JW vs. School District Lower Merion

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION
ODR No. 00011-0910LS

Child’s Name: JW
Date of Birth: XX-XX-XXXX

Dates of Hearing: 8/26/09; 9/29/09, 10/9/09, 10/12/09, 10/13/09, 10/14/09, 10/15/09, 1/4/10, 1/8/10, 1/15/10

OPEN HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent

School District
Lower Merion
301 E. Montgomery Avenue Ardmore, PA 19003-3338

Representative:

Parent Attorneys
Sonja Kerr, Esq.
Sandra Wang, Esq.
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia

1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, 2nd Floor Philadelphia, PA 19103

School District Attorney Gail Weilhimer, Esq. Wisler, Pearlstine, LLP 484 Norristown Road, Suite 100

Blue Bell, PA 19422

Date Record Closed: February 24, 2010

Date of Decision: March 11, 2010

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

“Student” is presently a 12th grade student at Lower Merion High School (School). “Student” has been IDEA eligible by reason of learning disabilities since first grade.

“Student’s” Parent filed a due process complaint early in July 2009, seeking an IEE, intensive reading and math instruction, two years of compensatory education for lack of educational progress, including inadequate transition services, a private school placement for the 2009/2010 school year and an additional year of school in the private placement, contending that “Student” is unprepared for graduation and the completion of his secondary education program.

For the reasons that follow, the District will be required to provide “student” with intensive, individualized reading and math instruction for the remainder of the current school year. The District will also be ordered to offer the intensive reading and math instruction, along with other educational and related services in a setting other than School for a minimum period of an additional school year. “Student” will also awarded limited compensatory education for the 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 school years. In all other respects, Parent’s claims will be denied.

ISSUES

  1. Did the School fail to provide “student” with an appropriate program and placement at any time during the 2007/2008, 2008/2009 or 2009/2010 school years?
  2. Is “student” entitled to compensatory education and if so, for what amount of time and in what form?
  3. Is the School required to provide “student” with an independent educational evaluation (IEE)?
  4. Is the School required to provide “student” with intensive reading and math instruction during the remainder of the 2009/2010 school year?
  5. Is the School required to provide “student” with an additional year of secondary education, and if so, is the District required to identify and fund a private placement for the 2010/2011 school year?
JW-Lower-Merion-ODRNo-00011-0910LS

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