GM vs. Manheim Township School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: GM

ODR #9511/08-09 AS

Date of Birth: Xx/xx/xx

Date of Hearing: February 9, 2009

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Ms.

Manheim Township School District 2933 Lititz Pike
Lititz, Pennsylvania 17696

Representative:
Phillip Drumheiser, Esq. P.O. Box 890
Carlisle, Pennsylvania 17013

Kimberly Colonna, Esq. McNees, Wallace & Nurick
100 Pine Street PO Box 1166 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17108

Date Record Closed: March 6, 2009

Date of Decision: March 10, 2009

Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D.

Background

Student is a primary grades age student, a resident of the Manheim Township School District (hereinafter District). Currently in regular education, Student was found ineligible for special education pursuant to a District evaluation. Student’s mother, Ms. (hereinafter Parent) disagreed with the District’s determination of ineligibility and requested an Independent Educational Evaluation (hereinafter IEE). The District declined the Parent’s request and filed for this hearing to defend its evaluation. At the hearing the Parent sought to add the issue of whether Student is properly placed in an English as a Second Language program; the District objected. The hearing officer deferred a determination on whether this issue would be addressed until written closing arguments were available for review.

Student has several siblings, and the same dispute exists for each of the children. The Parent, through counsel, requested a consolidated hearing with no objection from the District, therefore all three cases were held on the same day in a consolidated manner. In order that the parties would have time to individualize their closing arguments and so that there would be ample time for the hearing officer to write each decision, the due dates of the written closing arguments were staggered two days apart, with the records closed accordingly. Student’s is the third of the three decisions.

Issue1

Did the Manheim Township School District perform an appropriate evaluation of Student? If not, is Student entitled to an independent educational evaluation (IEE) at public expense?

GM-Manheim-Township-ODRNo-9511-08-09-AS

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