United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
Christopher C. Conner, Chief Judge United States District
plaintiff Brady P. ("Brady"), by and through his
parents Beth and Kevin P. ("Parents"), filed the
above-captioned action alleging that defendant Central York
School District ("School District") violated the
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
("IDEA"), as amended, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et
seq., Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
("Section 504"), as amended, 29 U.S.C. § 794,
the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42
U.S.C. § 12101 et seq., the Early Intervention
Services System Act, 11 Pa. Stat, and Cons. Stat. Ann. §
875-101 et seq., and 22 Pa. Code §§ 14.131
to 14.133. (See Doc. 1). Parents appeal the decision
of Pennsylvania Special Education Hearing Officer Cathy A.
Skidmore ("Hearing Officer") that (1) Parents knew
or should have known there were deficiencies in Brady's
education on March 5, 2013; and (2) Parents' June 3, 2016
due process complaint was untimely filed, entitling Brady to
relief for only the two year period preceding the due process
complaint. Presently before the court are Parents' motion
(Doc. 17) for judgment on the administrative record and the
School District's motion (Doc. 19) for summary judgment.
After thorough review of the record, the court will deny
Parents' motion and grant the School District's
is a fourteen-year-old student who at all times relevant was
a resident of the School District. (H.O.D. ¶ 1; N.T. at
45-46). Parents engaged a private psychologist to evaluate
Brady prior to his enrollment in the School District for
kindergarten. (H.O.D. ¶ 3; Doc. 1 ¶ 19). The
psychologist's February 20, 2009 evaluation concluded
that Brady presented with Pervasive Developmental
Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified ("PDD-NOS"),
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ("ADHD"),
Developmental Coordination Disorder, and a language disorder.
(S-9 at 1-3). According to the report, Brady's language
disorder manifested through difficulties with verbal
expression, word retrieval, and language processing.
(Id. at 3). He was also "at risk for [a]
learning disability in written expression" and exhibited
perseveration and illogical thinking when not focused.
(Id. at 2). The evaluation recommended support
services for Brady through an individualized education
program ("IEP") focusing on "attention,
language, writing, and social weaknesses." (Id.
the School District was slow to recognize Brady's
disabilities. (N.T. at 48, 148-50). Parents responded by
retaining an attorney. (Id. at 48, 79-80, 149-50).
Upon receipt of correspondence from Parents' attorney,
the School District conducted an evaluation of Brady on
September 17, 2009 to assess his educational needs.
(Id. at 149; S-4). Thereafter, the School District
determined that Brady was eligible for special education
services to address speech and language impairments secondary
to his autism. (S-4 at 7). Parents approved a September 24,
2009 notice of recommended educational placement for
itinerant speech and language support services, (S-15 at
1-3), and worked collaboratively with School District staff
and administrators to develop Brady's IEP,  (see
spring of 2010, driven by concerns over Brady's
persistent attention deficits, Parents obtained an
independent psychological evaluation by Vincent Monastra
("Dr. Monastra"). (S-10). In a report dated May 14,
2010, Dr. Monastra diagnosed Brady with ADHD and PDD-NOS.
(Id. at 8). He recommended revisions to Brady's
educational treatment plan. (Id. at 8-9). The School
District reevaluated Brady on September 21, 2010 in response
to Dr. Monastra's diagnosis and in preparation for the
new school year. (See S-6). The September 2010
report concluded that Brady was performing at grade level
academically in reading, writing, and mathematics.
(Id. at 4). This report also concluded that Brady
remained a suitable candidate for special education services
to address his autism and his speech and language
first grade IEP responded to the two 2010 evaluations by
including program modifications and specially designed
instruction to assist him in processing directions and
information. (S-24). At the conclusion of his first grade
year, the School District reported that Brady met district
standards in reading, writing, speaking and listening, and
mathematics. (See S-7 at 3; S-32 at 6-7).
Brady's teacher encouraged Parents to continue working
with him over the summer on reading expression and
comprehension, story writing, and mathematical concepts.
(S-32 at 8).
2011, Dr. Monastra met with Parents for a consultation to
assess Brady's progress since the May 2010 evaluation.
(See S-ll). The consultation report reflected
improvements in Brady's attentiveness and responsiveness
to instructions and conversations. (Id. at 1).
However, Dr. Monastra also identified multiple, persistent
developmental concerns-namely, Brady was easily distracted,
struggled to follow multi-step directions, and experienced
reading and listening comprehension challenges. (Id.
entered second grade in the fall of 2011. (H.O.D. ¶ 18).
In his September IEP, Brady's mother observed that Brady
was struggling to respond to questions, to carry on a
conversation, and to process information. (S-25 at 8). His
mother also identified disfluencies in Brady's speech,
his difficulty organizing thoughts, and his trouble with
short term memory and written expression. (Id.) In
its contribution to the IEP, the School District observed
that Brady needed to improve his social skills.
(Id.) The September 2011 IEP maintained specially
designed instruction as well as itinerant speech and language
support for 30 minutes a week outside the regular classroom
setting. (Id. at 19-20, 22-23).
District psychologist Jessica Molinero ("Dr.
Molinero") administered two evaluations to Brady in
October 2011: a psycho-educational evaluation and a speech
and language evaluation. (N.T. at 75-76, 317; S-26 at 9-12).
Thereafter, the School District issued a new report which
determined that Brady remained eligible for special education
services based upon autism and speech and language
impairments. (S-8). The October 2011 report further concluded
that Brady's current instructional setting and protocol
were sufficient to meet his needs. (Id. at 11).
Brady's IEP team revised the IEP on November 17, 2011
following a team meeting. (See S-26). Parents
approved a notice of recommended educational placement to
continue itinerant speech and language support services.
(S-15 at 4-6). Brady's year-end report card indicated
that he met all district benchmarks in reading, speaking and
listening, and mathematics as well as most writing standards.
(S-32 at 10-11).
began third grade in September 2012. (H.O.D. at 5). His
November 2012 IEP reflected Parents' concerns regarding
Brady's spelling and reading fluency. (S-27 at 8). The
November 2012 IEP also identified Brady's ongoing
challenges with social skills, including communication with
peers and adults and thought organization. (Id.)
Brady's mother requested that the School District
evaluate Brady for a reading disability. (Id.; N.T.
at 152-53). When the School District denied her request,
Brady's mother hired private psychologist Daniel H.
Ingram ("Dr. Ingram") to evaluate Brady because she
believed the School District may have failed to diagnose
dyslexia. (N.T. at 75, 152-53, 168-69, 205-06).
Ingram evaluated Brady on December 8, 2012. (S-12). The
psychological evaluation noted Brady experienced significant
delays in written expression secondary to learning disability
dysgraphia. (Id. at 4-5). Dr. Ingram also determined
that Brady presented with dyslexia and consequently struggled
with phonics skill development, which contributed to a
diminished reading accuracy of narrative passages.
(Id. at 5). Parents requested an IEP team meeting to
discuss Dr. Ingram's findings. (P-10 at 13). In the
interim, Parents asked then Principal Ryan Billet
("Principal Billet") to conduct an occupational
therapy evaluation of Brady. (N.T. at 71). The School
District declined to administer the requested evaluation.
(H.O.D. ¶ 27; N.T. At 71, 73).
IEP team met on March 5, 2013 to discuss the December 8, 2012
psychological evaluation. (P-9 at 1; N.T. at 87, 418-19).
Parents invited Dr. Ingram to attend the meeting. (N.T. at
88). Dr. Ingram discussed his findings and informed the IEP
team that Brady presented with characteristics of dyslexia.
(Id.) Dr. Ingram stated that "because of
Brady's age, there would be a five percent chance that
Brady would be a competent reader and writer."
(Id.) Dr. Ingram purportedly opined that had the
characteristics of dyslexia been identified earlier,
"[Brady's] brain could have been rewired."
(Id.) Following the meeting, Principal Billet
purportedly called Brady's mother to apologize and he
allegedly stated that he and Dr. Molinero "couldn't
believe that they had missed this." (Id. at
88-89). Following the March 2013 meeting, the School District
agreed to purchase a systematic research-based instruction
program for Brady called "Wilson." (Id. at
89-90, 94, 264-65, 273-74, 438-39; P-10 at 19-20; S-28 at
21). Wilson addresses student deficits in phonetic skills.
(S-28 at 21).
School District assigned Debra Hicks ("Hicks") to
administer Wilson instruction four days per week for 30
minutes. (P-4; N.T. at 267-69, 273-74). Prior to her
assignment, Hicks had not received formal Wilson training.
(N.T. at 264-65, 273-75). Throughout the spring of 2013,
Parents once again expressed concerns that Brady was
struggling with reading because of a learning disability.
(P-10 at 14, 16, 19-20). According to plaintiffs, the School
District declined to identify or to evaluate Brady for
dyslexia. (See N.T. at 444-45; S-41 at 16; P-10 at
17-18). Brady's third grade report card reflected that he
met all district standards in reading, writing, speaking and
listening, and mathematics by the end of the school year.
(S-32 at 14-15). The report card identified several areas in
need of improvement including, inter alia,
self-monitoring and self-correction when reading and
providing details and applying spelling strategies when
writing. (Id.) Parents contemplated withdrawing
Brady from the School District in May 2013 because he was
exhibiting behavioral problems. (N.T. at 72).
entered the fourth grade in the fall of 2013. (H.O.D. at 6).
The School District's reading specialist, Elizabeth
Zimmerman ("Zimmerman"), provided Wilson
instruction to Brady beginning in October 2013. (N.T. at
339-43). Zimmerman had completed formal Wilson training.
(Id. at 356). Brady received 25 minutes of Wilson
daily. (Id. at 131, 342; P-10 at 34; S-41 at 22;
S-43 at 117). Brady would occasionally miss a day of Wilson
instruction, (P-9 at 13; N.T. at ...