Special Education Hearing Officer
Child’s Name: Student
Date of Birth: xx/xx/xx
Dates of Hearing: July 17, 2009
Parties to the Hearing: I
Council Rock School District The Chancellor Center
30 North Chancellor Street Newtown, PA 18940
School District Attorney Grace M. Deon, Esquire Eastburn and Gray, P.C. 60 East Court Street P.O. Box 1389 Doylestown, PA 18901
Date Record Closed: August 20, 2009
Date of Decision: September 4, 2009
Hearing Officer: Deborah G. DeLauro
Student (hereinafter “Student”) is a post-teen resident of the Council Rock School District (hereinafter “District”) who graduated from [redacted] High School (hereinafter “High School”) in June 2008. Student attended [redacted] University for the first semester of the 2008- 2009 school year and then transferred to [redacted] University in December, 2008.
In January, 2006, when Student was in tenth grade, Student’s father (hereinafter “Parent”) requested that his child be considered for 504 services1. At the time, Student was taking mostly accelerated academic classes, and was earning average grades. Upon consideration of Parent’s request, the 504 Coordinator and school guidance counselor determined that it would be best to evaluate Student for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (hereinafter “IDEIA”). To that end, the Child Study Team (hereinafter “CST”) made a referral for a comprehensive psycho-educational assessment and in June, 2006, the school psychologist issued an Initial Evaluation Report (hereinafter “ER”) finding Student not eligible for special education services.2
In January and February, 2007, when Student was in 11th grade, Parent obtained an independent neuropsychological evaluation (hereinafter “IEE”) which recommended, inter alia, that Parents pursue the possibility of having Student classified as a student with a specific learning disability in the area of reading comprehension. The District reviewed the IEE and again determined that Student did not qualify for specially designed instruction under IDEIA or for accommodations under Section 504. Student’s grades continued to improve slightly in 11th and 12th grades and Student took the Standard Achievement Tests (hereinafter “SATs”) without accommodations.
The Parent brought this action in disagreement with the District’s 2006 determination of non-eligibility. Accordingly, a due process hearing was held in July 2009 to determine the following issues.
Whether the District failed to identify Student as a student with a disability under IDEIA?3
- 1) Whether the District’s evaluation dated June 13, 2006 was appropriate?
- 2) Whether the District appropriately considered the independent neuropsychological evaluation conducted by Dr. H?
If not, then whether the District failed to provide Student with a Free Appropriate Public Education (hereinafter “FAPE”)?
For the reasons stated below, this hearing officer finds that the District’s initial evaluation was inappropriate; but the re-evaluation report corrected the major flaws in the ER and was appropriate; that Student did not qualify for specially designed instruction under the IDEIA or Section 504 accommodations; that the District did properly consider the independent educational evaluation; and that the District did not deny Student a FAPE.