MS vs. East Penn School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: MS

Date of Birth: XX-XX-XXXX

Dates of Hearing:
May 26, 2009, June 4, 2009 , October 15, 2009, October 16, 2009,

October 21, 2009, October 30, 2009, November 5, 2009, and November 20, 2009

CLOSED HEARING

ODR Case #s 9743-08-09-LS 10106-08-09-LS 00283-09-10-LS (consolidated cases)

Parties to the Hearing: Mr.

Ms.

Ms. Linda Pekarik
East Penn School District 800 Pine Street
Emmaus, PA 18049

Representative: Pro Se

Elizabeth Kapo, Esquire 2123 Pinehurst Road Bethlehem, PA 18018

Marc Fisher, Esquire 2610 Walbert Avenue Allentown, PA 18014

Date Record Closed: December 23, 2009

Date of Decision: January 7, 2009

Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

“Student” (“student”) is an 8-year old student residing in the East Penn School District (“District”) who has been identified as a student with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEIA”)1, specifically severe autism. The student’s mother filed a series of complaints alleging that the student’s educational program and placement for the 2007-2008, 2008-2009, and 2009-2010 school years (including extended school year programming [“ESY”] in summer 2008 and 2009) are inappropriate. The student’s father disagrees, and in doing so agrees with the District’s position, feeling that the District’s programs and placement have been, and are, appropriate for the student.2

The June 4th session of these hearings was devoted to the 2009 ESY issue, and on June 29, 2009, an interim decision was issued to dispose of the 2009 ESY issue only.

As set forth below, the District has deprived the student of FAPE in portions of each of the three school years resulting in an award of compensatory education.

ISSUES

Was the District’s program and placement for the 2007- 2008 school year, including 2008 ESY, appropriately designed and implemented?

Was the District’s program and placement for the 2008- 2009 school year appropriately designed and implemented?

Is the District’s program and placement for the 2009- 2010 school year appropriately designed and being appropriately implemented?

MS-East-Penn-ODRNo-9743-08-09-LS

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