NK vs. West Chester Area School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: N.K.

Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: November 30, 2010, January 7, 2011

CLOSED HEARING
ODR No. 01679-1011-AS

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Dr. Leigh Ann Ranieri
Director of Pupil Services
West Chester Area School District 829 Paoli Pike
West Chester, PA 19380

Representative:

Dean M. Beer, Esquire McAndrews Law Offices, P.C. 30 Cassatt Avenue
Berwyn, PA 19312

David T. Painter, Esquire
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP 331 E. Butler Avenue
P.O. Box 5069
New Britain, PA 1890

Date Record Closed: January 31, 2011

Date of Decision: February 14, 2011

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

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student1 is a preteen-aged resident of the West Chester Area School District (hereafter District) who is eligible for special education and related services on the basis of autism and a speech/language impairment. On September 27, 2010, Student’s Parents filed a due process complaint under both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)2 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504),3 challenging the educational program offered to Student by the District, and sought tuition reimbursement for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years, as well as reimbursement for an independent educational evaluation (IEE).

The hearing convened over two sessions at which the parties presented evidence in support of their respective positions. For the reasons which follow, I find in favor of the Parents in part and in favor of the District in part.

ISSUES

Whether the District offered a free, appropriate public education to Student for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years and, if not, are the Parents entitled to tuition reimbursement; and

Whether the Parents are entitled to reimbursement for an Independent Educational Evaluation obtained in 2010.

N-K-West-Chester-Area-ODRNo-01679-1011-AS

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