MM vs. Rose Tree Media School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: M.M.

ODR #01394/10-11 JS

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: September 21, 2010 October 4, 2010 November 1, 2010

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Rose Tree Media School District 308 N. Olive Street
Media, Pennsylvania 19063

Representative:
Catherine Reisman, Esquire
19 Chestnut Street
Haddonfield, New Jersey 08033

David Painter, Esquire
PO Box 5069
Doylestown, Pennsylvania 18901

Date Record Closed: November 23, 2010

Date of Decision: December 5, 2010

Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D., CHO Certified Hearing Official

Background

Student1 was enrolled in the Rose Tree Media School District (hereinafter District) from kindergarten through the sixth grade. The Parents requested this hearing alleging the District failed to offer Student a free appropriate public education (FAPE) through a failure to timely evaluate and identify Student as an eligible student or as a protected handicapped student. The District maintains that Student was identified as a protected handicapped student in a timely manner, is not an eligible student and was not denied FAPE.

Because the Parents asked for public funding of an Independent Educational Evaluation the District also filed a hearing request, but withdrew it with the parties’ mutual agreement that the present hearing would address both matters.

For the reasons presented below I find for the Parents on the first issue and award compensatory education. As discussed below on the second issue I also find for the Parents and award public funding for the independent educational evaluation.

Issues

  1. Did the School District deny Student a free appropriate public education (FAPE) from October 2008 to the end of the 2009-2010 school year? If the District denied Student FAPE, is Student entitled to compensatory education and if so, in what form and in what amount?
  2. Was the evaluation of Student completed by the District in spring 2010 appropriate? If the District’s evaluation was not appropriate, must the District pay for the independent educational evaluation performed by a private psychologist?
M-M-Rose-Tree-Media-ODRNo-01394-10-11-JS

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