WE vs. Fannett-Metal School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: W.E.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: June 24, 2010 August 24, 2010 August 25, 2010 October 4, 2010 October 25, 2010

CLOSED HEARING

ODR No. 00881-0910-KE

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Mr. James T. Duffey Superintendent Fannett-Metal School District 14823 Path Valley Road

P. O. Box 91
Willow Hill, PA 17271 Dean M. Beer, Esquire

Representative:

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

Stephen S. Russell, Esquire
Brooke E. Say, Esquire
Stock and Leader LLP
221 W. Philadelphia Street, Suite 600 York, PA 17401

Date Record Closed: November 30, 2010

Date of Decision: December 15, 2010

Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, M.Ed., J.D.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student1 is a late-teenaged resident of the Fannett-Metal School District (hereafter District) who is eligible for special education and related services on the basis of a traumatic brain injury. Student’s Parents filed a due process complaint under both the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)2 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504),3 challenging the educational program offered to Student by the District, and sought compensatory education.

Five due process hearing sessions were conducted at which the parties presented evidence in support of their respective positions. At the beginning of the first session, the Parents sought to establish one of the exceptions to the statute of limitations to permit evidence going back to the 2000-01 school year. This hearing officer determined that the Parents had not established such an exception,4 and that the Parents would be permitted to present evidence on their claims for the time period beginning in March 2008 forward. The hearing then proceeded to receiving evidence on the substantive claims.5 For the reasons which follow, I find in favor of the Parents in part and in favor of the District in part.

ISSUES

1. Whether the District failed to appropriately and timely evaluate Student;

2. Whether the District failed to provide an appropriate program for Student from March 2008 through the end of the 2009-10 school year;

3. If the District did so fail, is Student entitled to compensatory education and, if so, in what amount?

W-E-Fannett-Metal-ODRNo-00881-0910-KE

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