SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER
Child’s Name: D.H.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: August 17, 2011 October 5, 2011 October 6, 2011
ODR File No. 1933-1011KE
Parties to the Hearing:
West Shore School District 507 Fishing Creek Road New Cumberland, PA 17070
Grace M. Deon, Esquire Eastburn and Gray, P.C. P. O. Box 1389 Doylestown, PA 18901
Date Record Closed: October 12, 2011
Date of Decision: October 26, 2011
Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, M.Ed., J.D.
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Student1 is a high school-aged student in the West Shore School District (District) who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)2 on the basis of an intellectual disability and autism. Student’s Parents filed a due process complaint against the District in June 2011, asserting that its proposed program for Student for the 2011-12 did not constitute a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) under the IDEA. Specifically, the Parents contested the placement in a multiple disabilities support classroom as well as the elimination of a one-on-one personal care aide. The District countered that the proposed program was appropriate to meet Student’s educational needs.
The case proceeded to a due process hearing which convened over three sessions, at which the parties presented evidence in support of their respective positions. Following the conclusion of the first session, this hearing officer entered an interim order regarding the pendent placement.3 The parties were able to resolve several issues relating to the current placement prior to the conclusion of the final session.4
For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the District but with some modification to the implementation of the proposed program.
Whether the proposed program for the 2011-12 school year is appropriate for Student?D-H-West-Shore-ODRNo-1933-1011KE