NB vs. Abington Heights School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: NB

Date of Birth: XX/XX/XX

Dates of Hearing: October 6, October 27, November 17, 2008

CLOSED HEARING

ODR No. 9044/08-09 AS

Parties to the Hearing:

Sam Sica, Director of Special Services Abington Heights School District
200 East Grove Street
Clarks Summit, PA 18411-1776

Representative:

Drew Christian, Esq. Attorney-at-Law 801 Monroe Avenue Scranton, PA 18510

Sarah Davis, Esq.
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams P.O. Box 5069
331 Butler Avenue
New Britain, PA 18901

Date Record Closed: November 26, 2008

Date of Decision: December 9, 2008

Hearing Officer: Daniel J. Myers

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student (Student) 1 is an early elementary school age child with severe behavioral problems. After providing instructional support team services in kindergarten, and relying upon mental health agency TSS services in a transitional first grade (T-1) class, the Abington Heights School District (School District) evaluated Student at the end of the transitional first grade class and recommended that Student spend first grade in a partial hospitalization program. When the partial hospitalization program determined that Student could not return for the following school year, the School District recommended that Student attend an approved private school. Student’s parent unilaterally chose, instead, to enroll Student into a private school and filed for due process. For the reasons described below, I conclude that the School District violated its child find obligations, issued an inappropriate evaluation report (ER) and individualized education program (IEP), and owes compensatory education to Student for the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school years.

ISSUES

  •   Should the School District have identified Student as a child with a disability and provided FAPE to Student during the 2006-2007 school year?
  •   Did the School District provide FAPE to Student during the 2007-2008 school year?
  •  Where Student’s parent unilaterally placed Student in a private school for the 2008-2009 school year and does not claim tuition reimbursement, may Student nevertheless claim compensatory education for alleged 2008-2009 FAPE denial?
NB-Abington-Heights-ODRNo-9044-08-09-AS

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