YM vs. School District of Philadelphia

DECISION

Due Process Hearing for YM

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

File Number: 7177/06-07AS

Dates of Hearings: 2-5-2007, 2-20-2007, 3-8-2007, 3-13-2007, 4-27-2007. 5-3-2007, 5-17-2007

OPEN HEARING

Parties:

School District of Philadelphia 440 North Broad Street, 3rd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19130

Representatives:
Barbara Ransom, Esq.
125 South 9th Street, Suite 700 Philadelphia, PA. 19107

Mimi Rose, Esq.
440 North Broad Street, 3rd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19130

Date Transcript/Exhibits Received: 5-21-2007

Date of Decision: 5-30-2007
Hearing Officer:

____________________

Ronald Fischman, Ed.D.

I BACKGROUND

Student is a xx year old male, tenth grade student with Down Syndrome. He has attended the [redacted] High School (HS) since the beginning of the 2005-2006 school year. This school accepts students only after they satisfy rigorous academic and performing criteria. Upon initial application to HS, the student was not accepted. With the intervention of the District’s Regional Office for Special Education Services, the student was accepted to the HS under the Legare Consent Decree of 1998 which provides the opportunity for students with need for specially designed instruction, with reasonable accommodations, to enter any high school program in the Philadelphia School District that is available to any student in the general population.

As described in Article 9 of the Legare Consent Decree, each applicant to a District High School may be reviewed on a “case by case basis.” This review is subject to Due Process Proceedings described in 22 PA. Code, Chapter 14 and 15.

At the HS, the student receives a resource room level program of Special Education and was, until very recently, accompanied by a one to one therapeutic support staff member (TSS) for all of his academic subjects. The student came to HS from the [redacted] Elementary School with an Individual Educational Program (IEP). When the elementary school IEP was revised to reflect the student’s program at HS, individual piano instruction was included in that IEP at the direction of the District’s Regional Office for Special Education Services. The student did receive individual piano instruction as an elective subject during his first year at HS. Individual piano instruction was not included in the student’s IEP for his second year at HS.

Mr., the student’s father, did not sign a Notice of Recommended Placement (NOREP) for the 2006-2007 school year because the father requested that instrumental music be incorporated into his son’s schedule with the supports necessary for this student’s special needs and that an appropriate transition plan be developed.

The School District of Philadelphia (the District) asserts that it is offering a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) and that piano instruction is not part of the IEP in that it is not an academic subject. A transition program and the piano program requested by the parent are not part of the academic program that is reflected in the IEP nor is individual piano instruction part of the school’s curricular offerings to any of its students. The District recognizes that the student wants to prepare for a career in music and is willing to transport him during the school day to and from a nearby District program which does offer individual piano instruction

III ISSUES

  1. Is the music instruction offered at the HS included in the student’s Individual Educational Program as part of his free, appropriate program of education?
  2. Are the accommodations provided for the student in the Arts segment of his educational program appropriate to meet his needs for specially designed instruction?
  3. Is the transition plan offered for the student an appropriate one?
YM-School-District-of-Philadelphia-ODRNo-7177-06-07AS

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