Student vs. Unionville-Chadds Ford

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION
ODR No. 9847/08-09 KE

Child’s Name: STUDENT
Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx
Dates of Hearing: 05/18/09; 06/18/09; 08/07/09; 09/14/09; 09/18/09

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

School District

Unionville-Chadds Ford
740 Unionville Road
Kennett Square, PA 19348-1531

Representative:

Parent Attorney

Jennifer Bradley, Esq. McAndrews Law Office, P.C. 30 Cassatt Avenue
Berwyn PA 19312

School District Attorney

Anne Hendricks, Esq.
Levin Legal Group
1402 Mason Mills Business Park 1800 Byberry Road
Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006

Date Record Closed: October 19, 2009

Date of Decision: November 3, 2009

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The Student involved in this case was enrolled in the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District from the beginning of 6th grade through the end of 9th grade. In January 2007, a private neuro-psychologist identified a nonverbal learning disability (NLD) as the source of Student’s academic difficulties in reading, math and written expression, and also noted the adverse effects of Student’s NLD on social interactions as those became more complex.

After a difficult first year in the District high school, including a [redacted behavior] and short-term partial hospitalization admission, Parents unilaterally placed the Student at [redacted Private School] for 10th grade after the District refused to consider funding a private school placement. Parents then commenced a due process hearing to seek tuition reimbursement for the 2008/2009 school year and compensatory education from 6th through 9th grades. After a first hearing session in May 2009 directed primarily toward determining the scope of the relief Parents were permitted to seek in this case, Parents were limited to presenting evidence dating back two years from the date the due process complaint was filed. The hearing was then completed in four additional sessions between June 18 and September 18, 2009.

For the reasons explained below, the District will be ordered to reimburse Parents for the Private School tuition paid during the 2008/2009 school year and to provide full days of compensatory education for the second half of the 2007/2008 school year.

ISSUES

  1. Did the Unionville-Chadds Ford School District fail to provide Student with appropriate special education and/or related services at any time between March 2007 and June 2008?
  1. Did the District fail to offer Student an appropriate program/placement for the 2008/2009 school year?
  2. If so, have Parents met the remaining criteria for obtaining tuition reimbursement?
  3. If Student is entitled to compensatory education for any period between March 2007 and June 2008, in what form and in what amount is compensatory education due?
Student-Unionville-Chadds-Ford-ODRNo-9847-08-09-KE

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