Special Education Hearing Officer
Child’s Name: T.D.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: October 2, 2014 October 3, 2014 October 9, 2014 October 10, 2014 November 5, 2014 November 6, 2014 November 11, 2014 November 12, 2014
ODR Case # 15100-1314KE & 15417-1415KE
Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]
Pocono Mountain School District 135 Pocono Mountain School Road Swiftwater, PA 18370
Heather Hulse, Esquire McAndrews Law Office 30 Cassatt Avenue Berwyn, PA 19312
Glenna Hazeltine, Esquire King Spry
One West Broad Street Suite 700
Bethlehem, PA 18018
Date Record Closed: December 15, 2014
Date of Decision: January 20, 2015
Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire
Student1 is a pre-teenage student residing in the Pocono Mountain School District (“District”). The parties’ dispute arises out of a complex, and pointed, factual mosaic, dating from January 2012, which is set forth in the Findings of Fact section below.
In terms of the parties’ positions, the student’s parent claims that the student is eligible as a student with a disability under the terms of the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEA”)2 and that the District failed to identify the student. As a result of this claim, and consequent lack of an individualized education plan (“IEP”), the parent claims that the student is owed compensatory education from the spring of 2012 through the remainder of the 2011- 2012 school year, and the entire 2012-2013 school year. Subsequently, the parent undertook a unilateral private placement for the student, and so the parent seeks tuition reimbursement for this private placement in the 2013-2014 school year and the current 2014-2015 school year. Parent also asserts that the District has not met its obligations to the student under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, particularly Section 504 of that statute (“Section 504”).3 The District counters that, at all times, it met its obligations to the student under IDEA and Section 504.
For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the parent.
1. Did the District meet its obligations to the student under IDEA?
2. Did the District meet its obligations to the student under Section 504?
3. If the answer to either question #1 or #2, or both questions, is/are answered in the negative,
is the student entitled to compensatory education?
4. If the answer to either question #1 or #2, or both of those questions,
is/are answered in the negative,
is the parent entitled to tuition reimbursement?