Special Education Hearing Officer


ODR No. 00450-09-10-AS

Child’s Name: J.S.
Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing:
January 5, 2010, March 11, 2010, March 12, 2010, April 15, 2010


Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Dr. Margaret Billings-Jones Superintendent
Lakeland School District 1593 Lakeland Drive Jermyn, PA 18433


Drew Christian, Esquire 801 Monroe Avenue Scranton, PA 18510

Jane Williams, Esquire
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams P. O. Box 5069
New Britain, PA 18901

Date Record Closed: May 10, 2010

Date of Decision: May 24, 2010

Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, Esq


Student1 is currently an elementary school-age student in the Lakeland School District (hereafter District) who is eligible for special education primarily based upon an emotional disturbance. Student’s parent filed a due process complaint challenging Student’s educational program and placement for the time period beginning November 19, 2008 until such time as an appropriate educational program is implemented. For all of the reasons set forth below, I find that the District did not deny a free, appropriate public education to Student, and that the District’s evaluation of Student was proper. Because I find in favor of the parent on the issue of whether the District has complied with its mandate to provide education to Student in the least restrictive environment, I will direct the IEP team to reconvene to address this obligation.


1. Whether the District denied a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) to Student from the fall of 2008 to the present and, if so, whether Student is entitled to compensatory education;

2. Whether the District’s psychoeducational evaluations and functional behavioral assessments of Student are adequate and, if not, whether an independent educational evaluation at public expense is warranted;

3. Whether Student’s individualized education program (IEP) team should be directed to reconvene to develop an appropriate program for Student.


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