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Thursday, February 4, 2010

SRO finds for parent for failure to reschedule CSE meeting

SRO 09-124: District scheduled a CSE meeting. Parent advised that she was unavailable but that her schedule was open after a certain date. District refused to reschedule the meeting. Rather, the district had the mother sign a form which stated in pertinent part that the student's mother
w[ould] not attend the Committee meeting. I understand that the meeting will be held in my absence and that I have the opportunity to address the committee in writing. I also understand that I will be informed of the committee's recommendation by mail and that I will request another meeting to follow-up as discussed.
The parent testified that she felt she had no alternative but to sign. The SRO held that it was error for the district to not reschedule the CSE meeting and that the failure to do “significantly impeded the parents' opportunity to participate in the decision making process regarding the provision of a [FAPE] to the student” and thus, deprived the student of a FAPE. See also, J.N. v. District of Columbia, 110 LRP 2529 (D.D.C. 01/11/10) (docket #07-665 (RWR))

Pendency: preschool to school age

SRO 09-125: Child was placed by the CPSE in an in school program and also received home based services. Parent agreed to the CSE’s recommended placement for kindergarden, but also sought continuation of the home based portion of the program. District cut off the home based portion. Parent sought the home based piece via pendency. IHO sided with the district; SRO reversed in favor of the parent.

SRO refuses to consider parent claims in absence of cross-appeal

In both SRO 09-136 and 09-143, the parent prevailed at hearing and was awarded reimbursement for a private placement. Each of these decisions was reversed on appeal. In each case, the parent did not cross-appeal because the parent was not aggrieved. In the absence of a cross-appeal, the SRO refused to consider claims raised by the parent in the hearing request, not considered by the IHO, and raised in the parent’s papers on appeal.