MM vs. Saucon Valley School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION

Child’s Name: M. M.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

ODR File 18245 16 17

OPEN HEARING

Parent(s): Pro Se

School District:
Saucon Valley School District, 2097 Polk Valley Road, Hellertown, PA 18055

Karl A. Romberger, Jr., Esquire, Sweet Stevens, Katz & Williams, LLP, 331 East Butler Avenue,
New Britain, PA 18901

Dates of Hearing: 6/1/17, 8/14/17, 8/22/17, 8/29/17

Date of Decision: 9/10/17

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

INTRODUCTION

The student (hereafter Student)1 is a beyond-teenaged young adult who resides in and has graduated from the Saucon Valley School District (District). Student was eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)2 on the basis of specific learning disabilities prior to graduation in the spring of 2016. Student’s Parent became concerned with the educational program that Student was provided and ultimately filed a due process complaint against the District in September 2016. Therein, she asserted that the District denied Student a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) under the IDEA, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973,3 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),4 over the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.

After the parties were not able to finalize a resolution of the claims, the case proceeded to a due process hearing convening over four sessions.5 The Parent sought to establish that the District failed to provide Student with FAPE throughout the time period in question, most particularly with respect to post-secondary transition services, and that the District further engaged in retaliation; she requested a compensatory remedy. The District maintained that the special education program that was implemented for Student was appropriate, that no retaliation occurred, and that no relief was due.

ISSUES7

  1. Whether the District denied Student a free, appropriate public education during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years;
  2. Whether the District retaliated against Student on the basis of Student’s disability; and
M-M-Saucon-Valley-ODRNo-18245-16-17

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