AT vs. Lake-Lehman School District

This is a redacted version of the original decision. Select details have been removed
from the decision to preserve anonymity of the student. The redactions do not affect
the substance of the document.

SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION

Child’s Name: AT
Closed Hearing
ODR No. 8852/07-08 KE

Parents:
Mr. and Ms.

School District:

Lake-Lehman School District P.O. Box 38
Lehman, PA 18627-0038

Parents’ Representative: Mark W. Voigt, Esquire
Suite 400
600 West Germantown Pike Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462

District Representative:

David F. Conn, Esquire
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams, LLP 331 Butler Avenue
P.O. Box 5069
New Britain, PA 18901

 

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student (Student) is a [pre-teen age] eligible child who resides within the Lake- Lehman School District (District). (NT 13.) The Student at all relevant times was identified as a child with a disability for special education purposes under the categories of Autism and Speech and Language Impairment. (NT 9-12.) The Student currently attends a private school. (NT 391-489.) Until December 21, 2007, the Student attended the [redacted] Elementary School (School). (NT 21, 29; S-53.)

Mr. and Ms. (Parents) requested due process by letter of counsel dated May 14, 2008, alleging that the District had failed to provide a FAPE for the two years prior to the filing of the Complaint Notice. Parents requested tuition reimbursement and transportation to a private school, reimbursement for an independent educational evaluation and compensatory education for two school years, in the amount of three hours per school day. (NT 23.) The Parents requested that compensatory education encompass Extended School Year (ESY) services for two summers. (NT 33.)1 In the

1 Parents had requested an order for Extended School Year services, but later withdrew that request.

alternative, the Parents requested an order requiring the District to provide the program that the independent educational evaluator had recommended. (NT 30-31.)

The District asserted that the Student had made meaningful progress during the time in question. It asserted that the Parents gave no notice of dissatisfaction with the District’s evaluations. Therefore, it argued that no relief was appropriate. (NT 24-28.)

The hearing was conducted on four dates from August 6, 2008 to October 16, 2008. The parties requested written summations, and the deadline was extended at request of counsel. The record closed on November 7, 2008, upon receipt of the parties’ summations.2

2 Parents’ summation is marked HO-1; District summation is marked HO-2.

 

ISSUES

  1. Did the District offer and implement an appropriate IEP during the period from May 14, 2006 until the date on which the Student left the District, December 21, 2007, so as to provide the Student with a free and appropriate public education?
  2. Was the Student entitled to Extended School Year services during the summers of 2007 and 2008, and did the District provide appropriate ESY services?
  3. Should the hearing officer award compensatory education to the Student for any part of the period from May 14, 2006 until the date on which Student left the District, December 21, in the amount of three hours per school day, as well as compensatory education in respect to ESY for the summers of 2007 and 2008?
  4. Should the hearing officer award tuition reimbursement and transportation costs for the period from December 21, 2007 to August 6, 2008 for the cost of tuition at the Private School?
  5. In the alternative, should the hearing officer award compensatory education for the period from December 21, 2007 to August 6, 2008?
  6. In the alternative, should the hearing officer order an appropriate educational program for the Student prospectively?
  7. Should the hearing officer award reimbursement for the cost of the independent educational evaluation of the Parents’ expert.
AT-Lake-Lehman-ODRNo-8852-07-08-KE

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