MS vs. Midd-West School District

DECISION
COVER SHEET
DUE PROCESS SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING

FILE NUMBER: 3093/11-12AS

PETITIONER/SCHOOL DISTRICT (LEA): Midd-West School District

SCHOOL DISTRICT COUNSEL: Sharon O’Donnell, Esquire

STUDENT: M.S.

RESPONDENT/PARENTS: Parents

COUNSEL FOR STUDENT/PARENT Phillip Drumheiser, Esquire

INITIATING PARTY: School District

DATE OF DUE PROCESS COMPLAINT: April 27, 2012

DATE OF HEARING: July 18 and 19, 2012

PLACE OF HEARING: Midd-West High School

OPEN vs. CLOSED HEARING: Closed

STUDENT PRESENT: No RECORD: Verbatim-Court Reporter

DECISION TYPE: Electronic

DUE DATE FOR DECISION: August 20, 2012

HEARING OFFICER: James Gerl, Certified Hearing Official

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

File No.: 3093/11-12AS

PRELIMINARY MATTERS

Two prehearing conferences by telephone conference call were convened in this case. The first prehearing conference was convened on May 8, 2012. The second prehearing conference was convened on May 15, 2012. As a result of said conferences, a Prehearing Conference Order was entered herein. Said Order is incorporated herein by reference.

Prior to the hearing, counsel for the School District filed a motion to extend the hearing officer’s decision deadline. The motion was unopposed. The motion was granted, and the hearing officer’s decision deadline was extended to August 20, 2012.

Prior to the hearing, counsel for the parties filed a joint prehearing memorandum. Said memorandum contains numerous stipulations of fact, and it defines the issue presented for purposes of this due process hearing. Said memorandum also contains information concerning exhibits and witnesses. The parties’ joint prehearing memorandum is incorporated by reference herein.

Subsequent to the hearing, both parties filed written briefs and proposed findings of fact. All proposed findings, conclusions and supporting arguments submitted by the parties have been considered. To the extent that the proposed findings, conclusions and arguments advanced by the parties are in accordance with the findings, conclusions and views stated herein, they have been accepted, and to the extent that they are inconsistent therewith, they have been rejected. Certain proposed findings and conclusions have been omitted as not relevant or as not necessary to a proper determination of the material issues as presented. To the extent that the testimony of various witnesses is not in accord with the findings as stated herein, it is not credited.

Personally identifiable information, including the names of parties and similar information is provided on the cover sheet hereto which should be removed prior to distribution of this decision to the public. FERPA, 20 U.S.C. § 1232(g) and IDEA § 617(c).

ISSUE PRESENTED

The issue presented in the due process hearing, as identified by the parties in the prehearing conferences and confirmed in their joint prehearing memorandum, is as follows:

1. Should the parents’ request for an independent educational evaluation at public expense be approved?

M-S-Midd-West-School-District-ODRNo-3093-11-12AS

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