SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER
Child’s Name: D. J.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
ODR File No. 18683-1617KE
Parties to the Hearing:
Local Education Agency
Pocono Mountain School District 135 Pocono Mountain School Road Swiftwater, PA 18370
Parent Attorney None
Glenna M. Hazeltine, Esquire
King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC
One West Broad Street, Suite 700 Bethlehem, PA 18018
Dates of Hearing: March 3, 2017; March 24, 2017; March 31, 2017
Date of Decision: April 12, 2017
Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, M.Ed., J.D.
The student (hereafter Student)1 is a mid-teenaged student in the Pocono Mountain School District (District) who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).2 As relates to this decision, Student’s Parents filed a Due Process Complaint against the District in late December 2016 asserting claims relating to the 2016-17 school year: specifically, that it denied Student a free, appropriate public education (FAPE); and that it retaliated and discriminated against Student on the basis of Student’s disability. The District filed a Counterclaim seeking permission to conduct a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA), and approval of the District’s fall 2016 Reevaluation Report (RR) and December 2016 proposed Individualized Education Program (IEP) and placement for Student. Two related disciplinary issues involving the parties have already been decided, with only the remaining non-expedited issues remaining. Those claims were heard together over three hearing sessions.3
1. Whether the District denied FAPE to Student during the 2016-17 school year;
2. Whether the District has discriminated and/or retaliated against Student on the basis of Student’s disability during the 2016-17 school year;
3. Whether the District’s RR and proposed IEP should be approved; and 4. Whether the District’s proposed placement should be approved?