes, whereupon the session began.1

Issue

May the Haverford Township School District conduct occupational therapy and physical therapy evaluations of Student over the objections of his Parents?

S-M-Haverford-Township-ODRNo-8020-07-08-LS

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