TQ vs. Springfield Township School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: TQ

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

Dates of Hearing: 1/23/08, 2/6/08, 2/25/08, 3/6/08

CLOSED HEARING

ODR #8330/07-08 KE

Parties to the Hearing:

Springfield Township School District 1901 Paper Mill Road
Oreland, PA 19075

Representative:

Dennis C. McAndrews. Esquire McAndrews Law Offices, P.C. 30 Cassatt Avenue
Berwyn, PA 19312

Claudia L. Huot, Esquire
Wisler Pearlstine, LLP
Office Court at Walton Point 484 Norristown Road, Suite 100 Blue Bell, PA 19422.

Date Record Closed: March 21, 2008

Date of Decision: April 5, 2008

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

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student is a xx year old eligible resident of the Springfield Township School District (District). (NT 14.) He is identified with emotional disturbance. Ibid. The Student has a history of diagnoses for depressive disorder, anxiety disorder, alcohol and substance abuse and sleep disorder. (P-1 p. 15, S-37.) He has exhibited school attendance problems. Parents requested due process, seeking an appropriate interim program and placement and compensatory education from the beginning of the 2005-2006 school year until an appropriate program and placement should be provided.

The District resisted the proposed relief, arguing that the Student and the Parents had repeatedly interfered with its attempts to perform multidisciplinary evaluations. It asserted that the District had offered and provided a FAPE during the years in question, and that the Parents’ request for relief was partially barred by the relevant limitations period in the IDEIA.

The Parent1 requested a comprehensive educational evaluation in April 2005. The District issued an initial evaluation report in September 2006, and it offered an IEP in October 2006. In August 2007, the District received a private psychoeducational report. The District issued a reevaluation report in September 20072, and it offered a revised IEP in September 2007. The Parents requested due process by letter of counsel dated November 29, 2007, which was received by the Office for Dispute Resolution on December 5, 2007. The District convened a resolution session on December 19, 2007, with no agreement. Four due process hearing sessions were held between January 23, 2008 and March 6, 2008. The parties agreed to provide written summations and briefs on March 21, 2008, and the record3 closed on that date.

ISSUES

1. From November 29, 2005 until November 29, 2007, did the District fail to comply with its Child Find obligations under IDEA to identify the Student as a Child with a Disability?

2. From November 29, 2005 until November 29, 2007, did the District fail to offer or provide the Student with a reasonable opportunity to receive meaningful educational benefit?

3. From May 2006 until June 2007, did the District discriminate against the Student on account of his disability by prosecuting a truancy action against him and his parents, and subsequently prosecuting a dependency action?

4. Were the District’s Evaluation of September 26, 2006 and re-evaluation of October 12, 2007 appropriate?

5. Should the hearing officer award compensatory education for the period from November 29, 2005 until November 29, 2007?

6. Should the hearing officer award reimbursement of the costs of an independent educational evaluation dated August 10, 2007?

7. Should the hearing officer order the District to convene an IEP team meeting and develop an appropriate IEP?

TQ-Springfield-Township-ODRNo-8330-07-08-KE

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