Special Education Hearing Officer

Child’s Name: M.M.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Date of Hearing: March 31, 2014


ODR Case #14589-1314AS

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

Shenango Area School District 2501 Old Pittsburg Road
New Castle PA 16101


Lawrence Keith, Esquire 439 Court Street
New Castle PA 16101

Patricia Andrews, Esquire 1500 Ardmore Boulevard Suite 506
Pittsburgh PA 15221

Date Record Closed: March 31, 2014

Date of Decision: April 15, 2014

Hearing Officer: Jake McElligott, Esquire


[The student] is [an elementary school-aged] student residing in the Shenango Area School District (“District”). The parties do not dispute the fact that the student qualifies as a “handicapped person” under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”).1

The student has a Section 504 plan to provide certain accommodations to the student in the educational environment as the result of the student’s severe dairy allergy. Parents claim that the District has denied a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) to the student in how the District implemented the Section 504 plan. Consequently, parents seek an order making certain findings regarding this alleged denial of FAPE in addition to future directives to the student’s Section 504 team for future implementation of the Section 504 plan.

The District counters that, at all times, it has appropriately implemented the student’s Section 504 plan and has provided the student with FAPE. In the same vein, the District seeks a finding that the Section 504 is appropriate as written and that the Section 504 plan does not need to be re-visited by the Section 504 team as the result of a hearing officer directive. Therefore, the District argues, it has not failed in its obligations to the student under Section 504, either as to past implementation or by design of the Section 504 plan.

For the reasons set forth below, I find in favor of the District.


Did the District violate its obligations to the student under Section 504 in the design or implementation of the student’s Section 504 plan?


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