TF vs. New Foundations Charter School

DECISION
Due Process Hearing for T.F.

ODR File No. 5747/05-06 AS

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

Dates of Hearing: October 6, November 28, December 9, 2005 – Closed Hearing

Parties to the Hearing: Parent(s)

New Foundations Charter School 8001 Torresdale Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19136

Representative:

Frederick Stanczak, Esq. 179 North Broad Street Doylestown, PA 18901

Nicole D. Snyder, Esq.
Charles W. Sweeney, III, Esquire Latsha Davis Yohe & McKenna, P.C. 350 Eagleview Boulevard, Suite 100 Exton, PA 19341

Hearing Officer: Debra K. Wallet, Esq.

Date of Decision: January 21, 2006

BACKGROUND:

Student [hereinafter Student] is [a/an xx-year-old (date of birth redacted) student] who is in the fourth grade at New Foundations Charter School [hereinafter School] where she has attended since kindergarten.

Student experienced speech and vision problems at a very young age after the insertion of a shunt to treat hydrocephalus. There is a question as to whether or not Student is mildly mentally retarded or has specific learning disabilities with severe perceptual processing problems (auditory/visual). (Compare Exhibit 9, pp. 3-4, with Exhibit 35, p. 7).

In the fourth grade, Student is in the regular education classroom but is pulled out for academic support and for physical, occupational, and speech therapies. This pull-out constitutes less than 21% of the school day. (Exhibit 42, p. 7).

Parents argue that Student’s lack of progress is due to the failure of the School to evaluate Student properly and to provide an appropriate educational program. They request compensatory education at the rate of five hours per day for the years since 2nd grade and ask that the Hearing Officer order the School to place Student at public expense at the [Redacted] School [hereinafter Private School] in [another state].

The School maintains that any relief before two years prior to the filing of the due process request is time barred. It contends that the IEPs for the repeated second grade and the third grade years were appropriate and constituted a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The School further maintains that the current IEP is appropriate, no evaluation is needed, and that the Private School does not constitute the least restrictive environment for Student.

ISSUES:

  1. Are the requests for relief back to the 2000-2001 school year time barred?
  2. Did the School provide Student with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) during the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 school years?
  1. Is Student in need of an appropriate evaluation?
  2. Is the present Individualized Education Program (IEP) for the fourth grade appropriate?
  3. If the IEP is not appropriate, is Student entitled to tuition, transportation, and other expenses at the Private School?
T-F-New-Foundations-Charter-ODRNo-5747-05-06-AS

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