KM vs. School District Abington

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION
ODR No. 01889-10-11KE

Child’s Name: K.M.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: 2/10/11, 3/17/11, 4/15/11, 5/4/11

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing:

Parents Parent[s]

School District Abington
970 Highland Avenue Abington, PA 19001

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Heidi Konkler-Goldsmith, Esq. 30 Cassatt Avenue
Berwyn, PA 19312

School District Attorney Claudia Huot, Esq.
Blue Bell Executive Campus 460 Norristown Road, Suite 110 Blue Bell, PA 19422

Date Record Closed: June 8, 2011

Date of Decision: June 15, 2011

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Parents in this case were concerned about Student’s continuing struggles with reading despite regular education supportive services since 1st grade. Student was privately evaluated near the end of 2nd grade, followed by a School District evaluation at the beginning of 3rd grade, resulting in a determination that Student is IDEA eligible due to specific learning disabilities.

The District provided an IEP to address Student’s difficulties with reading skills, primarily, particularly fluency and decoding, and with maintaining focus/attention. Dissatisfied with Student’s progress at the end of the 3rd grade school year, however, Parents enrolled Student in a private school for the summer of 2009, as well as for the following two school years.
Parents subsequently filed a due process complaint seeking compensatory education for 1st, 2nd and the beginning of 3rd grade for denial of FAPE based upon a child find violation; compensatory education for the second half of the 3rd grade school year for an allegedly insufficient and inappropriate special education program; compensatory education for the summer of 2009 in the form of reimbursement for the private school summer reading program Parents provided and based upon the District’s failure to offer an ESY program; private school tuition reimbursement for Student’s 4th and 5th grade school years.

After 2 hearing sessions limited to the evidence required for a determination whether the IDEA limitations period should be extended in this case, the District’s motion to limit the scope of Parents’ claims was granted, and the hearing proceeded without further consideration of the alleged child find violations. After review and consideration of the complete record, including the evidence taken at all four hearing sessions and the arguments of counsel, Parents’ remaining claims are denied.

ISSUES

  1. Is Student entitled to compensatory education for the School District’s failure to provide Student with a procedurally and substantively appropriate special education program from December 13, 2008 through the end of the 2008/2009 school year, and if so, in what amount and what form?
  2. Is Student entitled to compensatory education for the School District’s failure to offer an ESY program for the summer of 2009, and if so, should Parents be reimbursed for the private school summer reading program they provided for Student?
  3. Are Parents entitled to tuition reimbursement for the private school in which they enrolled Student for the 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 school years?
K-M-Abington-ODRNo-01889-10-11KE

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