KW vs. Western Wayne School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION

DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: K.W.

ODR #3343/12-13-AS

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: November 12, 2012 November 19, 2012

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

Western Wayne School District 1970 B Easton Turnpike
Lake Ariel, PA 18436

Representative:

Heather Hulse, Esquire McAndrews Law Offices 30 Cassatt Avenue Berwyn, PA 19312

Erin Gilsbach, Esquire
King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul One West Broad Street Suite 700 Bethlehem, PA 18018

Date Record Closed: December 11, 2012

Date of Decision: December 21, 2012

Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D., CHO Certified Hearing Official

Background

Student1 is a former resident of the Western Wayne School District [District]2 who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA] under the classification of intellectual disability and consequently a protected handicapped individual under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 [Section 504], as well as the federal and state regulations implementing those statutes.

The current matter addresses the Parents’3 assertion that the District denied Student a free appropriate public education [FAPE]. As the Parents also asserted exceptions to the IDEA’s two- year limitations period, the first part of the first hearing day was devoted to addressing this issue. After receiving testimony the hearing officer ruled that neither exception applied. Accordingly the scope of the hearing was for the period from July 5, 2010 to the present.

The Parents filed for this hearing on July 5, 2012. The first hearing session was scheduled for August 20, 2012, a date within the statutory timelines. At the request of the parties this date was changed and the Decision Due Date extended; the hearing was rescheduled for September 17, 2012. Although the parties, witnesses and the hearing officer were gathered at the District on that date, one of the attorneys became ill on the way to the hearing and the matter needed to be rescheduled, resulting in a further extension of the Decision Due Date. A second session was needed to complete the hearing and parties were granted time to prepare written closing arguments thus further extending the Decision Due Date.

Issues

Did the Western Wayne School District deny Student a free appropriate public education? Specifically4:

Did the District provide appropriate instruction to Student in the area of functional academics?

Did the District appropriately address behavioral concerns that Student may have been exhibiting?

Did the District provide appropriate social skills [interpersonal skills] training to Student?

Did the District provide Student with appropriate speech and language services in the area of pragmatics?

K-W-Western-Wayne-ODRNo-3343-12-13-AS

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