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Special Education Officer Makes Ruling Regarding Student Placement and Evaluation

Special Education Officer Makes Ruling Regarding Student Placement and Evaluation

On September 4, 2019, a decision was made regarding the hearing of a case between the parents of a student and the Wissahickon School District. The child’s parents filed a due process complaint alleging multiple things. This includes that the district violated the least restrictive environment requirements of IDEA, it denied a free appropriate public education to the student, it improperly administered an IQ test without parental consent, and it discriminated against the student on the basis of the student’s disability. 

Issues Presented

Prior to the hearing, the following issues were presented to the hearing officer by this case:

  • Whether the school district violated IDEA’s least restrictive environment mandate by proposing that the student’s placement be changed to the verbal behavior/autistic support classroom at Elementary School No. 2?
  • Whether the parents have proven that the school district wrongfully predetermined the placement decision concerning the student in November/December 2018?
  • Whether the parents have proven that the school district denied a free appropriate public education to the student from December 21, 2016 to the end of the 2016-2017 school year?
  • Whether the parents have proven that the school district denied a free appropriate public education to the student during the 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 school year?
  • Whether the parents have proven that the school district administered a reevaluation to the student, including an IQ test, without parental consent?
  • Whether the school district discriminated against the student on the basis of their disability in violation of Section 504 and the Americans With Disabilities Act?

Findings of the Case

After the hearing, the court presented the following findings on the issues presented above:

  • The parents have proven that the change of placement to a more restrictive setting in the October/November 2018 IEP violates the least restrictive environment requirement of IDEA, as the evidence in the record supports the fact that the student was making good progress in the 80% general education classes at Elementary School No. 1.
  • The parents have proven that the school district wrongfully predetermined the student’s placement in the October/November 2018 IEP. The record evidence supports the parents’ contention, as predetermination violates IDEA because it impairs the parents’ right to meaningful participation in the IEP process. The school district did not have an open mind regarding the student’s placement.
  • The parents have not proven the school district denied a free appropriate public education to the student for any school year mentioned above. The parents waived this issue and they are not decided in the decision. 
  • The parents consented to the student’s reevaluation, and the parents have not proven that the district conducted a reevaluation without their consent. The parents also waived this issue and it is not decided in the decision.
  • The parents have not proven that the school district discriminated against the student on the basis of their disability in violation of Section 504 or the Americans With Disabilities Act. 

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Anderson, Converse & Fennick is an experienced law firm in York County, Pennsylvania focusing on Education Law, Family Law, Estate Planning, and Civil Litigation matters. If you need a knowledgeable attorney that will effectively represent your interests, contact Anderson, Converse & Fennick today.

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