CB vs. Solanco 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.

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: C.B.
Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: 11/25/2014 and 1/12/2015

CLOSED HEARING
ODR File No. 15478-14-15-KE

Parties to the Hearing:

Parents Parent[s]

Local Education Agency Solanco School District
121 South Hess Street Quarryville, PA 17566-1225

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Mark Voigt Esq.
Plymouth Meeting Executive Campus 600 West Germantown Pike, Suite 400 Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 610-940-1709

LEA Attorney
Mark W. Cheramie Walz Esq.
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP 331 E. Butler Avenue
New Britain, PA 18601 215-345-9111 x 126

Date Record Closed: February 4, 2015

Date of Decision: February 19, 2015

Hearing Officer: William Culleton Esq., CHO

 

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student1 is currently attending high school at a charter school that is not a respondent in this matter. Since 2003, Student has lived within the respondent school district (District). Student is thought to be an eligible child with a disability pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1401 et seq. (IDEA), and an individual with a disability protected by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794 (section 504). (NT 8-9; P 3.)

Parent contends that Student has suffered from epilepsy and specific learning disabilities during the entire time that Student was a resident of the District. Parent asserts that the District failed to perform its “child find” duties under both the IDEA and section 504, from 2003 to the date on which Student enrolled in the charter school. Parent asserts that, because the District did not provide Student with accommodations and special education services, she kept Student out of public school during that time period, educating Student through Amish tutors affiliated with an Amish school.

Parent asserts that the District’s failure to identify Student in 2003 deprived Student of a FAPE from the first day of the 2003/2004 school year until the date of Student’s enrollment in the charter school for the 2014/2015 school year.2 Parent demands compensatory education on an hour for hour basis for this period of time. The District denies failing to perform its child find duties toward Student, and denies the appropriateness of compensatory education.

The hearing was completed in two sessions. I conclude that the District failed to comply with its child find obligations under section 504 with regard to Student, as a result of which Student was deprived of a FAPE. I order the District to provide compensatory education to Student.

ISSUES

1. Did the District inappropriately fail to identify Student as a child with a disability, and thus fail to comply with its Child Find obligations under the IDEA and/or section 504, during the relevant period from the first day of school in the 2003-2004 school year until the date of enrollment in the charter school for the 2014/2015 school year?

2. Did the District inappropriately fail to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment to Student during the relevant period, contrary to its obligations under the IDEA and/or section 504?

3. Should the hearing officer order the District to provide Student with compensatory education for or on account of all or any part of the relevant period pursuant to the IDEA and/or section 504?

 

C-B-Solanco-ODRNo-15478-14-15-KE

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