MT vs. Fox Chapel Area School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION

Child’s Name: M.T.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

ODR File No. 15066-1314 AS

Dates of Hearing:

October 10, 2014 December 9, 2014

OPEN HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

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

Representative:

Pamela E. Berger, Esquire 434 Grace Street Pittsburgh, PA 15211

Patricia R. Andrews, Esquire Andrews and Price
1500 Ardmore Blvd., Suite 506 Pittsburgh, PA 15221

Date Record Closed: January 2, 2015

Date of Decision: January 10, 2015

Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, M.Ed., J.D.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The student (hereafter Student)1 is a mid-elementary school-aged student in the Fox Chapel Area School District (hereafter District) who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).2 Student’s Parents filed a due process complaint against the District asserting that it denied Student a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) under the IDEA as well as the federal and state regulations implementing the statute.

The case proceeded to a due process hearing convening over two sessions, at which the parties presented evidence in support of their respective positions. The Parents sought to establish that the District failed to appropriately address Student’s physical and mobility needs through the use of a specific device, a walker, at school. The District maintained that its special education programming for Student’s physical and mobility needs was appropriate for Student.

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

ISSUES

  1. Whether Student requires the provision of a walker at school at public expense;
  2. Whether Student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) requires the inclusion of goals relating to use of the walker; and
  3. If so, whether Student is entitled to compensatory education for the District’s failure to provide the walker at school and relevant IEP goals addressing that need.3
M-T-Fox-Chapel-Area-ODRNo-15066-1314-AS

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