EZ vs. Downingtown Area School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION
ODR No. 2577 1112 KE

Child’s Name: E.Z.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: 1/11/12; 1/24/12, 1/25/12

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

School District
Downingtown Area
540 Trestle Place Downingtown, PA 19335-2643

Representative:
Parent Attorney: None

School District Attorney
Sharon Montanye, Esquire
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP 331 Butler Avenue
P.O. Box 5069
New Britain, PA 18901

Date Record Closed: March 1, 2012

Date of Decision: March 15, 2012

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student, a resident of the District, is eligible for special education services due to autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability. Student presently attends an autistic support program operated by the Chester County Intermediate Unit (CCIU).

Parents became dissatisfied with Student’s placement during the 2010/2011 school year, contending that Student regressed in both behavior and academic skills during that school year, is not currently making meaningful progress, and now requires a different placement.1

The due process hearing was conducted over three brief sessions in January 2012. For the reasons that follow, I find that the District did not respond quickly and appropriately when changes in staff and the physical location of the program Student attends adversely affected Student’s progress during the 2010/2011 school year. Nevertheless, based on evidence that implementation concerns have been effectively addressed during the current school year, and in the absence of any evidence to establish that there is another placement available that would appropriately meet Student’s needs, or a description by Parents of the components of such a placement Parents’ request for an order requiring the District to find or develop an appropriate program for Student denied based upon the evidence produced at the due process hearing.

ISSUES

  1. Does Student’s current placement afford Student a reasonable opportunity to make meaningful progress toward Student’s IEP goals?
  2. Was Student’s placement and the implementation of Student’s IEP inappropriate at any time from the beginning of the 2010/2011 school year through the present, including by reason of the District’ failure to assure that progress monitoring reports provided to Parents were timely, complete, accurate, and otherwise appropriate?
  3. Should the School District be required to find or create an alternative placement for Student?
  4. Are the current functional behavior analysis (FBA) and the behavior plan based on it appropriate for Student?
E-Z-Downingtown-Area-ODRNo-2577-1112-KE

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