TF vs. School District Antietam

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION
ODR No. 2218-1112 KE

Child’s Name: T.F.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: 11/7/11, 1/12/12

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

School District Antietam
100 Antietam Road Reading, PA 19606

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Heidi Konkler-Goldsmith, Esquire McAndrews Law Offices
30 Cassatt Avenue
Berwyn, PA 19312

School District Attorney
Mark W. Walz, Esquire
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP 331 Butler Avenue
P.O. Box 5069
New Britain, PA 18901

Date Record Closed: February 10, 2012

Date of Decision: February 19, 2012

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student in this matter was enrolled in the School District 3rd through December of 4th grade only. An evaluation in the spring 4th grade by the cyber charter school in which Student enrolled for the remainder of the school year resulted in a finding of IDEA eligibility based upon several disability categories. Prior to enrollment in the District, Student had been diagnosed with ADHD and with a physical/neurological impairment caused by a [redacted – birth defect] in infancy. In 3rd grade, a developmental pediatrician made an additional diagnosis of Asperger’s based upon a rating scale completed by Parent.

At Parents’ request, the District evaluated Student in the fall of both 3rd and 4th grades. Student was provided with §504 Service Agreements but was not found eligible for special education despite ability/achievement discrepancies in math and writing disclosed by the first evaluation and a specific learning disability in math identified in the second evaluation. The District concluded that Student did not need specially designed instruction because of good progress in the general education curriculum. Speech/Language and Occupational Therapy evaluations included in the 2010 evaluation established no need for related services. Student was reported to have no significant behavior problems or peer social interaction difficulties in school.

Parents’ claims in this matter are based upon their contention that the District’s failure to identify Student as IDEA eligible and provide special education and related services resulted in a denial of FAPE from the beginning of 3rd grade through Students’ charter school enrollment. The record compiled over two brief due process hearing sessions in November 2011 and January 2012 does not, however, support Parents’ claims. Consequently, Parents’ request for full days of compensatory education for the period in issue will be denied.

ISSUES

  1. Did the School District appropriately evaluate Student in October 2009 and October 2010?
  2. Did the School District appropriately determine that Student was not IDEA eligible in 2009 and 2010?
  3. Did the School District provide Student with sufficient, appropriate services in the Service Plans provided to Student to Student’s needs arising from the conditions that qualified Student as a protected handicapped student under §504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and 22 Pa. Code, Chapter 15?
  4. Is Student entitled to an award of compensatory education based upon Issues 1—3 above, and if so, for what period(s), in what form and in what amount?
T-F-Antietam-ODRNo-2218-1112-KE

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