MC vs. Marple Newtown School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION
ODR No. 13807-1213 KE

Child’s Name: M.C.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: 6/17/13, 10/29/13, 12/5/13,

12/9/13, 12/11/13, 1/23/14

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing:

Parents Parent[s]

School District
Marple Newtown
40 Media Line Road Newtown Square, PA 19073

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Tanya Alvarado, Esquire McAndrews Law Offices 30 Cassatt Avenue Berwyn, PA 19312

School District Attorney
Karl Romberger, Jr. Esquire Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams 331 E. Butler Ave.
New Britain, PA 18901

Date Record Closed: March 10, 2014

Date of Decision: March 28, 2014

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student in this case has been enrolled in the District and received special education and related services continuously since transitioning from early intervention due to the disabling effects of a complicated early health history. Student will reach the statutory limit of eligibility at the end of the current school year.

In the spring of Student’s 12th grade (2012/2013) school year, Parent submitted the due process complaint in this case, alleging that the District failed to appropriately evaluate Student and to provide sufficient special education services, specifically including transition services and assistive technology, to appropriately address Student’s significant needs, leaving Student unprepared for adult life. Parent seeks full days of compensatory education from April 26, 2011 (10th grade) through the end of the current school year, including the summers of 2011 and 2012 but excluding the summer and fall of 2013. Parent also seeks independent assistive technology and transition evaluations funded by the District.

Despite the extensive efforts of the parties and counsel to resolve all of the issues in dispute, resulting in considerable delay in completing the record, a six session hearing was ultimately conducted between June 2013 and January 2014. For the reasons that follow, the District will be ordered to provide the independent assistive technology and transition assessments, as well as a limited amount of compensatory education.

ISSUES

  1. Did the School District appropriately evaluate Student in order to identify all needs?
  2. Were the IEPs the District offered Student from April 26, 2011 to the present reasonably calculated to result in meaningful educational benefit, and, therefore, appropriate for Student?
  3. If the District failed to offer and provide appropriate placements and educational services during the period in dispute, including ESY for the summers of 2011 and 2012, is Student entitled to an award of compensatory education and/or other equitable relief, and if so, in what amount and in what form?1

M-C-Marple-Newtown-ODRNo-13807-1213-KE

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