Student vs. Wissahickon School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: Student “Student”

ODR #10207/08-09 LS

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

Dates of Hearing: September 14, 2009 November 24, 2009

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing:

Wissahickon School District 601 Knight Road
Ambler, Pennsylvania 19002

Representative:
Dean Beer, Esquire McAndrews Law Offices, P.C. 30 Cassatt Avenue
Berwyn, Pennsylvania 19312

Scott Wolpert, Esquire Timoney Knox, LLP 400 Maryland Drive P.O. Box 7544

Fort Washington, PA 19034

Last Transcript Received: November 30, 2009

Record Closed December 29, 2009

Date of Decision: January 13, 2010

Hearing Officer: Deborah G. DeLauro, M.Ed, J.D.

Background

Student “Student” is an elementary-school aged first grade student who resides in the Wissahickon School District. Student has a history of aggressive behavior and has been diagnosed with a Sensory Integration/Processing Disorder and ADHD. The Parents enrolled their child in the District’s kindergarten at the start of the 2008-2009 school year.

Contending that the District failed to meet its Child Find obligations in violation of IDEA1 and Section 5042 by failing to timely evaluate and identify Student as eligible for special education and related services, Parents filed a due process complaint seeking compensatory education for the 2008-2009 school year, and the 2009 extended school year.

The due process hearing was held on September 14, 20093 and November 24, 2009. For the reasons explained below, the Parents have only partially met their burden by a preponderance of the evidence.

Therefore, based upon the record compiled during the two hearing sessions and the arguments of counsel, Parents will be awarded limited compensatory education for a portion of the period in dispute from April 3, 2009 through June 19, 2009.

Issues

  1. Whether the District failed to meet its child find obligations under IDEA and Section 504 by failing to timely and appropriately evaluate Student?
  2. Whether the District failed to provide Student with a free appropriate public education under IDEA and/or §504 of the Rehabilitation Act ?
  3. Whether Student is entitled to compensatory education; and if so, how much?
Student-Wissahickon-ODRNo-10207-08-09-LS

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