SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER
Child’s Name: S. K.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing:
4/28/11, 6/8/11, 6/9/11, 9/23/11, 10/24/11, 10/28/11, 11/9/11, 11/11/11, 12/16/11, 1/19/12
ODR File No. 1548-1011AS
Parties to the Hearing: Parents
Upper Moreland Twp. School District 2900 Terwood Road
Willow Grove, PA 19090
Frederick M. Stanczak, Esquire 179 North Broad Street Doylestown, PA 18901
Jane M. Williams, Esquire
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP 331 E. Butler Avenue
New Britain, PA 18901
Date Record Closed: March 17, 2012
Date of Decision: March 31, 2012
Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, M.Ed., J.D.
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Student1 is a high school-aged student in the Upper Moreland Township School District (District) who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)2 on the basis of autism and an intellectual disability. Student’s Parents filed a due process complaint against the District in March 2011, asserting that it denied Student a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) under the IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,3 as well as the federal and state regulations implementing those statutes, for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years and continuing through the present.
The case proceeded to a due process hearing convening over ten sessions,4 at which the parties presented evidence in support of their respective positions. The Parents sought to establish that the District failed to provide Student with FAPE throughout the time period in question, and that Student requires a residential placement. The District maintained that its special education program, as offered and implemented, was appropriate for Student.
For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the Parents on a portion of their claims.
- Whether Student’s program and placement during the 2009-10, 2010-11, and 2011-12 school years, including reading instruction, was and is appropriate for Student; and
- If it was and is not appropriate, is Student entitled to compensatory education and, if so, in what form and amount; and
- If it is not appropriate, does Student require a residential placement?