LM vs. Lakeland School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: L.M.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

CLOSED HEARING

ODR File No. 15466-14-15 KE

Parties to the Hearing:

Parents Parent[s]

Local Education Agency Lakeland School District
1355 Lakeland Drive
Scott Township, PA 18433-9801

Representative:

Parent Attorney
Heather M. Hulse, Esquire McAndrews Law Offices
404 N. Washington Avenue, Suite 310 Scranton, PA 18503

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

Date Record Closed: December 18, 2015

Dates of Hearing: 1/29/2015, 9/9/2015, 9/10/2015, 9/11/2015, 11/6/2015, 11/13/2015

Date of Decision: December 31, 2015

Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, M.Ed., J.D.

 

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The student (hereafter Student)1 is a pre-teenaged student in the Lakeland School District (District) who is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).2 Student’s Parents filed a due process complaint against the District asserting that it denied Student a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) under the IDEA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,3 as well as the federal and state regulations implementingthosestatutes. Thecaseproceededtoadueprocesshearingconveningover several sessions,4 at which the parties presented evidence in support of their respective positions. The Parents sought to establish that the District failed to timely identify and evaluate all of Student’s disabilities under the IDEA, and further failed to provide appropriate programming to address all of Student’s needs; they sought compensatory education and a directive to revise the IEP as remedies. The District maintained that its special education program, as offered and implemented, was appropriate for Student in all respects.

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the Parents with respect to a portion of their claims and in favor of the District on others.

ISSUES

  1. Whether the District properly evaluated Student and identified all of Student’s disabilities under the IDEA;
  1. Whether the District provided an appropriate educational program to Student from September 2011 to the present;5
  2. If the District did not timely identify and/or program appropriately for Student, is Student entitled to compensatory education and in what form and amount;
  3. Whether the hearing officer should order the District to revise Student’s IEP and/or conduct further evaluations of Student?
L-M-Lakeland-ODRNo-15466-14-15-KE

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