ML vs. Mid Valley School District

ML / 6991/06-07 AS

Name/File Number

Xx/xx/xx

Date of Birth

2/08/06

Dates of Hearing

Closed

Type of Hearing

Parties to the Hearing:

Mr. & Mrs. Parent(s) Name(s)

Address

Mid Valley School District

52 Underwood Road Throop, PA 18512-1196 School District Address

Joseph Crotti
School District Superintendent

Mark Fitzgerald, Esq.
Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams 331 Butler Avenue P.O.Box 5069 New Britain, PA 18901
School District Counsel & Address

12/13/06
Date Transcript Received

12/28/06

Date of Decision

Anne L. Carroll, Esq. Hearing Officer Name

Anne L. Carroll

Signature of Hearing Officer

Harold P. McGrath, Esq. McGrath Law Offices
321 Spruce Street
Bank Towers Building, Suite 600

Scranton, PA 18503 Parent Attorney & Address

I. BACKGROUND

In a due process complaint notice dated September 25, 2006, Parents alleged that Student had been evaluated at [redacted medical] Center in 2002 and diagnosed with a neurological impairment. Parents further alleged that the School District had previously provided special needs transportation for Student, and later agreed to provide transportation on the regular school bus as a less restrictive alternative. In order to assure that family members could supervise Student both while waiting for the bus in the morning and after school, the Parents requested that the School District establish a bus stop near his grandmother’s home. The School District agreed to that request as a negotiated settlement of a prior due process hearing request.

Before the current school year began, however, the Parents learned that the School District’s new transportation provider had eliminated Student’s bus stop. When the issue of reinstating the bus stop could not be resolved between the parties, the Parents submitted their September 25 due process complaint notice.

After an early conference call to discuss the School District’s request to continue the November 15, 2006 hearing date, counsel for both parties believed that the issue could be resolved. The hearing date, therefore, was postponed until December 8 to give counsel additional time to resolve what then appeared to be a single issue. Although the School District reestablished the Parents’ preferred bus stop beginning November 20, 2006, the Parents declined to withdraw their hearing request. Consequently, the due process hearing was convened via telephone on December 8.

At the hearing, the Parents acknowledged that the School District had reinstated

Student’s bus stop, but requested a decision ordering the School District to prepare a new IEP to add Student’s neurological impairment as an identified disability and to add their preferred school bus stop as an accommodation to address Student’s needs arising from that disability. They also requested reimbursement for their costs to transport Student to and from school from the first day of the current school year until his school bus stop was reinstated. The School District requested an order dismissing the complaint because it had complied with the only resolution suggested by the Parents in their due process hearing complaint notice.

ISSUES

  • Should the Mid Valley School District be required to prepare an IEP for Student based upon a medically diagnosed neurological impairment and include in the IEP a requirement that his school bus stop remain near his grandmother’s home?
  • Should the Mid Valley School District be required to reimburse Student’s Parents for their costs incurred for transporting him to school from the first day of the 2006/2007 school year until November 20, 2006?
  • Should the Parents’ due process complaint notice be dismissed due to resolution of the only issue explicitly raised in the complaint notice or otherwise?
ML-Mid-Valley-ODRNo-6991-06-07-AS

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