MS vs. Pennsbury School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: M.S.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing:

March 6, 2014

March 7, 2014 March 10, 2014 March 17, 2014 March 18, 2014

CLOSED HEARING

ODR Case # 14526-1314KE

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Pennsbury School District 134 Yardley Avenue
P.O. Box 338
Fallsington, PA 19058

Representative: Pro Se

Thomas Warner, Esquire Sweet Stevens Katz & Williams 331 E. Butler Avenue
New Britain, PA 18901

Date Record Closed: April 9, 2014

Date of Decision: April 23, 2014

Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[Student] (“student”) is [a pre-teenaged] student residing in the Pennsbury School District (“District”) who has been identified as a student with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEA”)1. The student has been identified under the terms of IDEA as a student with specific learning disabilities and a speech and language impairment.

In December 2013, the District sought to change the student’s placement in order to deliver specially designed instruction for reading and mathematics in a resource room environment instead of an inclusive, co-taught classroom. The District also sought permission to perform a functional behavior assessment (“FBA”) as the result of certain in-school behaviors exhibited by the student.

The student’s mother did not oppose the proposed change in placement or the request for a FBA. The student’s father, however, took exception to both proposals by the District.

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the father in certain regards and in favor of the District in other regards. The order will also contain certain explicit directives to the student’s individualized education plan (“IEP”) team.

ISSUES

Is the program/placement proposed by the District appropriate for the student?

Should the District be allowed to perform a FBA?

M-S-Pennsbury-ODRNo-14526-1314KE

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