DB vs. Council Rock School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION
ODR No. 00764-0910KE

Child’s Name: D.B.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: 7/24/10, 9/14/10, 9/21/10

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing:

Parents Parent[s]

School District
Council Rock
The Chancellor Center
30 North Chancellor Street Newtown, PA 18949

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Frederick Stanczak, Esquire 179 N. Broad Street, 2nd Floor Doylestown, PA 18901

School District Attorney Grace Deon, Esquire Eastburn and Gray
60 East Court Street Doylestown, PA 18901

Date Record Closed: October 14, 2010

Date of Decision: October 29, 2010

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student, now mid-teenaged, is a resident of Council Rock School District but is currently attending a private school for the 3rd consecutive year. Student has been IDEA eligible due to an autism spectrum disorder since the District completed an initial evaluation mid-way through 3rd grade. Student, however, has received special education services from the District for only two full school years, 4th and 6th grades, as well as during the last few months of the 3rd grade school year. Parents unilaterally placed Student in a different private school for 5th grade before re- enrolling Student in the District for 6th grade, and then choosing the current private school beginning with the 2008/2009 school year.

Parents’ March 1, 2010 due process complaint sought compensatory education for the school year in which Student reenrolled in the District, as well as tuition reimbursement for their subsequent private school placement. Parents contended that the District failed to provide Student with an appropriate program and placement for the 2007/2008 school year, and failed to offer an appropriate program/placement for the subsequent two school years.

After 3 hearing sessions, Parents failed to establish that the District’s program/placement was inappropriate, since Student made meaningful progress, both academically and on behavioral/social IEP goals during the 2007/2008 school year. Moreover, there is no reasonable basis for concluding that the IEP which would have been in place for the beginning of the 2008/2009 school year would not have been similarly effective, or that the District would have been incapable of providing appropriate services during the 2009/2010 school year, and in the future. Consequently, Parents’ claims will be denied in all respects.

ISSUES

  1. Did the School District provide Student with an appropriate educational program and placement during the 2007/2008 school year?
  2. Did the School District offer Student an appropriate educational program and placement for the 2008/2009 school year?
  3. Is there any basis for awarding Student and the Parents compensatory education or tuition reimbursement for any period in dispute in this case?
D-B-Council-Rock-ODRNo-00764-0910KE

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