CASE NO. 2022060874
Student v. ENCINITAS UNION ELEMENATRY SCHOOL DISTRICT
Counsel for Student: Wendy Dumlao
Counsel for School: Jonathan Read and Juliana Mascari
Representative for School: Maria Waskin and Erin Lain
ALJ: Claire Yazigi
Date of Decision: December 05, 2022
Significant areas of law: Failure to provide adequate supports and services during distance learning is denial of FAPE.
- Did school fail to offer and provide adequate supports and services during distance learning?
FACTS OF THE CASE:
- Student was ten years old and eligible for special education under the primary category of Autism and the secondary category of Intellectual Disability.
- Due to COVID outbreak, schools were closed and students were offered distance learning. However, school did not provide student in-person services during distance learning.
- School DENIED student a FAPE by fail to offer and provide adequate supports and services during distance learning despite having proper notice of student’s special needs and disability.
– Parents faced extremely difficult situation during distance learning due to student’s special needs and disabilities and communicated their concerns to school properly. Parents specifically requested the school for in-person services. However, school failed to address their concerns and continued depending on virtual supports only. Consequently, student received no education benefit during extended school year.
– School offered no legal authority supporting a contention that Student’s ability to receive a FAPE was conditioned on Parents’ ability or willingness to provide or obtain full-time one-to-one support.
– School’s IEP offer of extended school year specialized academic instruction, occupational therapy, adaptive physical education, and speech and language did not meet student’s needs and was not reasonably calculated to provide educational benefit to her.
– Executive Order N-26-20 directed the California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Health and Human Services Agency to jointly develop guidance ensuring that students with disabilities received a FAPE during distance learning consistent with their IEP under the IDEA.
– On April 27, 2020, the Secretary of Education declined an opportunity provided by Congress to seek an extension of IDEA timelines due to COVID-19.
- School shall provide student with 26 hours of district-provided, in-person compensatory specialized academic instruction; eight hours of district-provided, in-person compensatory occupational therapy, eight hours of district-provided, in-person compensatory speech and language services, and eight hours of district-provided, in-person compensatory adaptive PE;