MB vs. Boyertown Area School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Student’s Name: MB

Date of Birth: [redacted]

ODR No. 2432-11-12-KE

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing:

Mr. Ms.

Boyertown Area School District 911 Montgomery Avenue Boyertown, PA 19512-9699

Representative: Pro Se

Jennifer Donaldson, Esquire
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP 331 East Butler Avenue
New Britain, PA 18901

Dates of Hearing: December 19, 2011

Record Closed: December 19, 2011

Date of Decision: December 26, 2011

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

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The captioned student (Student) is an eligible resident of the captioned school district (District), and has attended a high school operated by the District, during the time relevant to the captioned matter. (NT 15.) Student is not identified as a child with a disability pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1401 et seq. (IDEA). Child is recognized as having a disability within the meaning section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C. §794 (section 504). (NT 15-17.)

Parents, named in the caption above, filed this due process request, asserting that the initial evaluation provided by the District on September 27, 2011, declining to identify Student as a child with a disability under the IDEA, was inappropriate. Parents requested the hearing officer to order the Student identified with an emotional disorder, to order creation of an individualized education program (IEP) with various elements included, and to order implementation of a section 504 service agreement with various elements included.

The District asserts that its evaluation was appropriate, and that any deficiencies in the evaluation are due to parental obstruction. It argues that its section 504 service agreement was appropriate, and that it is ready to modify that service agreement to respond to parental concerns, but that the Parents have refused to collaborate for that purpose.

The hearing was concluded in one session. On the basis of the testimony and documents admitted into evidence, I conclude that the District’s evaluation was inappropriate, that an independent educational evaluation is warranted, and that further relief is not warranted.

ISSUES

  1. Was the initial evaluation provided by the District on September 27, 2011, declining to identify Student as a child with a disability under the IDEA, inappropriate?
  2. Should the hearing officer order that the District identify the Student as a child with a serious emotional disturbance?
  3. Should the hearing officer order that the District provide an IEP addressing the Student’s needs with regard to attention and also with regard to behavior?
  4. Should the hearing officer order that the District modify any existing section 504 Service Agreement to address behavioral issues?
MB-Boyertown-Area-ODRNo-2432-11-12-KE

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