SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER
Child’s Name: N.B.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
ODR File No. 18803-16-17 KE
Parties to the Hearing:
Local Education Agency
North Allegheny School District 200 Hillvue Lane
Pittsburgh, PA 15237
Parent Attorney None
Christina Lane, Esquire Maiello, Brungo & Maiello LLP 424 South 27th Street, #210 Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Date of Hearing: March 20, 2017
Date of Decision: April 5, 2017
Hearing Officer: Cathy A. Skidmore, M.Ed., J.D.
INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The student in this matter (Student)1 is a late-pre-teenaged student who resides within the North Allegheny School District (District), but currently attends a private parochial school (Private School). Student’s Parents sought a District evaluation of Student to determine whether Student is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).2 After the evaluation was completed, the Parents requested an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) at public expense due to their disagreement with the evaluation process and resulting conclusions. The District refused that request and filed a due process complaint seeking to defend its evaluation.
Following assignment of the case to this hearing officer, she provided information to the parties about the hearing process, and a conference call was also conducted to answer procedural questions.3 The case proceeded to a due process hearing convening over a single session. The District presented evidence seeking to establish that the evaluation it conducted met all criteria in the IDEA and relevant federal and state regulations, while the Parents challenged certain aspects of that evaluation. For the reasons set forth below, the District’s claim will be granted.
- Whether the District’s evaluation of Student met all requisite criteria of a special education evaluation; and
- If the District’s evaluation did not meet all required criteria, should the District be ordered to provide an IEE of Student at public expense?