CG vs. Carbondale Area 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

ODR No.00043-0910LS

Child’s Name: CG

Date of Birth: XX-XX-XXXX

Dates of Hearing: 10/28/09, 11/16/09

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

School District

Carbondale Area
101 Brooklyn Street Carbondale, PA 18407-2207

Representative: Parent Attorney

Heather Hulse, Esquire
400 Spruce Street, Suite 300 Scranton, PA 18503

School District Attorney

Andria B. Saia, Esq. Levin Legal Group

1301 Mason’s Mill Business Park 1800 Byberry Road

Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006

Date Record Closed: December 21, 2009

Date of Decision: January 5, 2010

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

 

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The Student in this case has never attended school in the District, having been enrolled by his Parents in either a charter school or parochial school since leaving early intervention services. During the 2008/2009 school year, Parents requested that Student be evaluated for special education services, but after eligibility was determined, Parents rejected a NOREP offered by the District for learning support services because it provided for Student to attend the District elementary school. Subsequently, Student was evaluated for speech/language and occupational therapy services, and Parents ultimately accepted the District’s offer of speech/language and OT services provided in the parochial school. Parents also requested ESY services, which the District denied, leading to the due process complaint.

The Hearing Officer first assigned to this case initially accepted counsel’s suggestion that the issues in dispute could be decided as a matter of law based upon a stipulation of facts. After reviewing the joint stipulation of facts and considering the arguments of counsel, however, he concluded that an evidentiary hearing was needed to adduce additional facts and that the parties should also address additional legal issues he identified. After this matter was reassigned, a brief hearing was held in 2 sessions in accordance with the original hearing officer’s order and the parties submitted final closing arguments with respect to all issues.

For the reasons that follow, Parents’ claims for compensatory education will be denied. The District will, however, be directed to convene Student’s IEP team to determine how, if at all, Student can reasonably participate in any additional special education services located at District facilities pursuant to his dual enrollment status without disenrolling from the parochial school he is currently attending.

ISSUES

  1. Has the District offered FAPE to “Student”?
  2. Did the District Area School District offer, and is it providing, adequate speech/language services to “Student”?
  3. Did the District hinder, discourage or delay “Student’s” dual enrollment in the District or Parents’ acceptance of the May 28, 2009 IEP offered by the District for speech/language and OT services?
  4. Did “Student’s” IEP team make a specific determination of ESY eligibility for the summer of 2009, and if so, what was the basis for that determination?
  5. Was “Student” eligible for ESY services for the summer of 2009?

 

CG-Carbondale-Area-ODRNo-00043-0910LS-

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