HG vs. Upper Dublin School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION
ODR No. 3050-1112 KE

Child’s Name: H.G.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: 7/6/12, 7/24/12, 8/14/12, 9/6/12, 10/11/12, 10/18/12, 11/7/12, 11/14/12, 12/13/12, 1/3/13

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing:

Parents Parent

School District
Upper Dublin
1580 Fort Washington Avenue Maple Glen, PA 19002-3315

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Judith Gran, Esq.
Reisman Carolla,Gran, LLP
19 Chestnut Street
Haddonfield, New Jersey 08033

School District Attorney Claudia Huot, Esq.
Wisler, Pearlstine
460 Norristown Road Suite 110 Blue Bell, PA 19422-2323

Date Record Closed: January 28, 2013

Date of Decision: February 18, 2013

Hearing Officer: Anne L. Carroll, Esq.

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student, enrolled in a District middle school, is IDEA eligible due to a genetic condition that is commonly considered to cause intellectual disability, as well as language and social skill deficits that resemble characteristics of autism. The family moved into the District early in Student’s 3rd grade school year. From that time to the present, at Parent’s insistence, Student’s placement for most of the school day has been, and continues to be, primarily in grade-level regular education classes, working on grade level curriculum.

During the 2010/2011 school year, Parent refused consent for the triennial reevaluation, which was the District’s first opportunity to conduct its own evaluation of Student. After prevailing on its consent to override due process complaint, the District completed a reevaluation in December 2011, but Parent disagreed with the results and requested an IEE by [an out of state] specialist in psycho-educational evaluations of children with Student’s medical diagnosis. Upon refusing that request, the District filed the due process complaint in this case to support the appropriateness of its evaluation and to obtain an order that its proposed IEP based upon the evaluation is appropriate and may be implemented.

Due to the sequential unavailability of essential participants during the summer of 2012, and the need for evening hearing sessions beginning in September 2012 to accommodate Parent’s employment and child care constraints, the hearing had an unusually high number of sessions over an unusually long period. The evidence, however, left no doubt that the District conducted an appropriate evaluation and proposed an appropriate change of placement. Accordingly, the District will not be required to provide an IEE and may immediately implement its proposed IEP, including the change of placement. Since the IEP proposal is now over a year old, however, an IEP meeting is needed to review the goals and specially designed instruction in light of Student’s present levels to assure that the IEP appropriately addresses Student’s current needs.

ISSUES

  1. Was the evaluation conducted by the School District in 2011 procedurally and substantively appropriate?
  2. Did the District’s reevaluation appropriately and accurately assess all of Student’s needs?
  3. Is the District’s current IEP proposal appropriate for Student?
  4. If the reevaluation is not appropriate and if an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) is warranted, in what areas is a new or different evaluation necessary in order to have a complete and appropriate evaluation of Student?
  5. If the proposed IEP is found not to be appropriate, what level and type of services are necessary at this time for Student to receive an appropriate program and placement?
H-G-Upper-Dublin-ODRNo-3050-1112-KE

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