Special Education Hearing Officer
Child’s Name: T.K.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Dates of Hearing: 6/11/2015, 6/19/2015, 7/29/2015, 10/2/2015, 10/5/2015 and 10/21/2015
ODR File No. 15383-14-15 AS
Parties to the Hearing:
Local Education Agency Methacton School District 1001 Kriebel Mill Road Norristown, PA 19403-1047
Joshua M. Kershenbaum, Esquire Frankel & Kershenbaum, LLC 1230 County Line Road
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010
Benjamin J. Hinerfeld, Esquire 2 Penn Center, Suite 1020 1500 JFK Blvd.
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Christina M. Stephanos, Esquire Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP 331 Butler Avenue
New Britain, PA 18601
Date Record Closed: November 18, 2015
Date of Decision: December 2, 2015
Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, M.Ed., J.D.
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The student (hereafter Student)1 is a pre-teenaged student in the Methacton School District (District) who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).2 Student’s Parents filed a due process complaint against the District asserting that it denied Student a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) under the IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,3 as well as the federal and state regulations implementing those statutes.
The case proceeded to a due process hearing convening over six sessions, at which the parties presented evidence in support of their respective positions.4 The Parents sought to establish that the District failed to provide Student with FAPE throughout the time period in question, seeking compensatory education and reimbursement for private school tuition. The District maintained that its special education program, as offered and implemented, was appropriate for Student, and that no remedy was due.
For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the Parents, but will not order all of the relief sought.
- Whether the District timely identified Student as eligible for special education;
- Whether the District’s educational programs, as implemented during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years, were appropriate for Student;
- If the program was not appropriate during the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years, whether Student is entitled to compensatory education;
- Whether the District’s educational program proposed for the 2014-15 school year was appropriate for Student;
- If the program was not appropriate for the 2014-15 school year, whether the Parents and Student are entitled to tuition reimbursement.