DS vs. Council Rock School District

PENNSYLVANIA

SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: D S

ODR #5993/05-06 LS

Date of Birth: XX-XX-XXXX

Dates of Hearing: February 28, 2006

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

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

Representative:
Sarah Davis
Fox Rothschild LLP, 10 Sentry Parkway Suite 200, PO Box 3001
Blue Bell, PA 19422

Joanne Sommer, Esquire Eastburn and Gray, PC 60 E. Court Street Doylestown, PA 18901

Date Record Closed: April 22, 2006

Date of Decision: April 22, 2006

Hearing Officer: William Culleton, Jr., Esquire

 

INTRODUCTION

Student (Student) is a xx year old eligible child who is currently attending fourth grade at the private Cambridge School. (NT 10-19 to 25.) He is a resident of the Council Rock School District (District). He is identified as having a specific learning disability in reading. In September, 2005, when he was about to begin fourth grade, his Parents withdrew him from the District’s Elementary School and enrolled him in a private school, [Redacted] School.

The Parents contend that the District failed in its Child Find obligation to identify the Student in a timely fashion as in need of specially designed instruction. They assert that the District should have identified the Student while he was still in first grade, during the 2002-2003 school year. Instead, the District did not refer the Student for evaluation until May, 2004, the end of his second grade year. The Parents also contend that the District’s resulting IEP, as revised in 2005 and 2006, failed to set forth measurable goals and benchmarks, and offered specially designed instruction in vague terms that failed to address the Student’s needs adequately, so that the IEP failed to offer FAPE. They seek compensatory education from the beginning of the Student’s first grade year until he enrolled in the private school; tuition reimbursement for the Student’s fourth grade year at the private school; in the alternative, compensatory education for the Student’s fourth grade year; reimbursement for an independent evaluation; and reimbursement for private tutor services that the Parents unilaterally provided from the beginning of the Student’s first grade school year to the present date.

The District contends that it provided an appropriate screening and instructional support program for the Student during the Student’s first and second grade years, during which he made substantial academic progress. It also contends that its IEPs were appropriate and offered FAPE. Finally it argues that there is no basis for ordering either tuition reimbursement for the private school placement, or reimbursement for the costs of tutoring. In addition to asserting that its programs and services were appropriate, the District contends that the Parents have failed to prove that the private school program provides any services that are appropriate. The District contests reimbursement for the costs of the IEE, on grounds that it did not provide the District with any new information and that the District did not rely upon that IEE. Finally, it argues that the Parents have failed to present any evidence that they paid any tuition or tutoring costs.

 

ISSUES

1. Did the District fail to refer the Student for evaluation in a timely manner while he was receiving Learning Support in first grade and Instructional Support Services in second grade?

2. Did the District’s 2004 IEP, as revised in 2005 and 2006, fail to set forth measurable annual goals and therefore fail to offer FAPE?

3. Did the District’s 2004 IEP, as revised in 2005 and 2006, fail to set forth clear and adequate specially designed instruction and therefore fail to offer FAPE?

4. Is the Student entitled to an award of compensatory education, and if so, for what period of time?

5. Are the Parents entitled to reimbursement for the tuition costs of the private school for the Student’s 2005-2006 school year?

6. Are the Parents entitled to reimbursement for the costs of an Independent Educational Evaluation provided to the District in or about August 2005?

7. Are the Parents entitled to reimbursement of tutoring costs incurred from the beginning of the Student’s 2002-2003 school year?

D-S-Council-Rock-ODRNo-5993-05-06-LS

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