EB vs. Southern Tioga School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: E. B.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

ODR No. 18652-16-17-KE

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing:

Southern Tioga School District 241 Main Street
Blossburg, PA 16912-1125

Representative:
Judith A. Gran, Esquire Reisman Corolla Gran LLP 19 Chestnut Street Haddonfield, N.J. 08033

Christopher J. Conrad, Esquire Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, C. & G. 100 Corporate Center Drive, Suite 201 Camp Hill, PA 17011

Dates of Hearings: March 29, 2017; May 16, 2017; June 9, 2017

Date of Decision: July 10, 2017

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

 

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The child named in the title page of this decision (Student) is enrolled in and is a resident of the school district named in the title page of this decision (District).1 Student is classified with Intellectual Disability and Autism pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1401 et seq. (IDEA), and the Pennsylvania Code, 22 Pa. Code §14.151 et seq. Student was placed in a general education classroom for Student’s third grade year, with supplementary aids and services; however, for Student’s fourth grade year, the District proposes to place Student in a different school at greater distance from Student’s home, so that Student can participate in a Life Skills Support classroom.

Parents, named in the title page of this decision, seek an administrative order that the District continue Student’s placement located in the general education classroom in Student’s neighborhood school2. The parties disagree regarding whether or not the District can provide Student with an appropriate fourth grade education in this placement. Parents assert that this can be accomplished with additional supplementary aids and services; the District asserts that Student’s disability is such that it cannot provide appropriate services satisfactorily.

The hearing was completed in three sessions, and the parties provided written summations and briefs. I have considered these and all of the evidence of record. I conclude that the District has failed to consider the full range of supplementary aids and services, thus failing to comply with its obligations under the IDEA to provide education in the least restrictive environment.

ISSUES

  1. Is Student’s current placement the least restrictive environment (LRE) for Student’s fourth grade education in the 2017-2018 school year, as defined by law?
  2. Is the District’s recommended placement the least restrictive environment (LRE) for Student’s fourth grade education in the 2017-2018 school year, as defined by law?
  3. Is Student’s current placement reasonably calculated to provide Student with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for Student’s fourth grade, 2017-2018 school year?
  4. Is the District’s recommended placement reasonably calculated to provide Student with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for Student’s fourth grade, 2017-2018 school year?
  5. Did the District offer an IEP to Student for the Student’s fourth grade, 2017-2018 school year that offered services to enable Student to be involved in and make appropriate progress in the general education curriculum?
  6. Considering the equities, should the hearing officer order the District to provide any placement or educational services for Student’s fourth grade, 2017-2018 school year?
E-B-Southern-Tioga-ODRNo-18652-16-17-KE

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