Special Education Hearing Officer
IN RE: A STUDENT IN THE
SCHOOL DISTRICT OF PHILADELPHIA
Date of Birth: [Redacted]
Date of Hearing: 04/24/09
ODR No. 9900/08-09 KE
Parties to the Hearing:
School District Philadelphia
Parent Attorney None
School District Attorney Kimberly Caputo, Esq.
Office of General Counsel
440 North Broad Street, 3rd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19130
Date Record Closed: April 29, 2009
Date of Decision: April 30, 2009
Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Student is currently a high school student at the [REDACTED] School pursuant to an agreement between Parent and the District. After a re-evaluation by the District in August 2008, Student was found to be IDEA eligible in the categories of emotional disturbance (ED) and other health impairment (OHI), based upon an ADHD diagnosis. In prior evaluations, Student had not been identified by the District as IDEA eligible, but had received services since 2002 under a §504 Service Agreement.
There has been a long-standing contentious relationship between Parent and the District, resulting in a number of due process complaints under both IDEA and §504, several of which are currently pending. In this case, jurisdiction of the hearing officer is based upon the IDEA statute and the federal and state implementing regulations, specifically those relating to extended school year (ESY) services. 34 C.F.R. §300.106; 22 Pa. Code §14.132. At the time this case was filed, Parent’s complaint centered on the District’s failure to determine Student’s ESY eligibility by February 28, 2009. Just prior to the April 24, 2009 hearing date, however, Student’s ESY eligibility was discussed at an IEP team meeting. Based upon information provided by Student’s case manager at School, the District concluded that Student does not need ESY to receive FAPE, in that Student did not meet the criteria for ESY found in the Pennsylvania regulations. The focus of the hearing and the decision, therefore, is whether the District’s decision is correct, and if not, the ESY services Student should receive.
At the close of the evidence, Parent requested the opportunity to submit a written closing argument and additional time to supply copies of the exhibits admitted into the April 24 hearing record. The District elected to close on the record and did not offer any exhibits.
Does Student need ESY services for the summer of 2009 in order to receive a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) from the School District of Philadelphia?
If ESY is necessary for Student to receive FAPE, what type of services and or/ what ESY program would be appropriate?