JK vs. Annville-Cleona School District

IN THE PENNSYLVANIA OFFICE FOR DISPUTE RESOLUTION

FINAL DECISION AND ORDER

ODR File No. 3355-1213AS

CLOSED HEARING

Child’s Name: J.K.1

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Hearing Date(s): 09/21/2012, 09/24/2012

Parties to the Hearing

Parent

Annville-Cleona School District 520 South White Oak Street Annville, PA 17003

Representative

Jennifer M. L. Bradley, Esquire McAndrews Law Offices, P.C. 30 Cassatt Avenue
Berwyn, PA 19312

Record Closed: 10/05/2012

Date of Decision: 10/19/2012

Hearing Officer: Brian Jason Ford

Introduction and Procedural History

This hearing was requested by the Parent against the Annville-Cleona School District (District) pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq. (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. § 701 et seq. (Section 504) and their federal and state implementing regulations.

In the Complaint, the Parent alleged that the District denied the Student a free appropriate public education (FAPE) between the start of the 2009-2010 school year through June of 2011. A number of correspondences and pre-hearing motions concerning the scope of this hearing followed. Ultimately, in a pre-hearing order, I decided that I would hear evidence and testimony concerning the IDEA’s statute of limitations and the exceptions thereto during the hearing. In the same pre-hearing order, I determined that if the statute of limitations applies, claims arising on or before February 24, 2010 are time barred.

In substance, the Parent alleges that the District breached its Child Find obligations under both the IDEA and Section 504 by failing to identify the Student as a child with a disability in need of special education. More specifically, the Parent alleges that the Student is IDEA-eligible as a student with an Emotional Disturbance, which manifested itself in school in a number of ways.

In response to the Parent’s substantive allegations, the District avers that it did not breach its Child Find duties and responded appropriately to all of the Student’s behaviors.

For reasons detailed below, I find that the exceptions to the IDEA’s statute of limitations have not been triggered, that the IDEA’s statute of limitations applies, that the District violated Child Find, and that compensatory education is owed.

Issues2

1. Are claims arising on or before February 24, 2010 time-barred by the IDEA’s statute of limitations?

2. Did the District breach its Child Find obligations to the Student, resulting in a denial of FAPE?

J-K-Annville-Cleona-ODRNo-3355-1213AS

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