Taunton Public Schools and Solomonn- BSEA # 12-1212
COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
BUREAU OF SPECIAL EDUCATION APPEALS
In Re: Taunton Public Schools and Solomon1
Ruling on Request for Clarification of “Stay Put”
This comes before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals on the Request of the Taunton Public Schools for a determination of the Student’s “Stay Put” placement and the Parents’ Motion for “Emergency Placement.” Whenever a dispute arises about the appropriate services for an eligible student, the student is entitled to receive the special education services and to remain in the special education placement that the parents and school district had most recently agreed would provide a free appropriate public education. 20 U.S.C. 1415 (j); 34 CFR 300.518; 603 CMR 28.08 (7). Those agreed upon services and placement are referred to as the student’s “stay put” placement. The “stay put” placement may be changed only if the parties agree to an alternate arrangement, or one is ordered after a hearing. Typically, as is the case here, the “stay put” placement is set out in the most recent IEP accepted by the Parents. In this matter the most recent IEP, accepted by the Parents on October 29, 2010, calls for the Student’s full time placement in a substantially separate classroom operated by the South Coast Collaborative at the Palmer River School. That IEP ran from October 7, 2010 through October 6, 2011. By agreement of the parties instead of returning directly to the South Coast Collaborative in the fall the Student underwent an extended evaluation in a substantially separate classroom at the Chamberlain Elementary School during September and October 2011. The evaluation was completed and the extended evaluation period was concluded in October 2011. An extended evaluation is not a “placement” for “stay put” purposes. 603 CMR 28.05 (2)(6)(5).
The Team convened in October 2011 and developed an IEP calling for the Student’s full time placement in a substantially separate life skills program at East Taunton Elementary School. The Parents have not accepted the newly proposed IEP. Solomon is currently not attending any school. The Parents are seeking “an emergency order to place the Student with a certified ABA specialist temporarily from the ‘APEX’ agency.”
Based on the undisputed facts recited above it is my determination that Solomon’s “stay put” placement is reflected on the last accepted 2010-2011 IEP. No IEPs have been accepted, and no agreements for interim special education services or placement have otherwise been reached, since October 29, 2010. Therefore, Taunton fulfills its obligation to provide “stay put” services to Solomon until a Decision is issued in this appeal by ensuring that the South Coast Collaborative’s substantially separate classroom at the Palmer River School, along with all the related and transportation services set out in the last accepted IEP, is made available to him.
There is no factual or legal support in the administrative record thus far for the Parent’s Motion for Emergency Placement. 603 CMR 28.08(7)(c). Solomon has an available special education program. There has been no persuasive assertion that attendance there is substantially likely to result in injury to Solomon or to others. This matter is scheduled for hearing on November 30, 2011 at which time the Parent may renew the Motion. The Parent’s Motion is therefore DENIED.
November 17, 2011 ________________________
“Solomon” is a pseudonym chosen by the Hearing Officer to protect the privacy of the Student in documents available to the public.