SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER
DUE PROCESS HEARING
Name of Child: MM
ODR #9509/08-09 AS
Date of Birth: Xx/xx/xx
Date of Hearing: February 9, 2009
Parties to the Hearing: Ms.
Manheim Township School District 2933 Lititz Pike
Lititz, Pennsylvania 17696
Phillip Drumheiser, Esq. P.O. Box 890
Carlisle, Pennsylvania 17013
Kimberly Colonna, Esq. McNees, Wallace & Nurick
100 Pine Street PO Box 1166 Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17108
Date Record Closed: March 2, 2009
Date of Decision: March 10, 2009
Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D.
Student is a primary grade age student, a resident of the Manheim Township School District (hereinafter District). Currently classified as a student with a speech/language impairment, Student was found ineligible for the classifications of specific learning disability and/or other health impaired pursuant to a District evaluation. Student’s mother, Ms. (hereinafter Parent) disagreed with the District’s determination and requested an Independent Educational Evaluation (hereinafter IEE). The District declined the Parent’s request and filed for this hearing to defend its evaluation. At the hearing the Parent sought to add the issue of whether Student is properly placed in an English as a Second Language (ESL) program; the District objected. The hearing officer deferred a determination on whether this issue would be addressed until written closing arguments were available for review.
Student has siblings, and the same dispute exists for each of the children. The Parent, through counsel, requested a consolidated hearing with no objection from the District, therefore all three cases were held on the same day in a consolidated manner. In order that the parties would have time to individualize their closing arguments and so that there would be ample time for the hearing officer to write each decision, the due dates of the written closing arguments were staggered two days apart, with the records closed accordingly. Student’s is the first of the three decisions.
Did the Manheim Township School District perform an appropriate evaluation of Student? If not, is Student entitled to an independent educational evaluation (IEE) at public expense?