KG vs. Pocono Mountain School District

Pennsylvania

Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: K.G.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

ODR No. 16600-15-16-KE

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Pocono Mountain School District 135 Pocono Mountain School Road Swiftwater, PA 18370

Representative:

Heather M. Hulse, Esquire
McAndrews Law Offices, P.C.
404 North Washington Avenue, Suite 310 Scranton, PA 18503

Glenna M. Hazeltine, Esquire
King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLP One West Broad Street, Suite 700 Bethlehem, PA 18018

Dates of Hearing: February 1, 2016, February 5, 2016

Record Closed: February 26, 2016

Date of Decision: March 15, 2016

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

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The child named in this matter (Student)1 is a resident of the District named in this matter (District), and is of high school age. Student’s mother (Parent) filed this due process request, pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1401 et seq. (IDEA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794 (section 504)2. Parent asserts that the District failed to comply with its Child Find obligations under these laws, by failing to identify Student in a timely fashion as a child with a disability under those statutes. Parent also asserts that the District failed to evaluate Student appropriately and failed to provide Student with a free appropriate public education (FAPE) as required by the IDEA and section 504. The District asserts that Student is not a child with a disability or a qualified handicapped person, as defined in the IDEA and section 504 respectively, and that its regular-education interventions have provided Student with meaningful educational benefit.

The hearing was completed in two sessions. I have determined the credibility of all witnesses and I have considered and weighed all of the evidence of record. I conclude that Student is not an eligible child with a disability as defined by the IDEA and that the District provided appropriate services under section 504. I decline to enter the order that Parent seeks.

ISSUES

  1. During the relevant period from April 29, 2013 to the last day of hearings in this matter, February 5, 2016, did the District fail to comply with its Child Find obligations under the IDEA and section 504?
  2. During the relevant period, did the District fail to provide Student with a FAPE as defined by the IDEA and section 504?
  3. Did the District provide to Student an appropriate section 504 Service Agreement from November 24, 2014 until February 5, 2016?
  4. Should the hearing officer order the District to provide Student with compensatory education for or on account of all or any part of the relevant period?
  5. Should the hearing officer order the District to provide Student with an independent educational evaluation at District expense (IEE)?
  6. Should the hearing officer order the District to provide any services at present or in the future, consistent with the findings and recommendations of an IEE?
K-G-Pocono-Mountain-ODRNo-16600-15-16-KE

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