SD vs. Saucon Valley School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

HEARING OFFICER DECISION/ORDER

File No. 6002-0506

Name: S.D.
Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx
Type of Hearing: Closed
Date(s) of Hearing: 2/10/06; 4/12/06; 4/18/06

For the Parents:

Elizabeth Kapo, Esq. 2123 Pinehurst Road Bethlehem, Pa. 18018

For the School District:

Michael J. Connolly, Esq.
Sweet, Stevens, Tucker & Katz, LLP 331 E. Butler Avenue, P.O. Box 5069 New Britain, Pa. 18901

Date Last Transcript Received: April 23, 2006
Date of Decision: May 15, 2006
Hearing Officer: Vicki A. McGinley, Ph.D.

Background Information

Student is a xx-year-old, 9th grade eligible student residing in the Saucon Valley School District (hereinafter, District) where she has been served since kindergarten. She has been identified with Fragile X Syndrome. Student’s current educational diagnosis is learning disability, however following a recent reevaluation; the District has recommended a diagnosis of mental retardation. Parents have filed a dissent to the Evaluation Report (ER) requesting an Independent Education Evaluation (IEE) and identifying this as one of the issues of this due process hearing. Presently, Student receives services in the learning support environment for language arts and mathematics, and science and related arts in the regular education environment. Student receives pull out services for speech two times per week.

Following the end of the first marking period for the 2005/06 school years, the District issued progress reports in late November 2005 indicating that certain goals and objectives, specifically in written expression and mathematics, were not introduced. In addition, progress on speech and language goals and objectives were left out of the progress report at that time, but later remedied by the speech language pathologist in December of 2005. Additionally, the implementation of reading comprehension goals was questioned. As such, Parents requested a due process hearing alleging a failure on the part of the District to implement Student’s IEP goals and objectives as it relates to the language arts, reading comprehension, mathematics, and speech, in addition to the dissent of the most recent ER.

Issues

Was Student offered FAPE during the 2005/06 school years specifically in the areas of reading comprehension, written expression, mathematics, and, speech-language- pathology?

Was Student evaluated appropriately and if not is she entitled to an IEE at public expense?

S-D-Saucon-Valley-ODRNo-6002-0506

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