JA vs. School District Attorney William

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION
ODR No. 2595-1112 KE

Child’s Name: J.A.
Date of Birth: [redacted] D

ates of Hearing: 3/1/12

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing:

Parents Parent

School District
Abington Heights
200 East Grove Street
Clarks Summit, PA 18411-1776

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Harold McGrath, Esquire 321 Spruce Street, Suite 600 Scranton, PA 18503

School District Attorney William McPartland, Esq. Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin

50 Glemaura National Boulevard Moosic, PA 18507

Date Record Closed: March 23, 2012

Date of Decision: March 31, 2012

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student, a District resident expelled from school during the current school year and receiving homebound instruction, has been provided with a §504 Service Agreement since the 2008/2009 school year due to the effects of ADHD.

Parent filed a due process complaint in November 2011 alleging violations of §504 and IDEA due to the District’s failure to conduct a full psycho-educational evaluation, provide adequate and appropriate services to assure that Student received a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) and to properly consider Student’s disability before imposing a disciplinary change of placement. In addition to compensatory education, Parents seek reimbursement for the cost of an independent psycho-educational evaluation they obtained in 2011 as well as an appropriate program/placement in the future.

Based upon a myriad of procedural and substantive violations established by the record of the March 1, 2012 hearing as described and explained below, the District will be required to fully comply with IDEA and §504 requirements, reimburse Parent for the costs of the independent evaluation and provide Student with compensatory education for part of the 2010/2011 school year and permit Student to return to school for the 2012/2013 school year with appropriate accommodations and services in place.

ISSUES

  1. Did the School District conduct appropriate evaluations of Student sufficient to
    a. Determine whether Student is eligible for IDEA special education services and correctly determine that Student is not IDEA eligible and/or
    b. Determine all educational needs arising from Student’s ADHD diagnosis in order to design appropriate §504 Service Agreements to address such needs?
  2. Did the School District provide Student with sufficient and appropriate services under §504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973?
  1. Did the School District provide Student with all required procedural safeguards in connection with Student’s violation of the District’s Code of Student Conduct that

    resulted in expulsion?

  2. Did the School District’s actions/inactions with respect to Student constitute procedural violations of the District’s obligations under either the IDEA statute or

    §504, and did any such violations adversely impact Student’s substantive rights?

  3. Is the School District required to provide Student with one or more of the following as a remedy for violation of Student’s rights under IDEA or §504:
    1. Reimburse Parent for the cost of an August 2011 independent educational

      evaluation;

    2. Conduct additional evaluations, specifically including a functional behavioral

      assessment and provide Student with an appropriate program/placement based

      upon a full assessment of Student’s needs;

    3. Compensatory education, and if warranted, for what period, in what amount

      and in what form?

J-A-Abington-Heights-ODRNo-2595-1112-KE

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