Special Education Hearing Officer
Child’s Name: M.W.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing:1
September 22, 2016 October 19, 2016 November 15, 2016 November 16, 2016 December 2, 2016
ODR Case #17995-1617KE
Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]
Owen J. Roberts School District Warwick Administration Building 3650 St. Peters Road
Elverson, PA 19465
Mark Voigt, Esquire
Plymouth Meeting Executive Campus 600 East Germantown Pike
Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
Sharon Montanye, Esquire Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams 331 E. Butler Avenue
New Britain, PA 18901
Date of Decision: January 18, 2017
Hearing Officer: Michael J. McElligott, Esquire
Student2 is a late-teen aged student residing in the Owen J. Roberts School District (“District”). The parties agree that the student qualifies under the terms of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEIA”)3 for specially designed instruction/related services as a student with specific learning disabilities.
Parents claim, in their complaint, that the student was denied a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) during the student’s enrollment in the District for the school years 2014-2015 (including summer 2015) and 2015-2016, and seek a compensatory education remedy for that alleged denial. At the end of the 2015-2016 school year and for the entire 2016-2017 school year, the student was enrolled unilaterally in a private placement. Parents seek a tuition reimbursement remedy for that enrollment, for the end of the 2015-2016 school year and the 2016-2017 school year (including summer 2016 programming at the private placement).4
The District counters that at all times it provided FAPE to the student for the period of the student’s enrollment. As such, the District argues that the parents are not entitled to remedy, whether compensatory education or tuition reimbursement.
For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the District on certain claims and the parents on other claims.
Did the District provide the student with FAPE for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years?
If not, is the student entitled to compensatory education?
Are parents entitled to tuition reimbursement for the unilateral private placement
for the final months of the 2015-2016 school year and the 2016-2017 school year?