Special Education Hearing Officer
ODR No. 01525-1011 AS
Child’s Name: J.D.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: 3/18/11, 3/30/11, 5/10/11
Parties to the Hearing:
School District Perkiomen Valley
3 Iron Bridge Road Collegeville, PA 19426
Donald S. Litman, Esquire 200 Bucks Professional Center 347 New Street
Quakertown, PA 18951
School District Attorney Timothy Gilsbach, Esquire Fox, Rothschild, L.L.P.
10 Sentry Parkway, Suite 200 P.O. Box 3001
Blue Bell, PA 19422-3001
Date Record Closed: June 3, 2011
Date of Decision: June 10, 2011
Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
This case centers on Student’s transition from early intervention/Ages 3—5 services provided by the Intermediate Unit to school age services provided by Student’s School District of residence. The issues in dispute concern an appropriate educational program for kindergarten, including related services. Student is IDEA eligible in the categories of specific learning disabilities and speech/language impairment due to an underlying diagnosis of childhood apraxia of speech. Although the parties worked diligently over a period of more than 6 months to reach an amicable resolution, they were ultimately unsuccessful in completing an agreement concerning the kindergarten program/placement offered by the District. The parties did, however, agree to continue Student’s pre-school placement in that school’s kindergarten program for the entire 2010/2011 school year, and the District agreed to provide the same level of speech/language and occupational therapy services Student was receiving from the IU at the time EI eligibility ended.
The parties’ agreement for the current school year puts this case in an unusual posture. The IEP put in issue by the Parents’ complaint is for a kindergarten program, and there was no suggestion that the parties expect Student to repeat kindergarten during the 2011/2012 school year. Consequently, the facts in the record compiled during the two session hearing in March and May 2011 have somewhat limited utility, in that the issues concerning the appropriateness of the kindergarten IEP offered by the District provide no basis for either retrospective or prospective relief. Nevertheless, because of the significant divergence of the Parties’ views concerning the components of an appropriate program/placement, the conclusions drawn from the record of this case can provide guidelines for the parties in developing an appropriate program/placement for the 2011/2012 school year.
1. Did the School District offer Student an appropriate kindergarten program and placement for 2010/2011 school year, including sufficient speech/language services?J-D-Perkiomen-Valley-ODRNo-01525-1011-AS