JN vs. Upper Dauphin Area School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name JN

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

Dates of Hearing: 8-8-07, 8-29-07, 1-17-08

CLOSED HEARING

ODR #7755/06-07 KE

Parties to the Hearing: Mr. and Mrs.

Upper Dauphin Area School District 5668 State Route 209
Lykens, PA 17048-8414

Representative: Pro Se

Stephen S. Russell, Esquire
Stock and Leader
Susquehanna Commerce Center East 221 West Philadelphia Street, Suite 600 York, Pa 17401-2994

Date Record Closed: February 22, 2007

Date of Decision: March 8, 2008

Hearing Officer: William F. Culleton, Jr., Esquire

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Student is a xx year old child who resides in the Upper Dauphin School District, (S-4 p. 3), and was disenrolled on August 3, 2007, (NT 21). During the 2006- 2007 school year, the Student was enrolled in the District, and was s student at the [redacted] Elementary School. (NT 23.) The Student is eligible for special education and related services as a child with multiple disabilities, Specific Learning Disability, Speech and Language Impairment and Visual Impairment. (S-30 p. 28.) The Student has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, developmental dysplasia of the hips, and a visual impairment. (S-3.)

Mr. and Mrs. (Parents) requested due process on May 22, 2007, requesting compensatory education for the 2006- 2007 school year, removal of an IEP from the Student’s educational records, and an order for ESY on an expedited basis. On June 25, 2007, the Parents filed another request for due process, seeking the above relief, as well as an order that the June 2007 IEP was inappropriate, and an order that the District identify all names of persons evaluating the Student. The matter was bifurcated so that the ESY issue could be decided on an expedited basis, that issue was assigned to another hearing officer, (3NT1 98.), and the remaining issues were listed for a hearing on August 8, 2007 before Special Education Hearing Officer Joy W. Fleming, Esquire. By order dated August 17, 2007, Hearing Officer Fleming dismissed as moot the issue of appropriateness of the 2007-2008 program and placement, because the Student had been disenrolled from the District. (NT 21-22, 133; HO-1.)

Hearing Officer Fleming presided in an additional hearing on August 29, 2007. Subsequently, Hearing Officer Fleming resigned as a hearing officer, and the matter was assigned to the undersigned to preside in a third and final hearing session on January 17, 2008, and file a decision. The parties agreed to submit written summations on February 22, and did so, at which time the record closed. The Parents argue that the District failed to provide FAPE by reason of its refusal to implement what they argue was the prevailing IEP, a document from 2004. (NT 12-13.)

They assert that, instead, the District planned to implement an IEP from 2005, which had been found inappropriate by a special education hearing officer. (NT 13.) The District asserts that it provided an offer of FAPE, and all special education programming possible, but that the Parents obstructed and prevented the provision of FAPE. (NT 16-17.) ISSUES 1. In the 2006-2007 school year, did the District fail to provide FAPE to the Student? 2. Was the District’s failure to identify its evaluator a denial of FAPE? 3. Was the District’s refusal to remove the 2006 IEP from the Student’s records a denial of FAPE? 4. Did the Parents prevent the District from providing FAPE? 5. Should the hearing officer award compensatory education for the 2006-2007 school year?

ISSUES

1. In the 2006-2007 school year, did the District fail to provide FAPE to the Student?

2. Was the District’s failure to identify its evaluator a denial of FAPE?

3. Was the District’s refusal to remove the 2006 IEP from the Student’s records a denial of FAPE?

4. Did the Parents prevent the District from providing FAPE?

5. Should the hearing officer award compensatory education for the 2006-2007 school year?

JN-Upper-Dauphin-Area-ODRNo-755-06-07-KE

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