SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER
Child’s Name: I.B.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
ODR File No. 17847-15-16 KE
Parties to the Hearing:
Local Education Agency Upper Dublin School District 1580 Fort Washington Avenue Maple Glen, PA 19002
Ilene Young, Esquire
Law Office of Ilene Young
172 Middletown Boulevard, Suite 204 Langhorne, PA 19047
Claudia Huot, Esquire
Wisler Pearlstine, LLP
Blue Bell Executive Campus 460 Norristown Road, Suite 110 Blue Bell , PA 19422
Dates of Hearing: October 6, 2016; November 29, 2016; December 14, 2016; December 16, 2016; December 20, 2016 Date of Decision: January 9, 2017
Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, M.Ed., J.D.
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The student (hereafter Student)1 is a late middle school-aged student in the Upper Dublin School District (District) who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).2 The parties recognize that Student demonstrates needs in, among others, the area of reading comprehension, but they differ on their perspectives on how to address those weaknesses as well as Student’s categories of IDEA eligibility.
To resolve their dispute, Student’s Parents filed a due process complaint against the District asserting that it denied Student a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) under the IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,3 as well as the federal and state regulations implementing those statutes, from the start of the 2014-15 school year and continuing through the present. The case proceeded to a due process hearing convening over five sessions,4 with significant rescheduling required to accommodate various circumstances for both parties.5 The Parents sought to establish that the District failed to provide Student with FAPE, that Student required a specific type of reading program, and that Student is entitled to compensatory education; they also sought reimbursement for certain expenses they incurred. The District maintained that its special education program, as offered and implemented, was appropriate for Student, and that no remedy was warranted.
For the reasons set forth below, the Parents’ claims will be granted in part.
1. Whether the District appropriately addressed Student’s needs in reading comprehension from the start of the 2014-15 school year through the date of this decision;
2. If the District did not appropriately address Student’s needs in reading comprehension, should the District be ordered to provide an intensive reading program;
3. If the District did not appropriately address Student’s needs in reading comprehension, should the District be ordered to provide Student with compensatory education; and
4. If the District did not appropriately address Student’s needs in reading comprehension, should the District be ordered to reimburse the Parents for expenses incurred with providing Student with a private reading program?I-B-Upper-Dublin-ODRNo-17847-15-16-KE