Student vs. Montgomery County Intermediate Unit

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

IN RE: A STUDENT IN THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY INTERMEDIATE UNIT

Date of Birth:
Dates of Hearing: 09/17/08; 10/06/08; 10/20/08

OPEN HEARING

ODR No. 9122/08-09 LS

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

Montgomery County Intermediate Unit 1605 West Main Street
Norristown, PA 19403-3290

Representative:
Parent Attorney: None

MCIU Attorney
Karl Romberger, Esq.
Fox, Rothschild, LL.P.
10 Sentry Parkway, Suite 200 P.O. Box 3001
Blue Bell, PA 19422-3001

Date Record Closed: November 17, 2008

Date of Decision: December 2, 2008

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student , now [] years old, was born with severe to profound hearing loss. Student received a cochlear implant at age 1 and recently received a second implant. From birth to age 3, Student received home-based early intervention services through MHMR services, specifically, Montgomery County ARC (MARC) and was to transition to the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit 3—5 year early intervention program (MCIU/EI) at age 3.

Beginning in July 2006, MCIU/EI began an auditory/oral pre-school program. Prior to establishing its own program, MCIU contracted with the [] School to provide services to 3—5 year old children with severe hearing loss, including children with cochlear implants. Student had been receiving services from [] School staff as part of Birth to Age 3 EI services through MARC and had attended the [] School toddler class for two year olds at his Parents’ expense to supplement those services. Student’s Parents elected to enroll him in the [] School pre-school auditory/oral class for three year olds and continue with the four, then five year old classes at [] School rather than send Student to the new MCIU program. Proceeding without counsel, Parents filed a due process complaint in August 2008 to recover their out of pocket costs for tuition and transportation from September 2006 through the 2008/2009 school year, contending that the MCIU class is not appropriate for Student and that [] School has provided, and continues to provide, an appropriate program and services to assure that Student derives maximum benefit from his cochlear implants and improves his auditory skills, speech and receptive and expressive language. The family’s ultimate goal is to prepare Student to

succeed in a regular education setting with non-disabled students beginning with kindergarten in the 2009/2010 school year.

ISSUE

Is the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit Early Intervention Program required to reimburse Student ’s Parents for Student’s private pre-school tuition and transportation costs for the 2006/2007 and/or 2007/2008 and/or 2008/2009 school years?

STUDENT-MONTGOMERY-COUNTY-INTERMEDIATE-UNIT-ODRNo-9122-08-09-LS

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