BW vs. The Preparatory Charter School

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION

Child’s Name: B.W.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

CLOSED HEARING

ODR File No. 18146-16-17 AS

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Local Education Agency
The Preparatory Charter School of Mathematics, Science, Tech, and Careers
1928 Point Breeze Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19145

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Jason Fortenberry, Esquire Frankel & Kershenbaum, LLC 1230 County Line Road
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

LEA Attorney
Michael R. Miller, Esquire Margolis Edelstein
Curtis Center
170 South Independence Mall West Philadelphia, PA 19106

Dates of Hearing: October 18, 2016; November 15, 2016; December 2, 2016

Date of Decision: December 19, 2016

Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, M.Ed., J.D

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The student (hereafter Student)1 is a mid-teenaged student attending The Preparatory Charter High School (hereafter School). Student has been identified as a protected handicapped student under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 19732 based on a diagnosis of Attention- Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and has been provided with accommodations pursuant to Section 504 Accommodation Plans (hereafter Section 504 Plan(s)).

In August 2016, Student’s Parent filed a Due Process Complaint against the School, asserting that it denied Student a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) under Section 504 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA),3 as well as the federal and state regulations implementing those statutes. Specifically, the Parent sought to establish that the District violated its Child Find obligations in failing to identify Student as eligible under the IDEA, and further that it denied Student FAPE through the program that it implemented during the 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 school years. The School maintained that Student was not eligible under the IDEA and that its program, as implemented, was appropriate for Student. The hearing concluded in three sessions.4

For the reasons set forth below, the Parent’s claims will be granted and compensatory education will be awarded.

ISSUES

  1. Whether the School violated its Child Find obligations in failing to identify Student under the IDEA;
  2. Whether the School denied Student appropriate educational programming for any part of the 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 school years;
  3. If the School did deny Student appropriate educational programming, is Student entitled to compensatory education and, if so, in what form and amount;
  4. Whether the Parent should be reimbursed for expenses incurred for summer school; and
  5. Whether the Parent should be reimbursed for testimony and expenses incurred for retention of an expert witness?
B-W-Preparatory-Charter-ODRNo-18146-16-17-AS

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