RE vs. Downingtown Area School District

Special Education Hearing Officer


Student’s Name: R.E.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

ODR No. 13104-12-13-AS


Parties to the Hearing: Parents

Downingtown Area School District 540 Trestle Place
Downingtown, PA 19335-2643


Vivian B. Narehood, Esquire Gibbel, Kraybill & Hess
41 East Orange Street Lancaster, PA 17602

Sharon W. Montanye, Esquire Christina M. Stephanos, Esquire Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams,LLP 331 Butler Avenue, P.O. Box 5069 New Britain, PA 18901

Dates of Hearing: November 28, 2012; December 13, 2012; December 19, 2012; January 9, 2013

Record Closed: January 29, 2013

Date of Decision: February 13, 2013

Hearing Officer: William F. Culleton, Jr., Esq., CHO


The Student named in the title page of this decision (Student) is an eligible resident of the school district named in the title page of this decision (District). (NT 8.) The District has identified Student with Specific Learning Disability in written expression and Speech or Language Impairment. (S-3.) Parents assert that the District has failed to offer or provide the Student with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for the 2012-2013 school year, as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1401 et seq. (IDEA). Parents unilaterally removed Student from the District and placed Student in a private school (School). Parents request reimbursement of private school tuition and transportation costs for the 2012-2013 school year.

The District asserts that it offered and provided a FAPE for the 2012-2013 school year, and that it should not be required to reimburse the Parents for private school tuition and transportation.

The hearing was completed in four sessions. The record closed upon receipt of written summations


  1. Did the District fail to offer or provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to Student for the 2012-2013 school year?
  2. Is the private school an appropriate placement for Student?
  3. Considering the equities, should the hearing officer order the District to reimburse to Parents for the costs of private school tuition and transportation at the School for the 2012-2013 school year?

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