ER vs. East Stroudsburg Area School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: E. R.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

ODR No. 18166-16-17-KE

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

East Stroudsburg Area School District 50 Vine Street
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301

Representative:

Heather M. Hulse, Esquire McAndrews Law Offices, PC 404 North Washington Avenue Suite 310
Scranton, PA 18503

Anne E. Hendricks, Esquire Levin Legal Group, PC
1800 Byberry Road, Suite 1301 Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006

Dates of Hearing: January 31, 2017; March 6, 2017; March 9, 2017; April 20, 2017; April 21, 2017

Date of Decision: June 16, 2017

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

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The child named in this matter (Student)1 is enrolled currently in a middle school within the District named in this matter (District). The District has classified Student under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1401 et seq. (IDEA) as a child with the disabilities of Autism, Intellectual Disability and Speech or Language Impairment. (NT 6-7.)

Parents assert that the District failed to offer Student a free appropriate public education (FAPE) during a relevant period from August 6, 2013 to August 6, 2015 and from August 31, 2016 to the first hearing date in this matter, on January 31, 20172. Parents assert Student’s right to a FAPE pursuant to the IDEA, section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794 (section 504)3, and the respective implementing regulations. Parents request an order that the District provide Student with compensatory education for the relevant period, and an order that the District provide Student with appropriate educational services going forward. The District asserts that it has offered and provided a FAPE at all relevant times.

The hearing was completed in five sessions. I have determined the credibility of all witnesses and I have considered and weighed all of the evidence of record. I conclude that the District offered and provided a FAPE to Student during the relevant period.

ISSUES4

  1. During the relevant period of time from August 6, 2013 to August 6, 2015 and from August 31, 2016 to the first hearing date in this matter, on January 31, 2017, did the District offer and provide a FAPE to Student in compliance with the IDEA and section 504?
  2. During the relevant period, did the District provide Student with appropriate services as needed to teach Student the use of signs or sign language and to communicate appropriately with staff?
  3. Should the hearing officer order the District to provide Student with compensatory education on account of all or any part of the relevant period?
  4. Should the hearing officer order the District to provide Student with educational services for the remainder of Student’s current school year or for Student’s next school year, the 2017-2018 school year, including convening an IEP team meeting to implement recent recommendations of private evaluators, and providing a one-to-one educational aide who is trained in utilizing signs or sign language?
E-R-East-Stroudsburg-ODRNo-18166-16-17-KE

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