TG vs. Quakertown Community School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: T.G.

ODR #15986 / 14-15 AS

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: September 29, 2015 October 21, 2015 November 9, 2015

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Quakertown Community School District 100 Commerce Drive
Quakertown, PA 18951

Representative:
Frederick Stanczak, Esquire Stanczak Law Offices
179 North Broad Street 2nd Floor Doylestown, PA 18901

Mark Walz, Esquire
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams 331 Butler Avenue PO Box 5069 New Britain, PA 18901

Date Record Closed: December 5, 2015

Decision Due Date: January 14, 2016

Date of Decision: December 17, 2015

Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D., CHO Certified Hearing Official

Background

Student1 is an early teen-aged eligible student attending 8th grade in the District and receiving special education programming under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act [IDEA]2 and Pennsylvania Chapter 14. Student’s current eligibility classifications are emotional disturbance and specific learning disability. Student is also a qualified handicapped person / protected handicapped student under §504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. §794)3 and Chapter 15 of the Pennsylvania Code.

The Parent asked for this hearing, alleging that the District denied Student a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) and seeking compensatory education for Student from the 6th grade school year (2013-2014) through the present. Additionally the Parent seeks that the District change Student’s classification from emotional disturbance to autism as defined under the IDEA, and that the IEP be amended accordingly.

A preliminary hearing session was held subsequent to the recent ruling of the Third Circuit in G.L. v. Ligonier Valley Sch. Dist. Authority, 115 LRP 45166, (3d Cir Sept. 22, 2015) to address the date the Parent knew or should have known of the action that formed the basis of her complaint (KOSHK date). The KOSHK date in this matter was determined to be May 9, 2013. As the written complaint /request for hearing was filed on March 9, 2015 the Parent was in compliance with the IDEA’s 2-year Statute of Limitations on filing a hearing request. A copy of the Interim Ruling is attached to this decision as an Appendix.

Issues

  1. Did the District deny Student a free, appropriate public education in the areas of reading, language arts/written expression, mathematics and transition planning from the 6th grade to the present, and if so is Student entitled to compensatory education, and in what form and amount?
  2. Is Student’s current placement sufficiently supportive to enable Student to make meaningful progress?
  3. Should the District classify Student as a student with autism?
T-G-Quakertown-Community-ODRNo-15986-14-15-AS

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