DH vs. Pottsgrove School District

PENNSYLVANIA

SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: D.H.

ODR #18071/16-17 AS

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: November 18, 2016 December 13, 2016 January 20, 2017

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Pottsgrove School District 1301 Kauffman Road Pottstown, PA 19464

Representative:
Leah Batchis, Esquire Batchis, Nestle & Reimann Two Bala Plaza Suite 300 Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004

Mark Walz, Esquire
Sweet Stevens Katz & Williams 331 E. Butler Avenue Doylestown, PA 18601

Date of Decision: March 16, 2017

Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D., CHO Certified Hearing Official

 

Background

Student1 is an elementary school aged child residing within the boundaries of the District who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Pennsylvania Chapter 14 under the classification of emotional disturbance, with secondary classifications of autism and speech / language impairment. As such, Student is also an individual with a disability as defined under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794. Student began attending an approved private school (APS) upon the recommendation of the District and with the approval of the Parent. The Parent requested this hearing alleging a denial of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) when Student was enrolled in a District school. The District maintains that it provided FAPE to Student.

For the reasons below I find in favor of the Parent.

Issues

  1. Did the District deny Student FAPE during the 2014/2015 school year, the ESY period in summer 2015, and the 2015/2016 school year, by not, in a timely manner, creating and implementing an appropriate program that included behavioral support and a toileting protocol, a means of addressing Student’s functional and social communication deficits, and/or goals or SDI addressing Student’s sensory needs?
  2. If the District denied Student FAPE, what remedy is appropriate?
  3. Should the District be ordered to convene an IEP team meeting to develop an appropriate IEP and an appropriate placement for the student?
D-H-Pottsgrove-ODRNo-18071-16-17-AS

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