TS vs. School District Philadelphia

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION
ODR No. 2287-1112 KE

Child’s Name: T.S.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: 2/1/12, 2/10/12, 3/13/12

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent

School District
Philadelphia
440 N. Broad Street, Suite 313 Philadelphia, PA 19130

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Judith Gran, Esquire Reisman Carolla,Gran, LLP 19 Chestnut Street Haddonfield, NJ 08033-1810

School District Attorney
Anne Hendricks, Esquire
Levin Legal Group
1301 Masons Mill Business Park 1800 Byberry Road

Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006

Date Record Closed: March 30, 2012

Date of Decision: April 14, 2012

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student in this case entered the neighborhood high school during the current school year after participating in the District’s high school selection process as modified for IDEA eligible students by a federal court consent order. Parent is not satisfied with Student’s placement in terms of the level and types of services provided and the location where services are delivered. Specifically, Parent contends that Student does not have an appropriate peer group, spends too little time in challenging regular education classes and is receiving inadequate and inappropriate academic instruction. Parent also contends that the District violated the consent decree governing high school selection for IDEA-eligible District students by not assuring Student’s attendance at a high school in which Student’s academic, social and emotional needs can be appropriately met.

Parent’s complaint originally included a claim for compensatory education for denial of services in the past, but the parties resolved all issues of past services, leaving only prospective issues to be heard and decided based upon the evidence adduced during three hearing sessions held in February and March 2012.

Based upon the findings of fact and discussion below, the District will be ordered to re- visit Student’s high school placement in terms of the level and types of services provided in Student’s IEP, and the location where services are delivered to assure full compliance with the terms of the consent decree entered in the case of LeGare v. School District of Philadelphia, No. 94-CV-4243 (E.D. Pa. 1995, 1998), as well as general requirements of the IDEA statute and regulations relating to goals and services that reasonably meet all of Student’s identified needs and are reasonably calculated to yield meaningful educational progress in the least restrictive environment appropriate for Student.

ISSUES

Has the School District appropriately identified and provided/offered appropriate special education services reasonably calculated to meet all of Student’s needs, including, specifically, academic and social/emotional needs in order for Student to make appropriate progress in all areas of need?

Has the School District provided and offered Student an appropriate placement in the least restrictive environment and fully complied with the LeGare consent decree with respect to the selection of a high school where services are delivered to Student?

Should the School District be required to offer Student additional or different services, such as a reading program, additional counseling services and/or one to one support throughout the school day?

Should the School District be required to deliver Student’s special education and related services in a different setting, in terms of both the level of services and the location in which services are delivered?

T-S-Philadelphia-ODRNo-2287-1112-KE-

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