SO vs. Reading School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION
DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: SO

ODR #7703/06-07 LS

Date of Birth: Xx/xx/xx

Date of Hearing: July 16, 2007

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Mr. and Mrs.

Reading School District
800 Washington Street Reading, Pennsylvania 19601

Representative: Pro Se

Richard Guida, Esquire
1100 Berkshire Boulevard Suite 201
Reading, Pennsylvania 19610

Date Transcript Received: July 24, 2007

Date of Decision: July 27, 2007

Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D.

Background

Student is a xx-year-old student who resides in the Reading School District (hereinafter District). Pursuant to a parentally-requested evaluation the District found Student ineligible for special education services. Mr. and Mrs. (hereinafter Parents), assert that the District’s determination was incorrect and that Student is a child who is eligible for special education. As the Parents had asked for an independent educational evaluation (IEE) at public expense, the District filed for a due process hearing to defend its position. In on and off the record discussions it was clarified by all participants that the core issue was eligibility, and that if the hearing officer found that an IEE was needed to assist in this determination one would be ordered.

It should be noted that the Parents1 were pro se in this matter. Although they had an advocate, and she was expected to be at the hearing, she did not appear. The District established on the record that the advocate was informed directly of the date, time and place of the hearing during the week prior to the hearing session. (NT 75-76)

Issues

Was the Reading School District correct in determining that Student is not eligible for special education?

SO-Reading-ODRNo-7703-06-07-LS

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