MS vs. East Stroudsburg Area School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: MS

ODR #8632/07-08 KE

Date of Birth: xx.xx.xx

Date of Hearing: May 13, 2008

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Ms.

East Stroudsburg Area School District 321 North Courtland Street
East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania 18301

Representative:
Pro Se (did not appear)

Anne Hendricks, Esquire
Levin Legal Offices
1402 Masons Mill Business Park
1800 Byberry Road
Huntington Valley, Pennsylvania 19006

Date Transcript Received: May 19, 2008

Date of Decision: May 23, 2008

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

Background

Student is a xx-year-old student enrolled in the East Stroudsburg Area School District (hereinafter District). He is a tenth grade student during this (2007-2008) school year. Student is enrolled in regular education classes and has never been evaluated to determine whether he is eligible for special education services. The district has sought permission to evaluate Student to determine if he is eligible for special education services under the Federal IDEIA and Pennsylvania Chapter 14 and/or Section 504 and Pennsylvania Chapter 15. As Student’s mother, Ms. (hereinafter Parent) refused to give her permission for an evaluation to be performed, the District requested this due process hearing.

On Tuesday May 13th, the day of the hearing, the Parent failed to appear. The hearing officer had called her home and left a message with a male the previous week but received no return call. The hearing officer also attempted to reach her on the Saturday before the hearing, but the telephone rang with no answer or answering machine. The morning of the hearing several attempts were made by the District to reach the Parent to no avail, and the hearing officer also called the home; there was no answer and no answering machine. Finally the hearing officer called the Office for Dispute Resolution to see if the Parent had made contact regarding an inability to attend the hearing, and the case manager reported no contact from the Parent had been received.

In accord with established due process procedures as put forth in the Pennsylvania Special Education Dispute Resolution Manual Section 802 A to F the hearing officer proceeded with the hearing in the absence of the Parent. The hearing officer received no further contact from the Parent as of the writing of this decision.

Issue

Should the East Stroudsburg Area School District’s request for an Order to perform a multidisciplinary evaluation of Student to determine his eligibility for special education services under the IDEIA and Pennsylvania Chapter 14 and/or Section 504 and Pennsylvania Chapter 15 over the objections of his Parent be granted?

MS-East-Stroudsburg-Area-ODRNo-8632-07-08-KE

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