DF vs. Red Lion Area School District

Pennsylvania

Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: D. F.

Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: 12/10/2014, 12/22/2014, 1/28/2015, 1/30/2015 and 2/13/2015 CLOSED HEARING
ODR File No. 15359-14-15-AS

Parties to the Hearing:

Parents Parent[s]

Local Education Agency
Red Lion Area School District 696 Delta Road
Red Lion, PA 17356-9185

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Judith Gran Esq.
Freeman Carolla Reisman & Gran LLC 19 Chestnut Street
Haddonfield, NJ 08033

LEA Attorney
Brooke Say Esq.
Stock and Leader/Susquehanna Commerce Center East
Suite E 600, 221 West Philadelphia Street
York, PA 17401-2994

Date Record Closed: February 24, 2015

Date of Decision: March 9, 2015

Hearing Officer: William Culleton Esq., CHO

 

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student1 is an eligible child with a disability pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1401 et seq. (IDEA), and a qualified individual with a disability protected by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794 (section 504), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)2, 42 U.S.C. §12131. (J 1 ¶ 2, 4.)3 Student lives within the respondent District. (J 1 ¶ 1.) Student is identified under the IDEA as a child with a disability of Deaf- blindness, 34 C.F.R. §300.8(c)(2). (J 1 ¶3.)

Parents assert that the District failed to offer or provide an appropriate re-evaluation as required by the IDEA, and failed to offer or provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to Student from September 5, 2012 to February 13, 2015. Parents claim that the District failed to provide a re-evaluation when it knew that Student’s educational needs had changed, and failed to change the services that it was offering to address the Student’s changing needs appropriately. Parents seek compensatory education and prospective relief. The District denies these allegations and asserts that Parents obstructed its timely efforts to provide both appropriate re-evaluation and appropriate services.

The hearing was completed in five sessions. I conclude that the District violated the IDEA’s procedural requirements for timely and comprehensive evaluation, as implemented by Chapter 14 of the Pennsylvania Code. I further conclude that the District did not deprive Student of a FAPE, but offered and implemented a FAPE during the relevant period of time. I decline to order compensatory education, and I order the District to issue NOREPs for instruction in the home, an FBA to be conducted in the home instructional setting, and a comprehensive evaluation of Student’s unique needs.

ISSUES

  1. Did the District offer and/or provide Student with an appropriate re-evaluation from September 5, 20124 to February 13, 20155?
  2. Did the District offer and/or provide Student with a FAPE from September 5, 2012 to February 13, 2015?
  3. Should the hearing officer order the District to provide compensatory education to Student for all or any part of the period from September 5, 2012 to February 13, 2015?
  4. Should the hearing officer order the District to provide an appropriate re-evaluation to Student, specifying either the questions to be addressed or the qualifications of evaluators to participate in the evaluation?

 

D-F-Red-Lion-Area-ODRNo-15359-14-15-AS

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