Student vs. SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA

IN THE PENNSYLVANIA OFFICE FOR DISPUTE RESOLUTION

ODR No. 01491-1011 KE

DUE PROCESS HEARING DECISION CLOSED HEARING

NAME OF CHILD: [redacted]

DOB: [redacted]
HEARING OFFICER: Brian Jason Ford, Esquire
HEARING DATES First Session: October 21, 2010 Second Session: November 3, 2010

RECORD CLOSED December 6, 2010
DATE OF DECISION December 21, 2010

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA 440 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130

Representatives:

DAVID BERNEY, ESQUIRE 8 Penn Center 1628 JFK Blvd., Suite 1000 Philadelphia, PA 19103

JUDITH BASKIN, ESQUIRE

Assistant General Counsel School District of Philadelphia 440 N. Broad Street Philadelphia, PA 19130

Introduction and Procedural History

On August 25, 2010, (Student) and [Student’s] mother (Parent) requested a due process hearing against the School District of Philadelphia (District) by submitting a Due Process Notice and Complaint (Complaint) to the District and the Pennsylvania Office for Dispute Resolution (ODR).1 The Complaint raises claims under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq., as amended 2004, (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq (Section 504). It is not disputed that the District is the Student’s local educational agency (LEA) for purposes of the IDEA and Section 504.

In the Complaint, the Parent alleges several violations against the District. In sum, the Parent claims that the District was too slow to offer special education and related services to the Student; that the process by which such services were offered is substantively flaw; that the end result of that process a individualized education plan (IEP) that failed to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to the Student; and that the District failed to properly implement the IEP, despite its flaws. To remedy these alleged denials, the Parent demands compensatory education for the period of time that the Student was denied a FAPE; an appropriate IEP; and declaratory relief that the Student’s rights have been violated.2

The District did not file a response to the Complaint. Nevertheless, the District claims that it acted appropriately and in conformity with applicable laws at all times and that the Student received FAPE. At the same time, the District concedes that, at a certain point, the Student’s IEP called for transportation, and that transportation was not always provided, but that this was an accommodation for the Parent, not the Student. N.T. at 46, 49.

Issues

  1. Did the District commit a “child find” violation by failing to timely identify the Student as a student in need of special education?
  2. Did the District violate the Student’s and/or the Parent’s rights in the development of the Student’s IEPs?
  3. Were the IEPs offered by the District appropriate?
  4. Were the IEPs offered by the District properly implemented?
Student-SCHOOL-DISTRICT-OF-PHILADELPHIA-ODRNo-01491-1011-KE

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