WS vs. South Western School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: W.S.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: 5/27/2015, 5/28/2015, 7/6/2015

CLOSED HEARING
ODR File No. 15980-14-15KE

Parties to the Hearing:

Parents Parent[s]

Local Education Agency South Western School District 225 Bowman Road
Hanover, PA 17331-4213

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Brian K Gruber, Esquire
Law Office of Brian K. Gruber, P.C. 4800 Hampden Lane, Suite #200 Bethesda, MD 20814

Jacqueline C. Lembeck, Esquire McAndrews Law Offices
30 Cassatt Avenue
Berwyn , PA 19312

LEA Attorney
Brooke E. D. Say, Esquire
Leigh E. Dalton, Esquire
Stock and Leader
Susquehanna Commerce Center East Suite E 600, 221 West Philadelphia Street York, PA 17401-2994

Date Record Closed: July 30, 2015

Date of Decision: August 14, 2015

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

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The student (hereafter Student)1 is a high school-aged student in the South Western 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 under the IDEA and the federal and state regulations implementing the statute.

The case proceeded to a due process hearing convening over three sessions, at which the parties presented evidence in support of their respective positions. The Parents sought to establish that the District failed to provide Student with an offer of a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) for the 2014-15 school year, and sought, after they rejected that program, tuition reimbursement for the Private School where Student was enrolled. The District maintained that the special education program that it offered was appropriate for Student, and that no remedy is warranted.

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the District and will deny the Parents’ claims.

ISSUES

  1. Whether the program proposed by the District for Student for the 2014-15 school year was appropriate;
  2. If the program proposed for the 2014-15 school year was not appropriate, are the Parents and Student entitled to reimbursement for private school tuition?
W-S-South-Western-ODRNo-15980-14-15KE

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