MH vs. Fox Chapel Area School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: M.H.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing:

May 16, 2012 June 20, 2012 June 25, 2012

CLOSED HEARING

ODR Case #2824-1112KE

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

Fox Chapel Area School District 611 Field Club Road
Pittsburgh PA 15238

Representative:

Pamela Berger, Esquire 434 Grace Street Pittsburgh PA 15211

Patricia Andrews, Esquire 1500 Ardmore Boulevard Suite 506
Pittsburgh PA 15221

Date Record Closed: July 16, 2012

Date of Decision: July 31, 2012

Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[The student] is a [teenaged] student residing in the Fox Chapel Area School District (“District”) who has been identified as a student with a disability under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (specifically under Section 504 of that statute, hence the follow-on reference to this section as “Section 504”).1 After exiting from special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEIA”)2 at the end of the 9th grade (the 2009-2010 school year), the student experienced difficulty in the educational environment at the outset of 11th grade (the 2011-2012 school year). In the fall of 2011, the District denied the parents’ request for an accommodation plan under Section 504. As the result of an alleged denial of a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) under Section 504, parents claim they were required to enroll the student in a private school. Parents seek from the District reimbursement for the private school tuition.

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the District.

ISSUES

Was the student denied a FAPE for the District’s alleged failures under its Section 504 obligations?

If so, are parents entitled to tuition reimbursement?

M-H-Chichester-ODRNo-6092-05-06-AS

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