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
Special Education Hearing Officer
Student”s Name: B.N.
Date of Birth:
ODR No. 2341-11-12-KE
Parties to the Hearing:
Abington Heights School District 200 East Grove Street
Clarks Summit, PA 18411-1776
Drew Christian, Esquire 801 Monroe Avenue Scranton, PA 18510
Angela J. Evans, Esquire
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLC 2 South Main Street, Suite 303 Pittston, PA 18640
Dates of Hearing: November 7, 2011, January 4, 2012, January 5, 2012
Record Closed: January 24, 2012
Date of Decision: February 8, 2012
Hearing Officer: William F. Culleton, Jr., Esquire
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The student named in the title page of this decision (Student) is an eligible resident of the school district named in the title page of this decision (District), and attended a District elementary school, during the time relevant to this matter. (NT 15-16, 19-20.) Student is identified as a child with Autism pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1401 et seq. (IDEA). (NT 15.)
Parents, named in the title page of this decision, assert that the District failed to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to Student during the relevant time (defined below); Parents request compensatory education for that time, as well as prospective relief for the remainder of the 2011-2012 school year and thereafter. Parents further assert that the District failed to perform its promises under a settlement agreement in April 2011 that provided for certain behavioral services, thus failing to provide a FAPE to Student. The District asserts that it has provided a FAPE to Student, and that it is complying with and will comply with the settlement agreement.
The hearing was concluded in three sessions, and I admitted various documents into evidence.
1 Originally, Parents sought compensatory education for denial of a FAPE from April 3, 2011 until January 5, 2012. (NT 33-34.) However, during the testimony of a District witness, Parents graciously withdrew their claim for relief with regard to the end of the 2010-2011 school year on grounds that the evidence might be found to be in equipoise and therefore they might be found not to have met their burden of proof. (NT 544-546.) Thus, the relevant period
- Did the District fail to provide a free appropriate public education to Student during the relevant period of time from the first day after the end of the 2010-2011 school year1 through January 5, 20122?
- Did the District fail to provide a free appropriate public education to Student in the least restrictive environment necessary to provide a free appropriate public education to Student?
- Should the hearing officer order the District to provide compensatory education to the Student for all or any part of the relevant period?
- Should the hearing officer enter an order providing prospective relief, particularly by ordering enforcement of the settlement agreement executed by Parents on April 2, 2011, or reformation of that agreement, insofar as compliance with that agreement is necessary in order to provide Student with a free appropriate public education?