JK vs. Owen J. Roberts School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: J. K.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: May 25, 2016 May 26, 2016 June 8, 2016 June 15, 2016

CLOSED HEARING

ODR Case #17187-1516AS

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Owen J. Roberts School District 3650 St. Peters Road
Elverson, PA 19520

Representative: Pro Se

David Painter, Esquire 331 East Butler Avenue New Britain, PA 18901

Date of Decision: July 30, 2016

Hearing Officer: Michael J. McElligott, Esquire

INTRODUCTION

Student1 is an elementary school age student residing in the District who has been identified as a student with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEIA)2. The student has been identified under the terms of IDEIA as a student with the health impairment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (“ADHD”), specific learning disability, and speech/language impairment.

The student was initially evaluated, and identified as a student who required special education under the IDEIA, in November 2013 while a resident in a nearby school district. In May 2015, the parents requested that the student by re-evaluated by the District. In October 2015, the District issued its re-evaluation report (“RR”).

On December 23, 2015, after meetings of the student’s individualized education plan (“IEP”) team through the fall of 2015, the parents filed a special education due process complaint at this file number, alleging that the student was denied a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”). At some point in the midst of these matters, the parents requested an independent educational evaluation (“IEE”) at public expense. On December 31, 2015, pursuant to 34 C.F.R.

1 The generic “student”, and gender-neutral pronouns will be utilized throughout the decision to protect the student’s confidentiality.
2 It is this hearing officer’s preference to cite to the implementing regulation of the IDEIA at 34 C.F.R. §§300.1-300.818. See also 24 PA Code §§14.101-14.162. §§300.502(b)(1),(2); 22 PA Code §14.102(a)(2)(xxix), the District filed a special education due process complaint in defense of its evaluation process/report at ODR file number 17196-1516AS. A complicated procedural history ensued, which is detailed below.

In terms of the issues in this matter, parents’ complaint of December 2015 contains three issues: (1) the appropriateness of the student’s individualized education plan (“IEP”) from November 2015, (2) the appropriateness of the proposed IEP of April 2016, and (3) claims that the District discriminated against the student, and retaliated against the student’s family, in violation of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”).3

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

ISSUES

Is the proposed IEP from November 2015 appropriate? Is the proposed IEP from April 2016 appropriate? Did the District fail in its obligations under Section 504?

J-K-Owen-J-Roberts-ODRNo-17187-1516AS

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