JS vs. Saucon Valley School District

PENNSYLVANIA
Special Education Hearing Officer

Decision
Due Process Hearing
For
J.S.
File No. 6723-05-06
Date of Birth: [redacted]
Date of Hearings: September 7, 18, October 16, 17, November 9, 2006 Closed Hearing

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Saucon Valley School District 2095 Polk Valley Road Hellertown, PA 18015 Moira.o’connor@svpanthers.org

Representative:

Drew Christian, Esquire 801 Monroe Avenue Scranton, PA 18510 drewchristian@adelphia.net

Andria Saia, Esquire
1800 Byberry Road
1301 Mason’s Mill Business Park Huntington Valley, PA 19006 asaia@levinlegalgroup.com

Transcript Received: November 15, 2006

Record Closed: December 5, 2006

Date of Decision: December 18, 2006

Hearing Officer: Max Wald, Ed.D.

Background

[Student] (hereinafter Student or [Student]) is a second grade [redacted] eligible child living with [Student’s] parents [redacted] (hereinafter Parents or Parent) within the Saucon Valley School District.

The Student was identified as hearing impaired, having a mild low to mid-frequency conductive hearing loss.

The Student began receiving early intervention services through [the local] Intermediate Unit but the speech and language support was provided by the staff of the [another] County Intermediate Unit.

After being fitted for bi-lateral hearing aids the Student’s services were reduced to monitoring status following [Student’s] IEP review. The Parents requested reconsideration and the Mutually Agreed Upon Written Agreement (MAWA) restored the weekly speech and language support for the period from July 6 through July 30, 2004.

The Student was enrolled for kindergarten at the [redacted] School in [redacted] for the 2004-2005 school years. [Student] was transferred to [redacted] Elementary School for first grade for the 2005-2006 school year. The Student currently attends second grade at [redacted] Elementary School.

While in kindergarten the Student received speech and language services. During the year (2004-2005) because of staff changes at the County Intermediate Unit services were halted for various periods of time between December, 2004 and February 2005.

When the Student entered the School District the IEP indicated that [Student] would receive “Itinerant, Deaf or Hearing Impaired” service and support. There was no mention of speech or language support in the IEP other than monitoring [Student’s] development.

[Redacted.]

On May 22, 2006 the Parents notified the District that they had concerns regarding their child’s [redacted] program. The Parents also requested an Independent Educational Evaluation at Public Expense.

On June 29, 2006 the Parents filed requests for a due process hearing with the Intermediate Unit, The [other] County Intermediate Unit, and the School District. Subsequently the School District voluntarily assumed responsibility for the entire matter and both IU’s were released from participation.

The Parents alleged a denial of FAPE, that the Student was denied speech and language services, that the 2005-2005 and 2005-2006 IEP were flawed, as was [redacted].

The Parents are seeking compensatory education for their child along with a comprehensive independent evaluation at the District’s expense.

Resolution meetings to resolve the dispute failed. The hearing commenced and was conducted over five sessions.

Issues

  1. Was the Student denied a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) because [Student] was denied Speech and Language Services for the 2004-2005 and 2005- 2006 school years? If so, is the Student entitled to compensatory education?
  2. Was the Student denied a Free Appropriate Public Education for the period from January, 2006 to June, 2006 because [redacted]? If so, is the Student entitled to compensatory education?
  3. Is the Student entitled to an Independent Evaluation at public expense?
J-S-Saucon-Valley-ODRNo-6723-05-06

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