Recovery High School Notice and Hearing Process
Section 1403-A of the School Code, 24 P.S. § 14-1403-A, requires PDE to develop and post on its publicly accessible website a notice and hearing process that a school district of residence must follow if it denies a student's written request to enroll in a recovery high school under Article XIV-A of the School Code. In accordance with section 1403-A of the School Code, the following process must be followed by a student's school district of residence when application for enrollment in the recovery high school is made.
Within 30 days after a student's parent or guardian submits a written request to the student's school district of residence seeking the student's enrollment in the recovery high school, the resident school district shall issue written notice to the parent or guardian approving or disapproving the request. 24 P.S. § 14-1403-A(d).
If a parent or guardian disagrees with a resident school district's disapproval of the student's enrollment in the recovery high school and the student is a student with an IEP, the due process hearing requirements of 22 Pa. Code Ch. 14 (relating to special education services and programs) shall apply. 24 P.S. § 14-1403-A(e)(1).
The school district must provide the student with the opportunity for a formal hearing. The hearing may be held before the school district's governing board or an authorized committee of the board, or a qualified hearing examiner appointed by the board. When a committee of the board or a hearing examiner conducts the hearing, a majority vote of the entire governing board is required uphold the disapproval of the student's enrollment in the recovery high school.
The following due process requirements shall be observed with regard to the formal hearing:
Written notification for the reasons for disapproval of enrollment and notice of opportunity of a hearing shall of be sent to the student's parents or guardians by certified mail.
At least 3 days' notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be given. Notice that legal counsel may represent the student and hearing procedures shall be included with the hearing notice. A student may request the rescheduling of the hearing when the student demonstrates good cause for an extension.
The hearing shall be held in private unless the student or parent requests a public hearing.
The student may be represented by counsel, at the expense of the parents or guardians, and may have a parent or guardian attend the hearing.
The student has the right to be presented with the names of witnesses offered by the school district, and copies of any statements or affidavits of those witnesses.
The student has the right to question any witnesses offered by the resident school district.
The student has the right to testify and present witnesses on his or her own behalf.
A written or audio record shall be kept of the hearing. The student is entitled, at the student's expense, to a copy of the recording. A copy shall be provided at no cost to a student who is indigent.
The proceeding shall be held within 15 school days of the disapproval of enrollment, unless mutually agreed to by both parties.