Student vs. Centennial School District

DECISION
Due Process Hearing for Student

ODR File No. 5664/05-06 LS

Parties to the Hearing: Mr. & Mrs. Parent

Centennial School District 433 Centennial Road Warminster, PA 18974

Representative:

Ira Fingles, Esq.
Route 206
2651 Main Street, Suite A Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

Andria Saia, Esq.
1301 Mason’s Mill Business Park 1800 Byberry Road
Huntington Valley, PA 19006

Hearing Officer: Debra K. Wallet, Esq.

Record Closed: July 3, 2006 (filing of reply brief)

Date of Decision: July 18, 2006

BACKGROUND:

Student is [an elementary school-aged] (date of birth xx/xx/xx) third-grade student whose parents reside within the Centennial School District [hereinafter School District]. He attended private school during his kindergarten year but was enrolled in regular education classes in the School District for his first- and second-grade years. Although Student is extremely bright, with a full scale IQ of 136, he has a need for specially designed instruction in reading and written expression. Parents rejected the School District’s proposed IEP for the third-grade year and enrolled Student in the Private School].

Parents argue that for some time the School District has not been meeting all of Student’s needs, particularly those relating to reading, spelling, and written expression and that they have been required to seek private tutoring and eventually a more appropriate Private School placement where Student could receive an integrated Orton Gillingham multi-sensory program. They request compensatory education for the second-grade year as well as tuition reimbursement beginning September 2005 for the Private School placement.

The School District maintains that the IEPs for the second- and third-grade years were appropriate and offered a free appropriate public education (FAPE) designed to confer meaningful educational benefit. The District further maintains that the Private School is not appropriate and does not constitute the least restrictive environment for Student. The parents were unreasonable, the District contends, in refusing to consider the District’s IEP because they had already decided upon the Private School.

ISSUES:

  1. Did the School District provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to Student during the second grade in the 2004-2005 school year?
  2. Did the School District offer an appropriate third-grade program to Student for the 2005-2006 school year?
  3. Are Parents entitled to an award of compensatory education?
  4. Are Parents entitled to tuition reimbursement for the Private School placement during the 2005-2006 school year?
Student-Centennial-ODRNo-5664-05-06-LS

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