RB vs. West Chester Area School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: R.B.

ODR #17099 / 15-16 AS

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: January 19, 2016 March 9, 2016 March 29, 2016 April 5, 2016

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

West Chester Area School District 829 Paoli Pike
West Chester, PA 19380

Representative:
Tanya Alvarado, Esquire McAndrews Law Offices 30 Cassatt Avenue Berwyn, PA 19380

David Painter, Esquire
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams 331 Butler Avenue PO Box 5069 New Britain, PA 18901

Date Record Closed: May 3, 2016

Date of Decision: May 25, 2016

Decision Due Date: June 3, 2016

Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D., CHO Certified Hearing Official

Background

Student1 is a late teen-aged eligible student attending 12th grade in the District and receiving special education programming under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA]2. Student’s current eligibility classification is Other Health Impairment (ADHD). As such, Student is also a qualified handicapped person / protected handicapped student under §504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.3

The Parents asked for this hearing, alleging that the District denied Student a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) and are seeking compensatory education, an independent Functional Behavior Analysis, prospective IEP revisions in the areas of behavior support and transition, an appropriate placement for the 2016-2017 school year (a 13th year), reimbursement for tutoring services, and reimbursement for the costs of a privately-obtained IEE. They also are requesting that they be reimbursed for the time the independent evaluator spent testifying at the due process hearing. The District maintains that it has at all relevant times provided Student with FAPE and that the requested relief should therefore be denied in its entirety.

The testimony of every witness, the content of each exhibit, as well as the parties’ written closing statements, were reviewed and considered in issuing this decision, regardless of whether there is a citation to particular testimony of a witness or to an exhibit. After careful consideration I find for the Parents in part and for the District in part.

Issues4

  1. Has the District failed to provide Student with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) by not addressing Student’s deficits in executive functioning, written expression and social skills?
  2. Should the District be required to fund an independent Functional Behavior Analysis (FBA), develop a Positive Behavior Support Plan (PBSP), and revise Student’s transition plan?
  3. Should the District be required to reimburse the Parents for the funds they expended on tutoring services?
R-B-West-Chester-Area-ODRNo-17099-15-16-AS

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