Special Education Hearing Officer


Child’s Name: S. O.
Date of Birth: [redacted]


Date of Hearing: 07/26/2017

ODR NO. 19456-1718 AS

Parties to the Hearing: Parent(s)

Upper Darby School District 601 N. Lansdowne Avenue Drexel Hill, PA 19026

Jason Fortenberry, Esq. Frankel & Kershenbaum, LLC 1230 County Line Road
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Scott Gottel, Esq. Holsten & Associates One Olive Street Media, PA 19063

Date of Decision: August 18, 2017

Hearing Officer: Charles W. Jelley, Esq. LL.M.


The Student1 is an elementary-school aged student attending a District school. The Student is eligible for special education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Pennsylvania Chapter 14 under the current classification of autism. As such, the Student is also an individual with a disability as defined under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794 and a protected handicapped student under Pennsylvania Chapter 15.2

The District requested this due process hearing when the Parents3 requested an independent education evaluation (IEE) because of various concerns about reevaluations the District conducted in 2016 and 2017. The District asserts that at all times relevant it complied with all applicable procedural and substantive laws and regulations and that the reevaluations in question were appropriate.

The hearing was completed in one session.4

I have determined the credibility and reliability of all witnesses. I have thoughtfully and carefully considered and weighed all of the evidence of record. After reviewing the applicable 2006 IDEA regulations, the District’s Complaint, and each of the Parties’ contentions/assertions, and hearing all of the evidence and rereading the transcript, I find that the District failed to conduct a comprehensive assessment in all areas of suspected disability and need for specially-designed instruction. Therefore the Student is entitled to an IEE at public expense.


Were the District’s 2016 and 2017 reevaluations appropriate under the IDEA and Chapter 14, and if not, is Student entitled to an IEE at public expense?


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