Student vs. School District Nazareth

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION
ODR No. 0090-0910AS

Child’s Name: Student
Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx
Dates of Hearing: 12/8/09; 2/1/10, 2/2/10, 2/3/10, 2/22/10, 3/11/10, 3/19/10, 4/9/10, 4/20/10

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

School District Nazareth
One Education Plaza Nazareth, PA 18064

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Frederick Stanczak, Esquire 179 N. Broad Street, 2nd Floor Doylestown, PA 18901

School District Attorney
Kristine Marakovits-Roddick, Esquire King, Spry
One West Broad Street Suite 700 Bethlehem, PA 18018

Date Record Closed: May 14, 2010

Date of Decision: May 29, 2010

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student (Student) is a post-teen age resident of the Nazareth Area School District who has attended the Private School, an approved private school, at District expense for the past three years. Student was identified as IDEA eligible in the early school years due to a combination of disabilities that has only recently been determined to arise from a genetic disorder. The effects of Student’s underlying condition seriously impact language, learning, motor and social skills, as well as Student’s physical health.

Despite Parents’ general satisfaction with Student’s academic and social progress at Private School, they contend that the District inappropriately terminated physical therapy for a period, denied necessary ESY services for the summer of 2009 and inordinately delayed providing other services necessary for Student’s successful transition to competitive employment and independent living as an adult. In their due process complaint filed in July 2009, and at the due process hearing in this matter, conducted over nine sessions between December 2009 and April 2010, Parents contended that the District’s alleged delay and denial of services had a pervasively detrimental effect on Student’s transition progress, justifying an award of full days of compensatory education for the entire period of Student’s enrollment at Private School, and a determination that the District should remain Student’s LEA for an additional three years past age 21so Student can continue to receive transition services in the Private School program to complete preparations for post public school employment and independent living.

Because the record in this case does not support Parents’ claim for compensatory education beyond the two year IDEA limitations period, or their claims of a pervasive delay/denial of necessary services, Parents’ requests for full days of compensatory education and extension of the District’s LEA status beyond the 2010/2011 school year, when Student reaches Student 21st birthday, are denied. Student will, however, be awarded compensatory education for denial of ESY services during the summer of 2009.

ISSUE

Did the Nazareth Area School District provide Student with sufficient appropriate instruction, transition services and related services to permit Student to make meaningful progress toward obtaining employment and living independently after Student eligibility for special education ends at age 21?

Student-Nazareth-Area-ODRNo-0090-0910AS-

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