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RUSSELL PIRES v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (10/27/83)

decided: October 27, 1983.

RUSSELL PIRES, A MINOR, BY HIS PARENTS, EDMOND AND JANE PIRES, PETITIONERS
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Secretary of Education in case of In re: The Educational Assignment of Russell P., a student in the Methacton School District, Special Education Opinion No. 173.

COUNSEL

Edward T. Titterton, with him Sylvia Meek, for petitioners.

Ernest N. Helling, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges MacPhail and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 128]

Edmond and Jane Pires appeal on behalf of their son, Russell, from the Secretary of Education's order denying approval of Russell's special education program and placement at Don Guanella, a private residential school located in the Delaware County Intermediate Unit. The Secretary also denied payment for Russell's weekend transportation costs to and from the facility. We reverse and remand.

Russell is an exceptional child*fn1 residing with his parents in the Methacton School District, which is located in the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit.

[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 129]

In January 1979, officials from the School District and the Intermediate Unit informed the Pires that neither entity would be able to provide an appropriate secondary school program*fn2 for Russell's 1979-1980 school year.*fn3 The Pires were then provided with a list of five "approved private schools" (APS)*fn4 for them to investigate as possible placement alternatives for Russell. After investigating these facilities, the Pires concluded that they were unsuited to Russell's needs.

By the end of July 1979, the School District had neither conducted an updated educational evaluation*fn5 of Russell, nor issued a Notice of Recommended Assignment

[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 130]

.*fn6 With the start of the 1979-1980 school year just a month away, the Pires investigated a program at Don Guanella, a private school located in the Delaware County Intermediate Unit. The Pires, being most impressed with the facility and the educational program, enrolled Russell in ...


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