NS vs. Belle Vernon Area School District

Pennsylvania

Special Education Hearing Officer

Final Decision and Order

CLOSED HEARING

ODR File Number: 18979 16 17

Child’s Name: N.S.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing:

6/26/2017, 8/16/2017, 9/21/2017

Parent(s):

Parent(s)

Counsel for Parents

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

Local Education Agency:
Belle Vernon Area School District, 270 Crest Avenue Belle Vernon, PA 15012

Counsel for the LEA

Annemarie Harr, Esquire, 445 Fort Pitt Boulevard, Suite 503 Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Hearing Officer: Michael J. McElligott, Esquire

Date of Decision: 10/23/2017

INTRODUCTION

[The student] (“student”)1 is [a primary elementary school-aged] student who resides in the Belle Vernon Area 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”)2 as a student with a health impairment, specifically attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (“ADHD”). Parent also claims that the District both denied the student FAPE and discriminated against the student in violation of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, particularly Section 504 of that statute (“Section 504”).3

Parent claims that the student was denied a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) for a period during the 2016-2017 school year for allegedly failing to identify the student’s disability prior to March 2017 and in the student’s placement from March through April 2017. Parent seeks compensatory education as a remedy.

The District counters that it timely identified the student’s disability. Additionally, the District asserts that at all times its programming and placement were designed to provide FAPE to the student and, when implemented, provided FAPE for the period of parent’s allegations. As such, the District argues that the parent is not entitled to a compensatory education remedy.

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

ISSUES

Did the District meet its obligation
to identify the student as a student with a disability?

Did the District provide a FAPE to the student through the student’s program/placement in March and April 2017?

If this question is answered in the negative,
is the student entitled to compensatory education?

N-S-Belle-Vernon-Area-ODRNo-18979-16-17

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