Special Education Hearing Officer
Child’s Name: D.J.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
ODR File No. 17110-15-16 KE
Parties to the Hearing:
Local Education Agency
Susquehanna Township School District 2579 Interstate Drive
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phillip A. Drumheiser, Esquire 2202 Circle Road
Carlisle, PA 17013-1009
Elizabeth S. Daniels, Esquire Jeffrey F. Champagne, Esquire McNees, Wallace, & Nurick, LLC P.O. Box 1166, 100 Pine Street Harrisburg, PA 17108-1166
Dates of Hearing: January 11 and February 2, 2016
Date Record Closed: February 8, 2016
Date of Decision: February 23, 2016
Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, M.Ed., J.D.
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The student (hereafter Student)1 is a middle elementary school-aged student in the Susquehanna Township School District (District), who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).2 After the family moved into the District, a special education evaluation was conducted. The Parents disagreed with the evaluation and sought an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) at public expense. The District thereafter filed a Due Process Complaint seeking to defend its evaluation as compliant with the IDEA.
The case proceeded to a due process hearing convening over two sessions, at which the parties presented evidence in support of their respective positions3 on whether the District’s evaluation was appropriate. For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the Parents and will award an IEE at public expense.
Whether the District’s evaluation of Student was appropriate under applicable law?