SB vs. Parkland School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION

Child’s Name: SB

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: September 15, 2011 November 10, 2011

CLOSED HEARING

ODR File No. 2150-1112AS

Parties to the Hearing: [Mother]

[Father]

Parkland School District 1210 Springhouse Road Allentown, PA 18104

Representative:

Jeni Hergenreder, Esquire Disability Rights Network of PA 429 Fourth Avenue, Suite 701 Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Pro Se

Catherine Nguyen, Esquire Eastburn and Gray
60 East Court Street Doylestown, PA 18901

Date Record Closed: December 9, 2011

Date of Decision: December 23, 2011

Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, M.Ed., J.D.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student1 is a high school-aged student in the Parkland School District (District) who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).2 One of Student’s Parents filed a due process complaint against the District in July 2011,3 asserting that it denied Student a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) under the IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,4 when it proposed to terminate Student’s eligibility for special education and graduate Student in June of 2011. The Parent also asserted that the District failed to provide Student with an appropriate educational program during the 2010-11 school year, and that it similarly failed to propose an appropriate program for the 2011-12 school year.

The case proceeded to a due process hearing convening over two sessions, at which the parties presented evidence in support of their respective positions. The Parent sought to establish that Student should be provided with an appropriate special education program through the end of the 2011-12 school year. The District maintained that it properly determined that Student should graduate at the end of the 2011-12 school year. The parties did, however, reach an agreement on Student’s pendent placement while this case went forward.

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the Parent but will not award all of the remedies requested in the Parent’s written closing argument.

ISSUES

  1. Whether the special education program provided during the 2010-11 school year was appropriate for Student;5
  2. Whether Student was properly exited from special education at the end of the 2010-11 school year; and
SB-Parkland-ODRNo-2150-1112AS

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