DS vs. Perkiomen Valley School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Student’s Name: D. S.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

ODR No. 15330-14-15-KE

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Perkiomen Valley School District 3 Iron Bridge Drive
Collegeville, PA 19426

Representative:

Sarah E. Zuba, Esquire
Catherine Merino Reisman, Esquire Freeman, Carolla, Reisman & Gran LLC 19 Chestnut Street
Haddonfield, New Jersey 08033-2315

Sarah Davis, Esquire
Fox Rothschild, LLP
10 Sentry Parkway, Suite 200 P.O. Box 3001
Blue Bell, PA19422-3001

Dates of Hearing: October 16, 2014; December 2, 2014; December 5, 2014; January 5, 2015

Record Closed: January 26, 2015

Date of Decision: February 10, 2015

Hearing Officer: William F. Culleton, Jr., Esquire, 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 an individual with a disability protected by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794 (section 504).2 (NT 9; SD 1.)3 Student is in fifth grade at a private elementary school (School) and lives within the respondent District. (NT 9; SD 23.) Student is identified under the IDEA as a child with the disabilities of Other Health Impairment and Speech or Language Impairment. (NT 9.)

Student attended fourth grade at the School, paid for by the District pursuant to an agreement in lieu of providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE). (SD 2, 3.) In May 2014, the District sought to return Student to its own elementary school, and offered a placement and Individualized Education Program (IEP). (SD 23.) Parents assert that the District’s offer denied Student a FAPE. Parents seek reimbursement of the School’s tuition and transportation costs for Student’s current school year. The District asserts that it has offered a FAPE, and declines to reimburse Parents.

The hearing was completed in four sessions. I conclude that the District offered an appropriate placement and IEP, thus offering a FAPE to Student; I deny the Parents’ request for tuition reimbursement.

ISSUES

  1. Did the District offer to provide Student with a FAPE for the 2014-2015 school year?
  2. Is the School an appropriate placement for Student for the 2014-2015 school year?
  3. Considering the equities, should the hearing officer order the District to reimburse Parents for the cost of Student’s tuition at the School for all or any part of the 2014-2015 school year?
D-S-Perkiomen-Valley-ODRNo-15330-14-15-KE

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