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
Child’s Name: B.A.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing:
July 29, 2015
July 31, 2015
August 21, 2015
September 2, 2015
November 20, 2015
ODR Case #16011-1415AS
Parties to the Hearing:
Unionville-Chadds Ford SD 740 Unionville Road Kennett Square, PA 19348
Michael Connolly, Esquire 30 Cassatt Avenue Berwyn, PA 19312
Anne Hendricks, Esquire
1301 Masons Mill Business Park 1800 Byberry Road
Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006
Date Record Closed: February 8, 2016
Date of Decision: February 24, 2016
Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire
Student (“student”)1 is an early teen-age student residing in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District (“District”). The parties agree that the student qualifies under the terms of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEIA”)2 for specially designed instruction/related services as a student with a health impairment, specifically a seizure disorder.
Parents claim, in their complaint, that the student was denied a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) for the school years 2010- 2011 through 2013-2014, inclusive, and seek a compensatory education remedy for that alleged denial. In August 2014, the student was enrolled unilaterally in a private placement, and parents seek a tuition reimbursement remedy for that enrollment in the 2014-2015 and 2015- 2016 school years, in addition to a private school summer program in the summer of 2014.
As set forth more fully in the Procedural History section, the parents’ claims related to the school years 2010-2011, 2011-2012, and 2012-2013 (through March 2013) were not a matter of evidence based on untimely filing of those claims as presented in parents’ complaint of
1 The generic use of “student”, rather than a name and gender-specific pronouns, is employed to protect the confidentiality of the student.
2 It is this hearing officer’s preference to cite to the pertinent federal implementing regulations of the IDEIA at 34 C.F.R. §§300.1-300.818. See also 22 PA Code §§14.101- 14.163 (“Chapter 14”).
March 2015. Evidence was developed for the parents’ claims for the school years 2012-2013 (March 2013 and thereafter) through 2015- 2016, inclusive.
Additionally, parents claim that the District has violated its obligations to the student under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”).3
The District counters that at all times it provided FAPE to the student for the period of the student’s enrollment, including the proposed programming rejected by parents prior to the unilateral enrollment of the student in a private placement. As such, the District argues that the parents are not entitled to remedy, neither compensatory education nor tuition reimbursement.
For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the District on all claims.
Did the District provide the student with FAPE
for the school years 2012-2013 (beginning in March 2013) and 2013-2014?
If not, is the student entitled to compensatory education?
Is the last proposed programming from the District, prior to the unilateral private enrollment, reasonably calculated to yield meaningful education benefit?
3 It is this hearing officer’s preference to cite to the pertinent federal implementing regulations of Section 504 at 34 C.F.R. §§104.1-104.61. See also 22 PA Code §§15.1- 15.11 wherein Pennsylvania education regulations explicitly adopt the provisions of 34 C.F.R. §§104.1-104.61 for services to “protected handicapped students”.
If not, are parents entitled to tuition reimbursement
for the unilateral private placement
for the school years 2014-2015 and 2015-2016,
and/or for the private school summer program in the summer of 2014?
Are parents entitled to reimbursement
for a private neuropsychological report issued in September 2014?