JK vs. Council Rock School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: J.K.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

ODR No. 01134-0910 KE

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing:

Parent[s]

Council Rock School District 30 North Chancellor Street Newtown, PA 18940

Representative:

Frederick M. Stanczak, Esquire 179 N. Broad Street, 2d Floor Doylestown, PA 18901

Grace M. Deon, Esquire Eastburn and Gray P.C.
60 East Court Street
P.O. Box 1389
Doylestown, PA 18901-0137

Date of Resolution Meeting: July 7, 2010

Dates of Hearing August 12, 2010; October 13, 2010; October 29, 2010

Record Closed: November 1, 2010

Date of Decision: November 16, 2010

Hearing Officer: William F. Culleton, Jr., Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student is a [teenaged] eligible resident of the Council Rock School District (District). (NT 8-10 to 18, 9-9 to 18.) The Student is identified with Specific Learning Disability and Speech or Language Impairment under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1401 et seq. (IDEA). (NT 8-10 to 18, 9-9 to 18.) [Student’s Parents] (Parents) request due process, seeking tuition reimbursement for a unilateral placement at a private school. Both parties requested that the hearing officer construe and enforce a settlement agreement by which the parties had agreed to a pendent placement during the time that is relevant to this matter, and according to which the parents assert entitlement to tuition reimbursement. Parents allege that the District failed to offer or provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to the Student, by reason of its breach of the time lines in the settlement agreement, and due to various deficiencies in the program and placement offered prior to the unilateral placement. The District asserts that it offered a FAPE and that the private placement is inappropriate.

The hearing was conducted and concluded in three sessions and the record closed upon receipt of the final transcript.

ISSUES

  1. Should the hearing officer enforce the Settlement Agreement and Release executed by the parties as of September 17, 2009?
  2. Was the placement offered by the District for the 2010-2011 school year the pendent placement at commencement of this matter?
  3. Did the District fail to offer to Parents appropriate special educational services with regard to the Student’s communication and social needs, and with regard to the Student’s needs for supports for the offered transition to a District school, especially considering the potential for anxiety, such that the District failed to offer a FAPE through an appropriate program and placement for the 2010-2011 school year?
  4. Were the Parents prevented from participating in educational planning for the Student to the extent that the District denied the Student a FAPE?
  5. Was the [Private] School an appropriate placement for the Student for the 2010-2011 school year?
  6. Should the hearing officer order the District to pay the cost of tuition and transportation of the Student at the [Private] School for the 2010-2011 school year?
J-K-Council-Rock-ODRNo-01134-0910-KE

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