MZ vs. Pocono Mountain School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: MZ

Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx

Dates of Hearing:
May 24, 2007; June 12, 2007

OPEN HEARING
ODR #7620/ 06-07 LS

Parties to the Hearing:

Pocono Mountain School District P. O. Box 200
Swiftwater, PA 18370

Representative: Pro Se

Brian Jason Ford, Esquire King, Spry, Herman, Freund

&Faul, LLC
One West Broad Street, Ste 700 Bethlehem, PA 18018

Date Record Closed: June 16, 2007

Date of Decision: June 30, 2007

Hearing Officer: William F. Culleton, Jr., Esquire

INTRODUCTION

Student is a xx year old resident of the Pocono Mountain School District (District). Student is identified under 24 P.S. §13-1371; 22 Pa. Code §16.1 et seq. as gifted and has a GIEP calling for special education services. (NT 117-9 to 14.) Mr. and Mrs. (Parents) requested due process, asserting that the District failed to implement two successive GIEPs and what the parties called a Pendency Agreement, thus failing to provide appropriate special education services to the Student in the 2006-2007 school year. (NT 96-18 to 97-4.) The Parents requested compensatory education for the year. (NT 94-7 to 95-25.) The District asserted that it had substantially complied with the GIEP, and that the hearing officer lacked jurisdiction over the issue of implementation of the Pendency Agreement, effectively depriving the hearing officer of jurisdiction regarding a period of seventy one days.

ISSUES

  1. From September 5, 2007 through October 26, 2006, did the District fail to provide appropriate special education services, in accordance with the prevailing GIEP, with regard to mathematics?
  2. From September 5, 2007 through October 26, 2006, did the District fail to provide appropriate special education services, in accordance with the prevailing GIEP, with regard to leadership/interpersonal skills?
  3. During the 2006-2007 school year, did the District fail to provide appropriate special education services, in accordance with the prevailing GIEP, with regard to language arts and creative writing, through enrichment activities assessed at the seventh grade level during language arts classes?
  4. During the 2006-2007 school year, did the District fail to provide appropriate special education services, in accordance with the prevailing GIEP, with regard to creative problem solving, through instruction in and use of a problem solving rubric?
  5. During the 2006-2007 school year, did the District fail to provide appropriate special education services, in accordance with the prevailing GIEP, with regard to reading?
  6. During the 2006-2007 school year, did the District fail to provide appropriate special education services, in accordance with the prevailing GIEP, with regard to research techniques, through work on two research projects during classroom time?
  7. Should compensatory education be awarded for the above periods?
  8. Should the hearing officer order the District to train its employees with regard to the education of gifted students?
MZ-PoconoMountain-ODRNo-7620-06-07-LS

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