CM vs. Lakeland 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

Child’s Name: C. M.
Date of Birth: redacted

Dates of Hearing: 1/22/2015, 3/12/2015, 3/13/2015, 3/18/2015,
3/23/2015, 3/24/2015

CLOSED HEARING
ODR File No. 15465-14-15 KE

Parties to the Hearing:

Parents Parent[s]

Local Education Agency Lakeland School District
1355 Lakeland Drive
Scott Township, PA 18433-9801

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Heather M. Hulse, Esquire McAndrews Law Offices
404 N. Washington Avenue, Suite 310 Scranton, PA 18503

LEA Attorney
Glenna M. Hazeltine, Esquire
King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC
Suite 700
One West Broad Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018

Date Record Closed: May 4, 2015

Date of Decision: May 30, 2015

Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, Esquire

 

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The student (hereafter Student)1 is a late elementary school-aged student in the Lakeland School District (District) who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA),2 having previously received services under a Section 5043 Service Agreement. Student’s Parents filed a due process complaint against the District asserting that it denied Student a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) under the IDEA and Section 504, as well as the federal and state regulations implementing those statutes.4 Specifically, the Parents claimed that the District failed to timely identify Student as eligible under the IDEA, and further failed to provide appropriate programming to meet Student’s needs.

The case proceeded to a due process hearing convening over six sessions5 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 FAPE throughout the time period in question, and that Student should be awarded compensatory education to remedy the deprivation. The District maintained that its educational program, as offered and implemented, was appropriate for Student.

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the Parents and will award compensatory education for a portion of the time period in question.

 

ISSUES

  1. Whether the District failed to timely and appropriately identify Student as eligible for special education;
  2. Whether the District provided an appropriate educational program to Student beginning in September 2011 through October 9, 2013 and from October 9, 2014 continuing through to the present;6
  3. If the District did fail to identify Student as eligible for special education and/or fail to provide an appropriate educational program, is the Student entitled to compensatory education and in what form and amount?

 

C-M-Lakeland-ODRNo-15465-14-15-KE

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