RS vs. Boyertown Area School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: R.S.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: July 26, August 11, 12, 13, 2010

CLOSED HEARING
ODR No. 1270‐09‐10 KE

Parties to the Hearing: Parents
Parent[s]

School District

Dr. Dion Betts, Superintendent Boyertown Area School District 120 N. Monroe Street Boyertown, PA 19512 dbetts@boyertownasd.org

Representative
Parent Attorney
Mark W. Voigt, Esquire
Plymouth Meeting Executive Campus 600 W. Germantown Pike, Suite 400 Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 mwvoigt@aol.com

School District Attorney

Ms. Sharon Montanye, Esquire Sweet Stevens Katz & Williams 331 Butler Avenue, PO Box 5069 New Britain, PA 18901 smontanye@sweetstevens.com

Date Record Closed: August 23, 2010

Date of Decision: September 7, 2010

Hearing Officer: Rosemary E. Mullaly, Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student is a [teenaged] (DOB [redacted]) resident of the Boyertown Area School District (“the District”). [Student] has been identified as a “child with a disability” with the classification of “emotional disturbance.” The hearing in this matter was initiated by the Parents on June 18, 2010. The parties engaged in an unsuccessful resolution meeting on July 1, 2010. This hearing took place in four sessions on July 26 and August 11, 12 and 13, 2010.

To the extent that evidence was placed in the record that constituted hearsay and was objected to by opposing counsel, it was not used to support a finding of fact and was excluded from the administrative record.

The Parents, through counsel, assert that the Student was deprived of a free appropriate public education because [Student] did not make appropriate educational progress. Moreover, they assert the District’s failed to protect the Student from bullying on the bus and at school, and it failed to act to discipline individuals who were involved in the bullying of the Student. The District asserts that it investigated every reported incident reported by the Parent and took action when sufficient evidence was obtained.

The Parents further assert that the Student cannot return to [Student’s] prior educational setting due to the impact of the bullying. The Parents assert that the District’s proposed placement is inappropriate. The relief being sought by the Parents is 1080 hours of compensatory education, tuition reimbursement for [Redacted] Academy [hereafter Academy] – [a] private school which has accepted the student for the 2010‐2011 school year.

Finally, the Parents originally requested reimbursement for an independent educational evaluation performed by Dr. K. By means of stipulation at the hearing, the District has agreed to reimburse the Parent for the costs that they incurred for Dr. K’s evaluation at the hearing, so the parties no longer require a factual and legal determination by the hearing officer on this issue. An order is contained within this decision compelling the District to comply with its stipulation regarding the evaluation.

ISSUES

  1. Whether the Student’s Parents are entitled to compensatory education for the time period from June 18, 2008 until the present for the District’s failure to provide a free appropriate public education and appropriate extended school year services for the summer of 2008, 2009, and 2010?
  2. Whether the Parents are entitled to tuition reimbursement for the 2010‐2011 school year for the Student’s education at the Academy’s [redacted] location?
R-S-Boyertown-Area-ODRNo-1270‐09‐10-KE

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