SK vs. North Pocono School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION

Child’s Name: S.K.

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: May 4, 2006, June 5, 2006

CLOSED HEARING

ODR #6505/ 05-06 LS

Parties to the Hearing: Parent[s]

North Pocono School District 851 Church Street
Moscow PA 18444

Representative:

Drew Christian, Esquire 801 Monroe Avenue Scranton PA 18510

Anne E. Hendricks, Esquire Levin Legal Group
1800 Byberry Road Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006

Date Record Closed: June 12, 2006

Date of Decision: June 27, 2006

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

INTRODUCTION

[Student] is a [teenaged] old eligible student of the North Pocono School District [District]. (NT 32-10 to 33-2.) In June 2006 [Student] completed the eighth grade at the North Pocono Middle School of the District. [Student] is identified with Specific Learning Disability in reading decoding, reading comprehension, mathematics calculation, mathematics reasoning and written expression. (P-20 p. 19 to 20.) In eighth grade, the Student received part time learning support in a resource room. (P-21 p. 10.)

The Parents raise two issues for which they request compensatory education of three hours per day from February 3, 20041 until such time as an adequate IEP is finalized. First, they assert that the District failed to identify the Student until it provided an ER on January 12, 2006, even though it knew or should have known that the Student was in need of specially designed instruction. Second, they assert that the January 24, 2006 IEP based upon that ER was inadequate to offer FAPE because the ER was flawed, and because its goals failed to address the Student’s above-listed learning disabilities.

The District argued that it did not have notice of the Student’s specific learning disability before [Student] was referred for evaluation during [Student’s] eighth grade year. It pointed out that there was not a significant discrepancy between achievement and potential, the Student had passing grades throughout [Student’s] elementary school years, and that the Parents had acquiesced in a previous NOREP in 2000 finding the Student not to be in need of special education services.

ISSUES PRESENTED

The following issues were presented2:

  1. Did the District’s failure to identify the Student on or after February 3, 2004 constitute a failure of its child find obligation?
  2. Did the January 12, 2006 IEP fail to offer FAPE?
  3. Is an award of compensatory education appropriate, and if so, for what period of time?
S-K-North-Pocono-ODRNo-6505-05-06-LS

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