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: C. B.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: 10/1/2015, 11/17/2015, 1/11/2016, 1/12/2016 and 2/18/2016
ODR File No. 16749-15-16
Parties to the Hearing:
Local Education Agency Boyertown Area School District
911 Montgomery Avenue Boyertown, PA 19512
Jennifer Donaldson Esq.
Sweet ,Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP 331 E Butler Avenue – PO Box 5069 New Britain, PA 18901
Date Record Closed: March 18, 2016
Date of Decision: April 4, 2016
Hearing Officer: Charles W, Jelley Esq. LL.M.
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The Student, (Student)1 is an elementary age student in the School District (District) who the Parties agree is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).2 The Student’s Parents filed a due process complaint against the District asserting a denial of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) under the IDEA, its implementing regulation, the state Chapter 14 regulations implementing the IDEA, and claims of discrimination and denial of a FAPE pursuant to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (Section 504).
The case proceeded to a due process hearing convening over several sessions, at which the parties presented evidence in support of their respective positions. To remedy these alleged violations the Parents now seek an Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) and, compensatory education for the 2014-2015 [and] 2015-2016 school years. Previously, this hearing officer denied the Parents’ claims for a denial of a FAPE and discrimination for the 2013-2014 school year as barred by the IDEA statute of limitations. The District denied the Parents request for an IEE and as such, they accepted the burden of proof on that issue.
I have determined the credibility of all witnesses and I have considered and weighed all of the evidence of record. I conclude that the School did provide the Student a FAPE in all areas of academic needs; however, the District failed to assess the Student’s Physical Therapy (PT) needs and provide a FAPE in Physical Education. As a consequence, of the failure to fully assess the Student’s unique needs and provide a FAPE I find the District violated the IDEA and also discriminated against the Student based solely upon the Student’s disability. The failure to assess the Student caused the Student to be isolated and segregated from peers in violation of Section 504. Accordingly, for the reasons set forth herein, the District shall fund an IEE in Physical Education (PE) and PT; the Student is also awarded compensatory education for the failure to provide a FAPE. I also find that the remedy of compensatory education compensates the Student for any equitable relief for violations of Section 504.
1. Whether the District provided the Student a Free Appropriate Public Education, in the Least Restrictive Environment, for the 2014-2015 school year?
2. Whether the District provided the Student a Free Appropriate Public Education, in the Least Restrictive Environment, for the 2015-2016 school year?
3. Did the District conduct a comprehensive evaluation of the Student in all areas of unique need? If not, are the Parents entitled to an Independent Education Evaluation?
4. Did the District discriminate against the Student, in violation of Section 504, during the 2014-2015 school year?
5. Did the District discriminate against the Student in violation of Section 504, during the 2015-2016 school year?
6. Did the District deny the Student a FAPE in violation of Section 504, during the 2014-2015 school year?
7. Did the District deny the Student a FAPE in violation of Section, during the 2015-2016 school year?