JG vs. New Hope-Solebury School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: J.G.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing:1

October 27, 2016 December 22, 2016 January 12, 2017 January 18, 2017 January 26, 2017 January 31, 2017

CLOSED HEARING

ODR Case #17998-1617AS

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

New Hope-Solebury School District 180 West Bridge Street
New Hope, PA 18938

Representative:

Caryl Oberman, Esquire 705 Easton Road
Willow Grove, PA 19090

Claudia Huot, Esquire
Wisler Pearlstein
Blue Bell Executive Campus
460 Norristown Road – Suite 110 Blue Bell, PA 19422

Date of Decision: March 14, 2017

Hearing Officer: Michael J. McElligott, Esquire

INTRODUCTION

Student2 is a late-teen aged student residing in the New Hope- Solebury School District (“District”). The parties agree that the student qualifies under the terms of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEIA”)3 for specially designed instruction/related services as a student with attention difficulties, receptive and expressive speech and language needs, and specific learning disabilities in reading, mathematics, and written expression.

Parents claim that the student was denied a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) during the student’s enrollment in the District for the school years 2013-2014, 2014-2015, and the fall semester of 2015 and seek a compensatory education remedy for those alleged denials, including extended school year (“ESY”) services for the summer of 2015. In the midst of the 2015-2016 school year, the student was enrolled unilaterally in a private placement. Parents seek tuition reimbursement for that private placement, for the spring semester of 2016, for a private summer program in the summer of 2016, and the entire 2016-2017 school year. Parents seek a tuition reimbursement remedy for that enrollment, for the end of the 2015-2016 school year and the 2016-2017 school year. Parents also seek reimbursement for the out- of-pocket expense for private tutoring.

The District counters that at all times it provided FAPE to the student for the period of the student’s enrollment. As such, the District argues that the parents are not entitled to remedy, whether compensatory education or tuition reimbursement.

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the District.

ISSUES

Did the District deny the student FAPE
for the 2013-2014, 2014-2015,
and/or the first half of the 2015-2016 school years?

Did the District deny the student FAPE related to ESY services in the summer of 2015?

If the answer to either of these questions is in the negative, is the student entitled to compensatory education?

Are parents entitled to tuition reimbursement for the unilateral private placement
for the second half of the 2016-2017 and/or the 2016-2017 school years?

Are parents entitled to reimbursement for the expense of private tutoring?

J-G-New-Hope-Solebury-ODRNo-17998-1617AS

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