EH vs. Methacton School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: E.H.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Date of Hearing: 07/07/2017

ODR File No. 19375-1617KE

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing:

Father – Petitioner Parent

LEA – Respondent

Methacton School District 1001 Kriebel Mill Road Norristown, PA 19403

Mother – Intervening Party Parent

Representative:

Father’s Attorney

Grace M. Deon, Esq. Eastburn and Gray, P.C. 60 East Court Street
PO Box 1389 Doylestown, PA 18901

LEA Attorney

Sharon Montanye, Esq.
Sweet Stevens Katz & Williams LLP PO Box 5069, 331 Butler Avenue New Britain , PA 18901

Mother’s Attorney
Liliana Yazno-Bartle, Esq.
The Law Offices of Caryl Andrea Oberman LLC
705 North Easton Road
Willow Grove, PA 19090

Date of Decision: 07/14/2017

Hearing Officer: Brian Jason Ford, JD, CHO

Introduction

This special education due process hearing concerns the summer Extended School Year (ESY) placement for the Student.1 The Student’s mother (Mother) and father (Father) are divorced. The Father and the School District (District) agree that the Student should attend the District’s ESY program. The Mother believes that the District’s ESY program is inappropriate for the Student. Currently, the Student is placed in an ESY program run by an Approved Private School (APS) by agreement between the Mother and the District. The Father believes that the ESY program at the APS is inappropriate for the Student. Generally, the District agrees with the Father, despite its agreement with the Mother. The parties’ positions are set forth in greater detail below.

This special education due process hearing arises under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq.

For reasons discussed below, I agree with the District and Father that the APS’s ESY program is inappropriate for the Student. I also agree with the District and the Father that the District’s ESY program is appropriate for the Student. Consequently, I will order the District to place the Student in its own ESY program.

Conclusions

The Student requires an ESY program this summer as part of the Student’s transition out of the APS. The ESY program offered at and by the APS does nothing to help the Student transition, and may harm the Student’s behavioral progress and self esteem. All three parties stipulate that the ESY program offered by and through the District is appropriate, except for the Mother, who argues that the presence of a teacher from the Student’s past will traumatize the Student. The record does not support the Mother’s argument.

I will order the District to move the Student out of the APS’s inappropriate ESY program and into the District’s appropriate ESY program.

An order consistent with the foregoing follows.

E-H-Methacton-ODRNo-19375-1617KE

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