Special Education Hearing Officer
ODR No. 01792-10-11JS
Child’s Name: L.G.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: 2/9/11, 2/25/11, 3/14/11, 3/21/11, 4/1/11
Parties to the Hearing:
School District Central York
775 Marion Road York, PA 17406
Vivian Narehood, Esquire Gibbel, Kraybill and Hess 41 East Orange Street Lancaster, PA 17602
School District Attorney
Brook Say, Esquire
Stock and Leader
Susquehanna Commerce Center East 221 W. Philadelphia Street, Suite 600 York, PA 17401-2994
Date Record Closed: May 20, 2011
Date of Decision: June 4, 2011
Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Student in this case had been diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) in early childhood and received pre-school special education services. Upon enrolling in the District for kindergarten, Student was IDEA eligible based upon diagnoses of autism and speech/language impairment. During the 2009/2010 school year, when Student transitioned to an intermediate level elementary school, Parents became particularly concerned about Student’s lack of academic and social progress, as well as increasing anxiety. After Student completed a summer reading program in the summer of 2010 at a private school, Parents enrolled Student in the private school for the 2010/2011 school year and filed a due process complaint to seek reimbursement for summer and school year tuition. Parents also requested reimbursement for a private psycho-educational evaluation they obtained in the late summer of 2010 and compensatory education for the 2009/2010 school year.
The evidence compiled over the course of five hearing sessions between the beginning of February and the beginning of April 2011 supported Parents’ claims for the most part. Accordingly, based upon the findings of fact and discussion below, Parents will be awarded reimbursement and Student will be awarded compensatory education for the District’s failure to provide Student with an appropriate special education program during the 2009/2010 school year, failure to offer an ESY program for the summer of 2010, and failure to offer an appropriate program designed to meet all of Student’s needs and reasonably calculated to lead to meaningful progress for the 2010/2011 school year. Parents’ claim for reimbursement for the IEE will, however, be denied because it does not meet the IDEA legal standard for a publicly funded IEE under the circumstances presented by this case.
- Did the School District provide Student with an appropriate educational program and placement during the 2009/2010 school year?
- Did the School District appropriately determine that Student was not eligible for extended school year (ESY) services during the summer of 2010?
- If the District failed to provide an appropriate program during the 2009/2010 school year and/or inappropriately failed to offer Student ESY services for the summer of 2010, is Student entitled to an award of compensatory education, and if so, in what amount and what form?
- Did the School District offer Student an appropriate educational program and placement for the 2010/2011 school year?
- In not, are Parents entitled to reimbursement for the costs associated with their unilateral placement of Student in a private school?
- Are Parents entitled to reimbursement for the costs of the independent educational evaluation they obtained?