CB vs. Lower Merion School District

This is a redacted version of the original decision. Select details have been removed from the decision to preserve
anonymity of the student. The redactions do not affect the substance of the document.

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

ODR No. 15576-1415AS

Child’s Name: C.B.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: 1/15/15

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing:

Parent Parent[s]

School District
Lower Merion
301 E. Montgomery Avenue Ardmore, PA 19003-3338

Representative:

Parent Attorney
David G. C. Arnold, Esquire Suite 106, 920 Matsonford Road West Conshohocken, PA 19428

School District Attorney
Amy Brooks, Esquire
Wisler, Pearlstine
Blue Bell Executive Campus
460 Norristown Road – Suite 110 Blue Bell, PA 19422-2323

Date Record Closed: January 30, 2015

Date of Decision: February 15, 2015

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student, now in middle school, has attended District schools since kindergarten. Although consistently identified as IDEA eligible due to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with secondary eligibility categories, at times, of speech/language impairment and OHI due to ADHD, Student has been placed almost entirely in the regular education classroom and was described during elementary school as displaying mild disability symptoms.

Parent became concerned about Student’s impulsivity, disorganization and increased anxiety, as well as a decrease in peer social interactions and friendships from the beginning of middle school. In the spring of 7th grade, Parent requested a comprehensive reevaluation of Student, hoping that additional information would provide teachers with a better understanding of Student’s school-related difficulties and needs.

Parent was dissatisfied with the evaluation results, which generally indicated that Student was functioning well both academically and socially in school, despite continuing IDEA eligibility due to ASD, and needs in the areas of impulsivity, anxiety, difficulty applying known social skills in context and understanding words with different meanings in context.

The District initiated a due process complaint after denying Parent’s request for an independent educational evaluation (IEE), and a hearing was conducted in a single session in mid-January 2015. Because the District’s evaluation met all IDEA procedural requirements, and there is no reason to conclude that the results of the assessments and rating scales included in the District’s 2014 reevaluation are inaccurate, or that the evaluation did not sufficiently identify Student’s disability-related needs, the District’s reevaluation is appropriate. There is, therefore, no basis for ordering the District to provide Parent with an IEE at public expense.

 

ISSUE

Was the School District’s evaluation dated August 25, 2014 substantively and procedurally appropriate in that it conformed to IDEA requirements and identified all of Student’s special education needs, or should the District be ordered to fund one or more independent evaluations?

C-B-Lower-Merion-ODRNo-15576-1415AS

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