LP vs. Lower Merion School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Student’s Name: LP

Date of Birth: [redacted]

ODR No. 1799-10-11-KE

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

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

Representative: Pro Se

Gail A. Weilheimer, Esquire Wisler Pearlstine LLP
Blue Bell Executive Campus 460 Norristown Road, Suite 110 Blue Bell, PA 19422

Dates of Hearing: July 18, 2011, August 15, 2011, October 21, 2011, November 9, 2011

Record Closed: December 7, 2011

Date of Decision: December 24, 2011

Hearing Officer: William F. Culleton, Jr., Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The captioned student (Student) is an eligible resident of the captioned school district (District), and attended its elementary school, during the time relevant to the captioned matter. (3NT 83, 2NT 11 to 13, NT 275 to 276.) Student is identified as a child with Specific Learning Disability and Speech or Language Impairment pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1401 et seq. (IDEA). (3NT 83, 2NT 11 to 13, NT 275 to 276.)

Parents , named in the caption above, assert that the District failed to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to Student in the 2010-2011 school year; Parents request compensatory education for that year, as well as prospective relief for the 2011-2012 school year. The District asserts that it has provided a FAPE to Student. The hearing was concluded in four sessions amounting to over thirty hours of hearing time, and I incorporated nearly sixteen hours of additional testimony from previous matters into the record in this matter. I also considered several hundred pages of documents admitted into evidence. On the basis of this evidence, I conclude that the District did not violate the requirements of the IDEA and I decline to order either compensatory education or prospective relief.

ISSUES

  1. Did the District fail to provide a free appropriate public education to Student during the relevant period of time from the first day of the 2010-2011 school year until the first day of the hearing in this matter, July 18, 2011?
  2. Did the District prevent or fail to permit the Parents’ participation in the evaluation and IEP planning process, in violation of the requirements of the IDEA, during the relevant period of time?
  3. If the District prevented or failed to permit the Parents’ participation in the evaluation and individualized education program (IEP) planning process during the relevant period of time, did such District actions or omissions impede the Student’s right to a FAPE; significantly impede the Parents’ opportunity to participate in the decision-making process; or cause a deprivation of educational benefits?
  4. Should the hearing officer order the District to provide compensatory education to the Student?
  5. Should the hearing officer enter an order providing prospective relief with regard to the offered IEP and placement for the 2011-2012 school year?
LP-Lower-Merion-ODRNo-1799-10-11-KE

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