MM vs. Stroudsburg Area School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION

DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: M.M.

ODR #5895/05-06 AS

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

Date of Hearing: January 9, 2006

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parent

Stroudsburg Area School District 123 Linden Street
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania 18360

Representative:
Pro Se – Did not appear

Daniel Corveleyn, Esquire Newman, Williams, et al.
712 Monroe Street
P. O. Box 511
Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania 18360

Date Transcript Received: January 12, 2006

Date of Decision: January 22, 2006

Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D.

Background

Student is a xx-year-old eligible student who resides in the Stroudsburg Area School District (hereinafter District). He is currently classified as a student with an Other Health Impairment (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).

Because of some incidents involving Student and other students in early February 2005 and into March 2005, Student began receiving homebound instruction on March 22, 2005 at the request of the Parent and under the prescription of a psychiatrist who had evaluated Student in January 2005. Although on April 14, 2005, the psychiatrist notified the District that Student could return to school, the Parent dropped this physician and filed another application for homebound instruction under another provider. Pursuant to the requests of a third subsequent health provider, Student continues to receive homebound instruction.

An IEP meeting was held in April 2005; the Parent attended this meeting for a short time, leaving before the IEP was completed. On April 12, 2005 the District issued a Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (NOREP) which the Parent did not approve, instead requesting a due process hearing. A prehearing conference was convened on May 6, 2005 and based on representations by counsel for both parties that the issues were being worked out and a hearing was not needed the matter was dismissed without prejudice.

Following the completion of the District’s evaluation and an agreed-upon psychiatric evaluation the parties and their attorneys met again on August 11, 2005 at which time the Parent produced a new report from a psychiatrist who diagnosed Student with Asperger’s Syndrome. As this was new information, the District offered and the Parent agreed to allow a psychologist from the IU and a behavior specialist, both of whom were familiar with Asperger’s Syndrome, to evaluate Student. The Parent’s attorney supported the evaluation. The IEP team met again at the end of August, an IEP was proposed, but again a NOREP was not approved.

On September 28, 2005 the Parent, now unrepresented by counsel, requested a due process hearing, stating that she disagreed with the most recent evaluation and IEP and that she also withdrew her consent for the IU psychologist and behavior specialist to evaluate Student.

Issues

  1. Did the District offer Student a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under his pendent IEP?
  2. If the District did not offer Student FAPE is he entitled to compensatory education and in what amount?
  3. Is the District currently offering Student FAPE as articulated in the most recent IEP draft?
  4. If the District is not offering Student FAPE should the District be required to place him in a private school at public expense?
M-M-Stroudsburg-Area-ODRNo-5895-05-06-AS

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