RD vs. Bethlehem Area School District

RD
8279/07-08 LS
Name

Xx/xx/xx
Date of Birth

12/19/07; 1/28/08; 2/4/08
Dates of Hearing

Closed
Type of Hearing

Parties to the Hearing:

Mr. & Mrs. Parents’ Names

Address

Bethlehem Area School District

1815 Main Street Bethlehem, PA 18017-6099

School District Address

School District Superintendent

John J. Hatzell, Esq.
1700 Market Street, Suite 1620 Philadelphia, PA 19103
School District Counsel & Address

Frederick M. Stanczak, Esq. 179 North Broad Street Doylestown, PA 18901 Parent Counsel & Address

2/09/08
Date Transcript Received

3/9/08
Date of Decision

2/19/08
Date Record Closed

Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

Hearing Officer Name

Signature of Hearing Officer

I. BACKGROUND

Student is a xx year old resident of the Bethlehem Area School District,
currently enrolled in 8th grade at the [redacted Private School] in [town]. Although Private School is an approved private school, Student was placed there by his Parents who are seeking tuition reimbursement for the 2007/2008 school year and transportation. Student is eligible for special education services under the OHI disability category based upon a diagnosis of ADHD. In recent School District and private evaluations, Student was also determined to have specific learning disabilities in reading, math and written expression and significant language processing difficulties.

Although a long time resident of the District, Student was primarily enrolled in parochial schools, attending a District public school for a period that encompassed less than two full school years. Unfortunately, Student had increasingly difficult school years regardless of the specific setting, most notable for intensifying social problems, which culminated in a hospital admission in the spring of 2007 due to depression and suicide threats. Beginning in January 2007, Student’s Parents obtained several private evaluations to determine the best means of addressing his social and academic needs. After Student’s release from the hospital, his Parents contacted the School District to obtain IDEA services for Student. The District offered a psycho- educational evaluation to be conducted at the beginning of the 2007/2008 school year, and proposed placing Student in a regular education setting at the start of the current school year pending completion of the evaluation and development of an IEP.

Concerned that attending regular classes would be unsuccessful at best and damaging at worst in light of his prior school difficulties, Student’s Parents enrolled him in Private School. In November 2007, after reviewing the District’s evaluation report and its proposed program and placement, Parents rejected the NOREP proffered by the School District and filed a due process complaint, asserting that the District’s proposal does not sufficiently address, and would not appropriately meet, all of Student’s identified needs.

III. ISSUES

  1. Are Student’s Parents entitled to tuition reimbursement and transportation costs for Private School for the 2007/2008 school year?
  2. Are Student’s Parents entitled to reimbursement for the costs of private evaluations they obtained prior to enrolling Student in the Bethlehem Area School District?
  3. Should the Bethlehem Area School District be required to provide an assistive technology evaluation for Student?
RD-Bethlehem-Area-ODRNo-8279-07-08-LS

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