United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
R.F., through his parents R.F. and E.F., of Coopersburg, PA, Plaintiffs,
SOUTHERN LEHIGH SCHOOL DISTRICT, Defendant.
G. SMITH, J.
case arises under the Individuals with Disabilities Education
Act (“IDEA”) and represents years of back and
forth between the minor plaintiff's parents and the
school district. The plaintiffs argue the school district
violated the IDEA by failing to provide the minor plaintiff
with a free and appropriate public education during his
third, fourth, and fifth grade school years. The plaintiffs
presented their case to a due process hearing officer who
upheld the school-prepared individual education plans.
plaintiffs now move for judgment on the administrative record
and argue that, if the hearing officer applied the correct
legal standard and properly understood their expert's
testimony, then they would have prevailed below. The school
district disagrees and contends that the court should deny
the plaintiffs' motion because it fully complied with its
obligations under the IDEA. Ultimately, the court agrees with
the hearing officer because the record reveals that the
school district provided the minor plaintiff with a free and
appropriate public education during his years of enrollment.
As such, the court denies the motion for judgment on the
administrative record, including the request for
reimbursement for an independent educational evaluation and
compensatory education, because the hearing officer did not
err in either his legal or factual analysis.
PROCEDURAL HISTORY 
summer of 2017, the minor plaintiff's parents initiated
the underlying administrative action by requesting a due
process hearing from the Pennsylvania Office of Dispute
Resolution. Admin. R., Ex. 11. The case proceeded to a three-day hearing
before Charles Jelley, Esq. (“Hearing Officer”)
in late 2017. Decision at 1. The parents argued that Southern
Lehigh School District (“District”) denied
R.F. a Free
and Appropriate Public Education (“FAPE”) and
violated the Americans with Disabilities Act
(“ADA”) and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
during the 2014-2015 (third grade), 2015-2016 (fourth grade),
2016-2017 (fifth grade), and 2017-2018 (sixth grade) school
years. Decision at 2. After making extensive findings of
fact, the Hearing Officer found the District provided R.F.
with a FAPE as to each challenged individualized education
program (“IEP”) and accordingly denied the
parents' requested relief, namely reimbursement for an
independent educational evaluation (“IEE”) and
compensatory education. See generally Decision at
20-26. After receiving the Hearing Officer's order, R.F.,
through his parents, filed the instant action on April 26,
2018, asserting causes of action under the IDEA, the
Rehabilitation Act, the ADA (collectively, the
“Acts”) and the Acts' respective state
analogues. Compl. at 1.
September 28, 2018, the plaintiffs moved for judgment on the
administrative record and voluntarily withdrew their claims
under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA.
See Pl's Mot. for J. on the Admin. R. at 1 n.2
(“The Parents voluntarily withdraw their claims
asserted under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the
Americans with Disabilities Act as the same relief requested
under those two laws is available to the Family's claims
under IDEA and Chapter 14.”), Doc. No. 9. The defendant filed a
response in opposition to the motion on October 31, 2018,
Doc. No. 10, and the plaintiffs filed a reply brief on
November 14, 2018. Doc. No. 11. On December 4, 2018, the
court heard oral argument on the motion. Doc. No. 12.
motion is ripe for disposition.
Standard of Review - Motions for Judgment on the
“When a federal district court reviews state
administrative proceedings, it ‘(i) shall receive the
records of the administrative proceedings; (ii) shall hear
additional evidence at the request of a party; and (iii)
basing its decision on the preponderance of the evidence,
shall grant such relief as the court determines is
appropriate.'” Colonial Sch. Dist. v. G.K. by
& through his parents A.K. and S.K., 763 Fed.Appx.
192, 196 (3d Cir. 2019) (quoting 20 U.S.C. §
1415(i)(2)(C)). In an IDEA case, “the District Court
applies a modified version of de novo review and is
required to give due weight to the factual findings of the
ALJ.” L.E. v. Ramsey Bd. of Educ., 435 F.3d
384, 389 (3d Cir. 2006). Under the modified de novo
“[f]actual findings from the administrative proceedings
are to be considered prima facie correct. ‘If a
reviewing court fails to adhere to them, it is obliged to
explain why. The court is not, however, to substitute its own
notions of sound educational policy for those of local school
authorities.'” S.H. v. State-Operated Sch.
Dist. of Newark, 336 F.3d 260, 270 (3d Cir. 2003)
(quoting MM v. Sch. Dist. of Greenville
Cnty., 303 F.3d 523, 531 (4th Cir. 2002)).
“Within the confines of these standards, a district
court is authorized to make findings based on the
preponderance of the evidence and grant the relief it deems
appropriate.” D.S.[ v. Bayonne Bd. of
Educ., 602 F.3d 553, 564 (3d Cir. 2010) (citations
omitted); see also Shore Reg'l High Sch. Bd. of Educ.
v. P.S., 381 F.3d 194, 199 (3d Cir. 2004) (describing a
district court's burden as “unusual” in that
it must make its own findings by a preponderance of the
evidence, but nevertheless afford “due weight” to
the administrative officer's determinations).
Ridley Sch. Dist. v. M.R., 680 F.3d 260, 268 (3d
other hand, “the due weight to be afforded to the
administrative proceedings is not implicated with respect to
issues of law, such as the proper interpretation of the
[IDEA] and its requirements; that is, the district court owes
no deference to conclusions of law drawn by a state or local
educational agency.” In re Educ. Assignment of
Joseph R., 318 Fed.Appx. 113, 118 (3d Cir. 2009)
(alteration in original) (citations and internal quotation
marks omitted). However, “[a] District Court must
accept the state agency's credibility determinations
unless the non-testimonial, extrinsic evidence in the record
would justify a contrary conclusion. In this context
the word justify demands essentially the same standard of
review given to a trial court's findings of fact by a
federal appellate court.” Shore Reg'l High Sch.
Bd. of Educ. v. P.S. ex rel. P.S., 381 F.3d 194, 199 (3d
Cir. 2004) (quotation marks and citations omitted).
party challenging the administrative decision bears the
burden of persuasion before the district court as to each
claim challenged.” Ridley Sch. Dist., 680 F.3d
at 270 (footnote and citations omitted). Here, the plaintiffs
“bear the burden of persuasion in the case at bar[,
]” Jack J. through Jennifer S. v. Coatesville Area
Sch. Dist., Civ. A. No. 17-cv-3793, 2018 WL 3397552, at
*7 (E.D. Pa. July 12, 2018), and “to prevail on the
IDEA claim, the [plaintiffs] must to [sic] demonstrate that
the District did not provide a FAPE.” J.G. v. New
Hope-Solebury Sch. Dist., 323 F.Supp.3d 716, 724 (E.D.
Pa. 2018). Whether the District provided a FAPE is
“subject to clear error review as a question of
fact.” Id. (alterations omitted) (citation and
quotation marks omitted). “Finally, ‘claims for
compensatory education and tuition reimbursement are subject
to plenary review as conclusions of law.'”
Id. (citation omitted).
Factual History 
plaintiffs appeal from the Hearing Officer's denial of
their claims under the IDEA. The court will describe the
material facts delineated by academic year and conclude by
discussing the Hearing Officer's decision. Except as otherwise noted,
the court adopted all factual findings by the Hearing
N.M. ex rel. W.M. v. Cent. Bucks Sch. Dist., 992
F.Supp.2d 452, 455 n.1 (E.D. Pa. 2014).
2013-2014: R.F.'s Second-Grade
the 2012-2013 school year, R.F. attended Colts Neck Township
School (“Colts Neck”) in New Jersey. S-6 at 1;
Decision at ¶ 1. Colts Neck provided R.F. with special
education services through an IEP. P-3 at 1; Decision at
¶ 2. According to the Colts Neck “Educational
Assessment” (“EA”) dated January 3, 2013,
presumably administered during R.F.'s first-grade year,
Colts Neck administered several tests to analyze his
intellectual abilities, including the Woodcock-Johnson III
Tests of Achievement (“WJ-III”). S-6 at 3-9; S-7
at 5. The WJ-III test analyzed R.F.'s reading, math,
written language, and oral language skills and he scored in
the “average” range for the majority of tested
areas-he obtained a few “low average” scores in
areas related to reading and several “high
average” or superior scores in areas related to math.
S-6 at 8, 9.
Neck also conducted a psychological examination of R.F. on
January 8, 2013 and January 11, 2013. S-7 at 1. The
psychological evaluator administered the Wechsler
Intelligence Scale for Children, Fourth Edition
(“WISC-IV”). Id. On balance, R.F.
obtained average results on the WISC-IV in all areas but
verbal comprehension. S-7 at 5 (scoring “low
average” in verbal comprehension, “average”
in perceptual reasoning, “average” in working
memory, “average” in processing speed, and
obtaining average “Full Scale IQ” score of 98).
According to the evaluator, R.F.'s WISC-IV results
indicated “slight weaknesses . . . in word knowledge
and common sense social judgment[, ]” but noted that
“[a]ll other areas were within the average
range.” Id. Based on these results, Colts Neck
developed R.F.'s January 2014 IEP. Hearing at 115-16
(confirming that S-6 and S-7 are part of same evaluation).
This IEP included eight goals (four in area of speech and
language, three in area of motor skills, and one in area of
daily living skills) and school-provided speech and
occupational therapy, each for one hour a week. P-3 at 12-13;
Decision at ¶ 3.
2014-2015: R.F.'s Third-Grade Year
completing his second-grade year in New Jersey, R.F.'s
parents moved to the District at the beginning of his
third-grade year. P-4 at 1 (registering R.F. at Southern
Lehigh School District on August 15, 2014). To accommodate R.F.'s
needs, the District initially provided him with the services
required under his out-of-state IEP. S-10 at 1; Hearing at
Decision at ¶ 7. Per IDEA requirements, the District
sought permission to evaluate (“PTE”) R.F. in
order to prepare his new IEP on September 11, 2014. S-9 at 1.
R.F.'s mother consented on the same day for the initial
evaluation. Id. at 2. The PTE allowed the District
to test R.F.'s present levels of functioning and
determine his educational needs. Id. at 1; Decision
at ¶ 7.
November 10, 2014, the District issued its first
“Evaluation Report” (“ER”). S-10.
This ER included input from R.F.'s teachers, parents, an
evaluation from the school psychologist, and the results of
several school-administered standardized tests and
assessments. Id. On balance, R.F. obtained average
scores in reading and writing and above-average scores in
math. See, e.g., id. at 3-4 (describing
R.F.'s WIAT-III scores as generally in the
“average” range for all areas aside from
“early reading skills” (below average),
mathematics (above average), and numerical operations (very
superior)); Decision at ¶¶ 8-10 (describing the
November 2014 ER results as indicating “no significant
academic achievement concerns”). The ER also indicated
that R.F. required assistance for speech and language and
occupational therapy. S-10 at 21-23; Decision at ¶¶
District made several findings based on the November 2014 ER,
namely that: (1) R.F. “demonstrate[d] Average
intellectual functioning and academic achievement and [did]
not require special education supports to meet his needs[,
]” S-10 at 4 (emphasis omitted); (2) R.F. qualified for
“speech-language therapy services to improve thought
organization for narrative language skills and improve
pragmatic and prosodic aspects of speech to increase speech
intelligibility during conversational exchanges[, ]”
id. at 8 (emphasis omitted); (3) R.F.'s vision,
while impaired slightly, did not qualify for vision services,
id. at 9; (4) R.F. has an “Auditory Processing
Disorder[, ]” id. at 13 (emphasis omitted);
(5) R.F. did not require school-supplied physical therapy,
id. at 14; (6) and R.F. would “benefit from
continued Occupational Therapy[, ]” id. at 19;
see also Decision at ¶¶ 16-21.
on the November 2014 ER, the District prepared an IEP dated
December 8, 2014 (“December 2014
IEP”). The December 2014 IEP included the
modifications and Specially Designed Instruction
(“SDI”) listed below. The District planned for
all of the modifications and SDIs below to run from December
10, 2014 to December 8, 2015. The modifications and SDI
provided in the December 2014 IEP were as
Modifications and SDI
Multi-sensory techniques for improved speech
intelligibility, Visualizing and Verbalizing
strategies for improved thought organization
lXweek-30 mins. with the exception of
building/district programs and/or absence.
Therapy will begin the third week of school and end
two weeks prior to the last day of school.
Per program specifications
An assistive listening device such as classroom sound
field is recommended to improve classroom signal to
noise ratio and assist [R.F.]'s performance in
Use of visual cues and examples [to] assist
[R.F.'s] understanding of verbal messages.
[R.F.] may need tests presented in a quiet area
without distractions. He may require extra time to
process oral directions.
In group instruction [R.F.] should be seated away
from noise sources and visual distractions.
If [R.F.] requests repetition he should first repeat
what he has heard allowing teachers and staff to
complete the message rather than repeat in entirety.
[R.F.] may benefit form [sic] use of metacognitive
devices to assist his memory trace. Techniques such
as [the] use of mnemonic devices, putting information
to a rap beat or music, pairing each item in a list
of information to a raised finger are examples of
devices that may cue memory.
Frequent movement breaks embedded in classroom
routine throughout the day. Opportunities to
manipulate items and materials on a regular basis
Assess need for reduction in writing requirements due
to fatigue or if work; Develop clear expectations of
written work including legibility and spacing;
Develop a positive reinforcement program to encourage
the student to be motivated to complete written work
with the expectation of legibility and proper
Copy notes written by another student who is a good
note-taker to reduce the amount of writing the
student is completing in a typical school day;
Provide an upper visual boundary (drawing a line) on
papers that have one line only for answers to help
him remain within the boundaries for writing[.]
Monitor [R.F.'s] ability to keep pace with
written work and assess need for technology if a
deficit is noted[.]
S-11 at 18-19; Decision at ¶¶ 22-26.
December 2014 IEP noted that R.F. “read on grade
level” and “demonstrate[d] strong academic
proficiency, performing in the average range across reading,
math, and writing tasks.” S-11 at 7. The December 2014
IEP also included two “measurable” annual goals:
(1) [R.F.] “will produce grade level language,
demonstrating competency in form, content, and use in the 4/5
opportunities over three consecutive sessions[;]” and
(2) “[R.F.] will demonstrate the ability to motor plan
and organize himself so that he completes presented
assignments in the time frame expected (equal with his peers)
3 out of 4 times across 6 data collection points.”
Id. at 16; see Decision at ¶ 23
(noting reduction from eight goals in Colts Neck IEP to two
goals). R.F.'s IEP further included five “short
term objectives” related to his speech abilities and
incorporated the SDIs previously identified in the
at 16-19. The IEP called for R.F. to spend 99% of the day in
the “regular” classroom. Id. at 23.
R.F.'s third-grade year, the District tracked his
progress and conducted several progress check-ins. S-15. In
January 2015, during the first IEP progress interval, the
District's speech language pathologist, Linda Milliman
(“Milliman”), noted R.F. made “satisfactory
progress” towards his speech and language goals.
Id. at 1; Hearing at 513. In April 2015, during the
second progress interval, Milliman noted that R.F.
“demonstrated 80% accuracy for accurately imitating the
clinician's model for word stress within sentences and
70% accuracy for chunking of words within phrases using
appropriate breath support for fluent speech” but
further noted that when the District tested R.F. without a
model, he had some difficulty sequencing syllables and
organizing thoughts. Id. at 1. Milliman also noted
that R.F. “appear[ed] to enjoy working in a small group
setting with one other peer.” Id. During the
third progress interval in June 2015, R.F. continued to show
improvement and exhibited “90% accuracy for correctly
imitating the clinician's model for prosody activities in
the following areas: speech rate, volume, word stress.”
Id. at 2. Milliman also noted that R.F. sometimes
requires cues, but that he “demonstrated the ability to
correctly sequence 7/7 story frames and described the basic
elements of the story.” Id.
conclusion of R.F.'s third-grade year in the spring of
2015, the District obtained several additional data points on
his progress, namely his Pennsylvania System of School
Assessment (“PSSA”) scores and year-end grades.
On his Spring 2015 PSSAs, R.F. scored
“proficient” in English/Language Arts and
“advanced” in Mathematics. S-13 at 1. R.F. also
obtained passing grades in all his third-grade classes. S-14
at 2 (obtaining B in Reading, “S” for
satisfactory in Writing/Communication and Science, A- in
Math, and “N” for needs improvement in
2015-2016: R.F.'s Fourth-Grade School Year
R.F.'s fourth-grade year, the District viewed his
progress positively because he was “mastering”
his IEP goals; however, his parents became dissatisfied with
his progress and the District's special
education services. See Hearing at 70 (describing
R.F. at end of his third-grade year as “still having
issues” with reading). To determine whether R.F.
qualified for additional services under his IEP, R.F.'s
parents hired a private evaluator to conduct several
assessments of him. Decision at ¶ 27; Hearing at 66-68.
The Private Evaluation
parents hired Dr. Kimberly Flounders to assess R.F.'s
abilities using the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-III in
October 2015. P-14; Decision at ¶ 27. Dr. Flounders
determined that R.F.'s
high scores on the WRMT-III, while nearly two grades below
his current grade level, involved the two areas of Word
Identification and Oral Reading Fluency and fell in the
Below Average range. Every other subtest fell within
the Well Below Average range, with his two lowest
scores in the areas of Listening Comprehension and Passage
P-14 at 1; see Decision at ¶¶ 28-29
(finding that Dr. Flounders' report indicated that R.F.
performed “two grades below the then current grade
level” in reading). Dr. Flounders recommended another
evaluation (from a speech language pathologist) and
“language processing support services to build his
receptive and expressive skill acquisition.” P-14 at
1-2. R.F.'s mother admitted that she believed some of Dr.
Flounders' results were inaccurate, namely that they were
“a little low.” Hearing at 73; see also
Id. at 163 (describing Dr. Flounders' results as
lower than R.F.'s actual performance abilities).
The District's Reevaluation
advance of R.F.'s third-grade IEP's expiration in
December 2015, the District sought the parents' consent
to reevaluate him on November 16, 2015. S-17. While the
District did not successfully obtain the parents' consent
prior to the reevaluation, id. at 3, the District
nevertheless reevaluated R.F. prior to his third-grade
IEP's expiration. During the reevaluation process, the
District reviewed R.F.'s records and his teacher's
impressions of his abilities. S-19; see Hearing at
518 (describing review progress as looking at R.F.'s
“data, his progress monitoring in the speech
room” and discussion with his teachers). The District
initially limited the reevaluation to a records review
because the District comprehensively tested R.F. a year prior
and intermediately tested him throughout the year which
“showed his language skills to be in the average
range.” Hearing at 518. In addition, “[R.F.] was
achieving 90 percent accuracy in the objectives that [the
District was] instructing him on. And he continued to
demonstrate that accuracy level.” Id.
school issued a final RE on December 4, 2015 (“December
2015 RE”). S-19 at 2. In the December 2015 RE, the District
found that R.F. “demonstrat[ed] satisfactory progress
within the classroom setting” and “mastered all
of his speech and language goals.” Id. at
5. Due to
R.F.'s progress, the District concluded that he “no
longer qualifie[d] for school based speech and language
support services.” Id. The District further
concluded that R.F. remained eligible for “classroom
accommodations to address” his APD through a “504
Service Agreement” but that he no longer required SDI.
Id.; Decision at ¶ 35. The parents disagreed with the
District's determination that R.F. no longer qualified
for SDI and did not believe that a 504 plan would
sufficiently address his learning disabilities. S-19 at 13;
Decision at ¶ 37. As a result, the parents returned the
“Notice of Recommended Educational Placement/Prior
Written Notice (NOREP/PWN)” (“NOREP”) to
the District on December 11, 2015, and designated their
disapproval of the District's decision to exit R.F. from
SDI. S-19 at 13; Decision at ¶ 37. On December 10, 2015,
the parents also requested the District conduct a
comprehensive evaluation of R.F. and indicated their desire
to mediate the dispute. S-19 at 13.
December 20, 2015, the parents informed the District via
e-mail that they withdrew their request for mediation because
they agreed with the District's compromise to continue
providing R.F. services under his third-grade IEP until a
reevaluation was completed. S-21 at 1; Hearing at 558-59
(describing District's decision to continue providing
services under R.F.'s earlier IEP until reevaluation
completed). In the same e-mail, the parents provided
the District with private reports regarding R.F.'s
abilities and informed the District that he received private
speech and OT services outside of those provided by the
District. Id. at 1-15. Prior to the parents' December
20, 2015 notice, the District did not know that R.F.
underwent private speech and language evaluations or received
private therapies. Hearing at 210.
January 4, 2016, the District sought the parents'
permission to reevaluate R.F., and the parents consented on
January 11, 2016. S-22 at 1, 3. On March 11, 2016, the
District provided the parents with the RR (“March 2016
RR”). S-23 at 10; Decision at ¶ 38. The March 2016
RR included a review of R.F.'s testing history,
progress, and a summary of recent observation results by his
teachers, the school psychologist, occupational therapist,
and guidance counselor. S-23 at 11-44. The March 2016 RR also
included the results of various tests and evaluations, such
as the WISC-V (administered on February 24, 2016), WIAT-III,
(completed in February 2016), and the Social Skills
Improvement System (“SSIS”) (also completed in
February 2016). Id. at 25, 29, 30.
WISC-V, R.F. obtained average or better scores aside from
“working memory” in which he obtained a below
average score. Id. at 25. On the WIAT-III, R.F.
obtained average or better scores on all areas tested,
including areas related to reading. Id. at 27. On
the BASC-2, a behavioral assessment, R.F.'s parents, his
English Language Arts/Social Studies teacher (Ms. Dill), and
his Math teacher (Ms. DeSanctis) all rated him in different
areas related to his social skills. Id. at 29. His
teachers both rated him in typical range for all areas aside
from “withdrawal.” Id. However,
R.F.'s parents rated him in the “at-risk”
category for several categories and rated him in the
“clinically significant” range for
“withdrawal.” Id. Concerning the SSIS,
which was administered to Ms. DeSanctis, Ms. Dill, and
R.F.'s parents, R.F.'s teachers rated him as
“average” in most areas, aside from “below
average” in communication and engagement, id.
at 30, whereas his parents rated him as “below
average” in four out of the seven “Social Skills
Subscales[.]” Id. On the “Problem
Behaviors Subscales[, ]” his teachers rated him as
“above average” for internalizing and autism
spectrum but average for externalizing, bullying,
hyperactivity/inattention. Id. His parents rated him
as average for each of those categories other than autism
performed a series of tests to determine R.F.'s speech
abilities. Id. at 33 (administering Comprehensive
Assessment of Spoken Language (“CASL”), Test of
Narrative Language, and the Clinical Evaluation of Language
Fundamentals (“CELF”) 4th Edition, Four
Formulated Sentences Subtest). R.F. scored in the average
range on all the tests Macomb administered. See Id.
at 34 (“[R.F.'s] overall performance for the . . .
CASL placed his performance within the average range for
his chronological age. He obtained a standard score of 107,
which placed his receptive and expressive language abilities
at the 68th percentile.”), id. at 35
(“[R.F.] achieved an overall Narrative Language Ability
Index of 121, which placed his narrative discourse skills in
the 92nd percentile for his chronological
age.”); id. (showing CELF results as
“[R.F.] received a standard score of 12, which placed
in the 75th percentile for his chronological
R.F.'s purported physical disabilities, the
District's physical therapist (“PT”) and
occupational therapist both evaluated him. The PT evaluated
R.F.'s physical therapy needs based on the parents'
reported concerns (e.g., low muscle tone,
“possible mild Cerebral Palsy”); however, the PT
concluded that R.F. did not have any significant physical
limitations. Id. at 23- 24. The occupational
therapist evaluated R.F. using a variety of assessments,
namely an ecological assessment, Wide Range Assessment of
Visual Motor Abilities (“WRAVMA”), handwriting
tasks, Detroit motor speed and precision test, Wold sentence
copying test, and Wold digit symbol test. Id. at 35.
On the WRAVMA, a test to assess R.F.'s skills in the
areas of “Visual-Motor, Visual- Spatial, and Fine
Motor[, ]” he obtained scores in the average range for
all categories. Id. at 35-36. The occupational
therapist also tested R.F.'s hand skills and motor skills
and noted some difficulties (related to his “awkward
grasp pattern”) but found, on balance, that R.F.
successfully completed the handwriting and copying tests.
Id. at 37-38.
the District's March 2016 RR concluded that R.F.'s
“overall cognitive ability fell within the Average
range, with strengths in verbal comprehension skills and a
weakness in working memory.” Id. at 38. In the
area of Reading, the District found R.F.'s current data
“very inconsistent with the scores received in the
private evaluation completed by Kim Flounders.”
Id. As a result, the District again determined that
R.F. no longer qualified for SDI, but that a 504 Plan would
properly accommodate his needs. Id. at 40; Decision
at ¶ 43.
parents sent a letter dated March 29, 2016 via e-mail to the
District indicating their disagreement with the March 2016 RE
and requesting a publicly funded IEE. P-24 at 1-2 (noting
parents withdrew December 2015 publicly funded IEE request).
On April 8, 2016, the parents returned a NOREP (“April
2016 NOREP”) to the District indicating that they both
approved and disapproved of the recommendation. P-25 at 8.
Specifically, the parents agreed with the implementation of a
504 Plan, but they did not agree with the District's
decision to exit R.F. from services. Id. On the
April 2016 NOREP, the parents also withdrew their March 29,
2016 request for a publicly funded IEE, but “reserve[d]
[the] right to request reimbursement for an IEE in the
future.” Id.; see also P-24 at 1-2;
Decision at 8.
response, the District ceased providing “direct speech
and language supports, specially-designed instruction and OT,
” Decision at ¶ 45, and prepared a 504 Service
Agreement (“504 Plan”), outlining the following
“adaptation, modification, service, or related
• Provide opportunity to change position and movement
• Verbal prompts for attention when needed
• Allow use of technology for longer writing assignments
to include the use of a computer or the use of talk to text
• Use finger or reading window to assist with tracking
• Assistive listening device such a as a classroom sound
field (FM system)
• Use of visual cues and examples will assist
[R.F.'s] understanding of verbal messages
• [R.F.] may needs [sic] tests presented in a quiet area
• [R.F.] may require extra time to process oral
• Seat [R.F.] away from noises and distractions
• If [R.F.] requests repetition, he should first repeat
what he has heard
• Use of mnemonic devices to aid in recall of
• Prompting to reread /revise or use of editing
checklists at the completion of each ...