TS vs. Slippery Rock Area School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: T.S.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing:

August 10, 2012 August 29, 2012

CLOSED HEARING

ODR Case # 3005-1112KE

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

Slippery Rock Area School District 201 Kiester Road
Slippery Rock, PA 16057

Representative:

Pamela Berger, Esq. 434 Grace Street Pittsburgh, PA 15211

Thomas Breth, Esq.
128 West Cunningham Street Butler, PA 16001

Date Record Closed: September 7, 2012

Date of Decision: September 12, 2012

Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[Student] (hereinafter “student”) is [a late teen-aged] student residing in the Slippery Rock Area School District (“District”) who has been identified as a student with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Improvement Act of 2004 (“IDEIA”) and Pennsylvania special education regulations (“Chapter 14”).1 The parties disagree over the nature of the student’s exceptionality. The parents contend that the student has specific learning disabilities, the health impairment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (“ADHD”), and behavioral needs; the District agrees that the student has ADHD, and potentially other health impairments that impact the student’s learning, but contends that the student has an emotional disturbance and no identifiable learning disabilities.

Parents allege that the District denied the student a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) in the 2011-2012 school year when the student returned to the District from a private school, violating the District’s obligation to provide the student’s education programming in the least restrictive environment (“LRE”). This allegation was compounded, in the parents’ eyes, by an inappropriate re-evaluation in the fall of 2011. As a result of those alleged denials of FAPE, parents claim a remedy of compensatory education. Additionally, parents challenge the appropriateness of the individualized education plan (“IEP”) proposed for the recently commenced 2012-2013 school year.

The District counters that the student was provided with FAPE in the 2011-2012 school year. The District also argues that its re-evaluation is appropriate and, as such, the IEP currently in place for the student for the 2012-2013 school year is appropriate.

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of parents.

ISSUES

Was the student provided with FAPE during the 2011-2012 school year?

If not, is compensatory education owed to the student?

What should the student’s educational programming be for the 2012-2013 school year?.

T-S-Slippery-Rock-Area-ODRNo-3005-1112KE

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