JD vs. Pottstown Area School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION

Student: J.D.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Hearing Dates: May 17, 2010, May 24, 2010, May 25, 2010, June 17, 2010, June 29, 2010, June 30, 2010 and August 16, 2010

ODR File No.: 00665/0910KE

School District: Pottstown Area School District

CLOSED HEARING

Parties: Parent[s]

Pottstown School District

Representatives:

Parent Attorney: Carole Hendrick, Esq Attorney at Law
3927 Mill Road Collegeville, PA 19426

School District Attorney: Karl A. Romberger, Esq

Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP 331 East Butler Avenue
New Britain, PA 18901

Date Record Closed: September 11, 2010

Decision Date: October 2, 2010

Hearing Officer: Gloria M. Satriale, Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

This case concerns the provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education (hereinafter “FAPE”) for Student, an eligible [elementary school aged] student, who resides with Student’s mother in the Pottstown Area School District (hereinafter referred to as “District”) and who has been identified as eligible for special education services due to a diagnosis of autism. This action challenges the actions of the District (hereinafter referred to as “District”) in failing to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (hereinafter referred to as a “FAPE”) to the Student during the 2006/2007; 2007/2008 school years including applicable Extended School Year Services (hereinafter referred to as “ESY”) and seeks compensatory education for that time frame. The District maintains the provision of a FAPE at all times relevant hereto. A Motion to Limit Time filed by the District was GRANTED thereby limiting the scope of this proceeding to events occurring from January 16, 2008 through the end of the 2007/2008 school year only1.

Due process concerning the current matter was filed with the Office for Dispute Resolution on January 16, 2010.2 Theresolutionmeetingwaswaived.AdueprocesshearingwasconductedinthismatteronMay17,2010, May 24, 2010, May 25, 2010, June 17, 2010, June 29, 2010, June 30, 2010 and August 16, 2010.

  1. Exhibits were submitted and accepted on behalf of the Hearing Officer as follows: HO-1
  2. Exhibits were submitted and accepted on behalf of the Parent as follows: P-169, P-170, P-171, P172, P-173, P-174, P-179, P-180, P-182, P-183, P-184, P-185, P- 190, P-191, P-192, P-194, P-195, P-197, P-198, P-203, P-204, P-205, P-206, P-209, P- 210, P-217, P-222, P-223, P-225, P-228, P-230, P-231, P-246, P-249, P-252, P-253, P- 254, P-255, P-256, P-259, P-260
  3. Exhibits were submitted and accepted on behalf of the School District as follows: SD-1, SD-2, SD-3, SD-4, SD-5, SD-6, SD-7, SD-8, SD-9, SD-10, SD-11, SD-12, SD-12, SD- 14, SD-16, SD-17, SD-19, SD-20, SD-21, SD-22, SD-23, SD-24, SD-25, SD-26, SD-27, SD- 28, SD-29, SD-30, SD-31, SD-36, SD-39, SD-40, SD-41, SD-42, SD-47, SD-49, SD-56, SD- 57, SD-59, SD-61, SD-62, SD-63, SD-65, SD-66, SD-68, SD-69, SD-73, SD-86, SD-93, SD- 94, SD-96, SD-102, SD-105, SD-107, SD-109, SD-122, SD-124, SD-125, SD-130, SD-134, SD-136, SD-139, SD-140, SD-142, SD-143, SD-145, SD-147, SD-148, SD-149, SD-150, SD-151, SD-152, SD-154, SD-155, SD-156, SD-157, SD-158, SD-159, SD-161, SD-162, SD-163, SD-164, SD-165, SD-166, SD-166A, SD-166B
  4. Exhibits were accepted by stipulation as follows: P-253, P-254, P-255, P-256, P-259, P-260

    For the reasons that follow, I find in favor of the School District.

    ISSUES

    The issues presented at this hearing included the following:

    1. Did the District develop appropriate IEPs for Student that were reasonably calculated to provide meaningful educational benefit?

    2. Did Student make meaningful educational progress?

    3. Did the District violate parental procedural and participatory rights, and if so, did the violation rise to a substantive denial of a FAPE?

    4. Whether compensatory education is appropriate (and, if so, how much and of what nature)?

J-D-Pottstown-Area-ODRNo-00665-0910KE

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