TG vs. New Hope-Solebury School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: TG

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

Dates of Hearing:
March 7, 2008, March 11, 2008, April 22, 2008, April 23, 2008, April 25, 2008, May 15, 2008, June 17, 2008

CLOSED HEARING
ODR #8418/ 07-08 AS

Parties to the Hearing: Mr. and Mrs.

New Hope-Solebury School District 180 West Bridge Street
New Hope, PA 18938-1424

Representative:

Frederick M. Stanczak, Esquire 179 North Broad Street Doylestown, PA 18901

David T. Painter, Esquire
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams, LLP 331 East Butler Avenue

New Britain, PA 18901

Date Record Closed: July 28, 2008

Date of Decision: August 12, 2008

Hearing Officer: William F. Culleton, Jr., Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student is an elementary school age eligible resident of the New Hope-Solebury School District (District). (NT 9.) The Student is identified with Autism. (NT 9.) Student is about to enter the third grade at the Elementary School in September 2008. (HO-1.)1

Mr. and Mrs. (Parents) requested due process on or about January 8, 2008. They allege that the District has failed to provide a free appropriate public education to the Student during the Student’s first grade year (2006- 2007) and Student’s second grade year (2007-2008). (S-86.) In particular, the Parents allege a failure to provide FAPE with regard to behavior in school and social skills during both years, and a failure to provide FAPE with regard to mathematics and writing during the first grade year. (S-86.) The Parents seek compensatory education for two years and a prospective order regarding the program for the enumerated areas of alleged educational need. (S-86.)

The District denies the allegations and further argues that the Parents’ allegations are based upon a disagreement with the methodology chosen by the District, which should be accorded deference. (HO-2.) The District further asserts that the Student has made such educational progress as to demonstrate receipt of meaningful educational benefit.

The hearing officer convened seven hearing sessions in this matter from March 2008 until June 2008. The record was held open for receipt of written summations, which were received upon an extended deadline on July 28, 2008, at which time the record closed.

ISSUES

  1. From the first day of school in the 2006-2007 school year until January 8, 2008, or for any part of that period, did the District fail to provide a FAPE to the Student by failing to provide adequate educational services with regard to behavior, social skills, mathematics, or writing?2
  2. Should the hearing officer award compensatory education to the Student for all or any part of the period from the first day of school in the 2006-2007 school year until January 8, 2008?
  3. For the 2008-2009 school year, has the District failed to offer an appropriate program that addresses all of the Student’s educational needs and is reasonably calculated to provide meaningful educational benefit, by failing to offer adequate educational services with regard to behavior, social skills, mathematics or writing?3
  4. Should the hearing officer order the District to amend its offered program for the 2008-2009 school year?
T-G-New-Hope-Solebury-ODRNo-8418-07-08-AS

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