JS vs. North Penn School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION

Student: J.S.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Hearing Dates: November 12, 2009, March 29, 2010, March 30, 2010, April 21, 2010, May 13, 2010

ODR File No.: 00219/09-10AS

School District: North Penn School District

CLOSED HEARING

Parties: Parent[s]

North Penn School District

Representatives:

Parent Attorney:
Frederick M. Stanczak, Esq.
Law Offices of Frederick M. Stanczak 179 North Broad Street
Doylestown, PA 18901

School District Attorney:
Brian Jason Ford, Esquire
Dischell Bartle Yanoff & Dooley, P.C. 1800 Pennbrook Parkway Lansdale, PA 19446-3860

Date Record Closed: June 5, 2010

Decision Date: June 19, 2010

Hearing Officer: Gloria M. Satriale, Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

This case concerns the provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education (hereinafter referred to as “FAPE”) for Student (hereinafter referred to as “Student”), an eligible elementary school age student, who resides with the Parents within the North Penn School District (hereinafter referred to as “District”) and who has been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (hereinafter referred to as “ASD”). The District denies all claims the Parents assert regarding the District’s failure to provide an IEP which was reasonably calculated to confer meaningful educational benefit in that the District failed to employ critical analytical procedures to establish and address needs in behavior, life skills and communication domain areas.

The matter was initially filed in June of 2009, but was subsequently withdrawn with an agreement to toll time lines pending approval of an agreement reached on the issues between the parties. The instant complaint was filed once the agreement was not approved by the Board. The matter was originally convened by Hearing Officer DeLauro who deemed the two proceedings treated as one honoring the original timelines and extended period for which relief is sought. {NT 12} The matter was reassigned to the undersigned Hearing Officer.1

Due process concerning the current matter was filed with the Office for Dispute Resolution on August 23, 2009. The resolution meeting was waived. A Due Process hearing was conducted in this matter on November 12, 2009; March 29, 2010; March 30, 2010; April 21, 2010; and May 13, 2010.

  1. Exhibits were submitted and accepted on behalf of the Hearing Officer as follows:

    HO-2, HO-3

  2. Exhibits were submitted and accepted on behalf of the Parent as follows:

    P-1, P-2, P-3, P-4, P-5, P-6, P-7, P-8, P-9, P-10, P-11, P-12, P-13, P-14, P-16, P-17, P-18, P-19, P-20, P-21, P-22, P-23, P-24, P-25, P-26, P-27, P-28, P-29, P-30, P-31, P-32, P-33, P-34

  3. Exhibits were submitted and accepted on behalf of the 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-13, SD-14, SD-15, SD-16, SD-17, SD-18, SD-19, SD-20, SD- 21, SD-22, SD-23, SD-24, SD-25, SD-26, SD-27, SD-28
  4. Exhibits were submitted and accepted on jointly as follows: J-1, J-2

For the reasons that follow, and in accordance with the following ORDER, I find IN PART for the PARENT and IN PART for the SCHOOL DISTRICT in that I find that the Student was DENIED FAPE for the 2007/2008/2008-2009/2009-2010 school years and award compensatory education in the amount of 1440 hours and find the current IEP INAPPROPRIATE and direct the DISTRICT to convene an IEP within 10 days of this ORDER to address behavioral needs under the guidance of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with previous experience with young children with the diagnosis of autism to oversee the development and implementation of a positive behavior support/Crises prevention/intervention plan. Additionally, the District shall maintain a home program at the level of intensity determined by the IEP team, but in no event less than 10 hours per week.

ISSUES

The issues presented at this hearing included the following:

  1. Did the District fail to provide the Student with a Free and Appropriate Public Education (hereinafter referred to as a “FAPE”) for the 2007-2008 and the 2008- 2009 and the 2009-2010 school years?
  2. Is the Individualized Education Plan (hereinafter referred to as “IEP”) that has been proposed for the current school (2009-2010) year appropriate?
  3. Is the Student entitled to Compensatory Education for the 2007-2008, 2008-2009 and 2009-2010?
  4. Is the Parent entitled to reimbursement for the Independent Educational Evaluation (hereinafter referred to as “IEE”) procured and paid for by Parent.2
J-S-North-Penn-ODRNo-00219-09-10AS

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