KS vs. Wallingford‐ Swarthmore School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION

Student: K.S.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Hearing Dates: April 16, 2010, April 28, 2010, June 7, 2010, June 8, 2010, July 22, 2010 and July 23, 2010

ODR File No.: 00579/0910AS

School District: Wallingford‐ Swarthmore School District

OPEN HEARING

Parties:
Wallingford Swarthmore School District

Parent[s]

Representatives:

Mark Fitzgerald
Fox Rothschild LLP
10 Sentry Parkway, Suite 200 P.O. Box 3001
Blue Bell, PA 19422‐3001

Catherine Reisman Reisman Carolla Gran LLP 19 Chestnut Street Haddonfield NJ, 08033

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

This case concerns the provision of a free and appropriate public education (hereinafter referred to as a “FAPE”) to Student an eligible student who resides with Student’s Parent in [Redacted], Pennsylvania. Student’s eligibility rests with a complex pattern of generalized diffuse organic brain dysfunctions including multi‐sensory neuropsychological impairments in addition to global developmental delays involving every area of speech, language, motor, sensory and all academic domains. This action challenges the actions of the Wallingford‐Swarthmore School District in failing to provide a FAPE to the Student from September 2007 through the end of fall 2009‐2010 school year, including applicable Extended School Year Services (ESY) services; and seeks compensatory education for that time frame as well as reimbursement for a subsequent unilateral private placement.

Due process concerning the current matter was filed with the Office for Dispute Resolution on December 18, 2009. The resolution meeting was waived. A due process hearing was conducted in this matter on April 16, 2010, April 28, 2010, June 7, 2010, June 8, 2010, July 22, 2010 and July 23, 2010.

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

    HO‐1

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

    P‐1, P‐1A, P‐2, P‐3, P‐4, P‐6, P‐8, P‐10, P‐11, P‐12, P‐13, P‐14, P‐15, P‐16, P‐17, P‐18, P‐19, P‐23, P‐24, P‐26, P‐27, P‐29, P‐30, P‐31, P‐36, P‐38, P‐40, P‐41, P‐42, P‐43, P‐44, P‐45, P‐50, P‐51, P‐52, P‐54, P‐55

  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‐12A, SD‐13, SD‐14, SD‐14A, SD‐15, SD‐17, SD‐17A, SD‐18, SD‐18A, SD‐19, SD‐20, SD‐21, SD‐22, SD‐23, SD‐24, SD‐26, SD‐27, SD‐27A, SD‐29, SD‐29A, SD‐30, SD‐31, SD‐33, SD‐34, SD‐35, SD‐36, SD‐37, SD‐38, SD‐39, SD‐42, SD‐44, SD‐48, SD‐49, SD‐50, SD‐51, SD‐52, SD‐53, SD‐54, SD‐55, SD‐56, SD‐57, SD‐59, SD‐61
  4. Exhibits were removed by stipulation as follows: P‐32, P‐33, p2 of P‐4

ISSUES

The issues presented at this hearing included the following:

  1. Did the District provide sufficient and appropriate special education services (including ESY services) to the Student from December 18, 2007 through December 21, 2009, and if not, in what areas, in what amount and in what form should compensatory education be awarded to the Student?
  2. Is the Parent entitled to reimbursement for tuition and transportation of the Student to the unilateral private placement for the spring 2010 semester? A decision on this issue must be framed in a three (3) part analysis:
  1. Was the program and placement the District offered to the Student for the 2007/2008, 2008/2009 and Fall 2010 school year appropriate?
  2. If the program and placement the District offered to the Student for the 2007- 2008, 2008/2009 and fall 2010 school year was not appropriate, was the placement unilaterally chosen by the Parents appropriate?
  3. If the District did not offer the Student an appropriate program and placement for the 2007/2008, 2008/2009 and fall 2010 school year, and the placement unilaterally chosen by Parents was appropriate, are there equitable considerations that would serve to remove or reduce the District’s responsibility to reimburse the Parents for the Student’s tuition for that school year?
K-S-Wallingford‐-Swarthmore-ODRNo-00579-0910AS

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