RB vs. Abington Heights School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION
ODR No. 2527-1112 AS

Child’s Name: R.B.
Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: 2/9/12

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

School District
Abington Heights
200 East Grove Street
Clarks Summit, PA 18411-1776

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Drew Christian, Esquire 801 Monroe Avenue Scranton, PA 18510

School District Attorney William McPartland, Esq. Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin

50 Glemaura National Boulevard Moosic, PA 18507

Date Record Closed: February 28, 2012

Date of Decision: March 13, 2012

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student has resided in the School District for several years but attended school only briefly. Due to a number of significant medical conditions and impairments, a psychologist who provided private evaluations in 2007 and 2010 recommend that Student not return to a public school setting. Since that time, instruction in the home has been Student’s special education placement.

Parent filed a due process complaint when the District provided no educational services at all to Student for approximately the first 10 weeks of the current school year due to its inability to assign a teacher until the scholastic football season ended. Parent alleged a denial of FAPE arising from the District’s failure to provide sufficient evaluations, academic instruction and related services for two years prior to the date of Parent’s November 11, 2011 complaint and continuing through the present.

For the reasons explained below, Parent’s request for compensatory education will be granted from the beginning of the two year period, and the hours of compensatory education will continue to accrue until the District offers an appropriate special education program, including related services. The District will also be ordered to convene Student’s IEP team to begin developing an appropriate IEP that includes a realistic plan for providing a less restrictive special education placement for Student as soon as reasonably possible. The District will also be ordered to fund independent evaluations to assure that all of Student’s physical, emotional, social, academic and transition needs are properly investigated and identified.

ISSUES

  1. Did the School District deny Student a free, appropriate public education at any time from November 11, 2009 to the present by failing to provide:

    a. Appropriate IEPs, including sufficient hours of instruction
    b. Related services necessary for Student to benefit from special education services?

  2. Should the School District be required to fund one or more independent educational evaluations to determine Student’s current needs for special education, related services and transition to adult life services?
  3. Is Student entitled to an award of compensatory education, and if so, for what period and in what amount?
R-B-Abington-Heights-ODRNo-2527-1112-AS

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