DP vs. Council Rock School District

Pennsylvania

Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: D.P.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

ODR No. 9903-0809 AS

Parties to the Hearing:

Council Rock School District 30 North Chancellor Street Newtown, PA 18940

Representative:

Dean M. Beer, Esquire McAndrews Law Offices, P.C. 30 Cassatt Avenue
Berwyn, PA 19312

Grace M. Deon, Esquire Eastburn and Gray, P.C.
60 East Court Street
P.O. Box 1389
Doylestown, PA 18901- 0137

Date of Resolution Session Waived

Date of Hearings: September 10, 2009, January 6, 2010, February 9, 2010, April 27, 2010, April 30, 2010, May 6, 2010 Date Record Closed: May 25, 2010

Date of Ruling: June 9, 2010

Hearing Officer: William F. Culleton, Jr., Esquire

 

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student is an elementary school-age eligible resident of the Council Rock School District (District); Student is a student at a private school [hereinafter Center]. (NT 12-1 to 19, 114-15 to 17; P-16 p. 1.) Center is a private school for children with autism; it follows the principles of applied Behavior Analysis. (NT 114-23 to 115-5.) The Student attended two District elementary schools during the 2007-2008 school year. (NT 14-23 to 20-9.) The Student is identified with Autism and Speech and Language Impairment. (NT 12-1 to 8; S-5 p. 10.)

In July 2008, the District offered the Student an IEP with part time inclusion and part time placement in its autistic support class at one of its public schools. (P-41 p. 24.) The Parents withdrew the Student from the District and enrolled Student in Center on July 14, 2008. (P-13 p. 43, P-19, S-9 p. 77.) The Parents requested due process on April 1, 2009, asserting that the District’s offered program and placement were inappropriate and requesting tuition reimbursement for the 2007-2008 school year. (NT 16-2 to 17-12.)

The District asserted that its July 2008 offered program and placement was appropriate. (NT 20- 10 to 18, 22-10 to 18.) It requested that tuition reimbursement be denied for that reason. Ibid.

The hearing was convened before Special Education Hearing Officer Deborah DeLauro, Esquire, on September 10, 2009. Hearing Officer DeLauro withdrew from the matter for medical reasons, and the undersigned hearing officer was assigned after reading the transcript of the first session, Hearing Officer DeLauro’s extensive notes, and the entire documentary record. The undersigned convened five subsequent hearing sessions, for a total of six sessions. The last session was on May 6, 2010. Written summations were received on May 25, and the record closed on that day.

 

ISSUES

1. Did the District make a free appropriate public education available to the student through an appropriate program and placement for the 2008-2009 school year, including necessary Extended School Year services in the summer of 2008

2. Was Center an appropriate placement for the Student for the 2008-2009 school year?

 

3. Should the hearing officer order the District to pay the cost of tuition and transportation of the Student on account of Student’s attendance at Center for the 2008-2009 school year?

D-P-Council-Rock-ODRNo-9903-0809-AS

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