SZ vs. Pocono Mountain School District

PENNSYLVANIA
SPECIAL EDUCATION HEARING OFFICER

DECISION

DUE PROCESS HEARING

Name of Child: SZ

ODR #2007/10-11-KE

Date of Birth: [redacted]

Dates of Hearing: August 1, 2011 September 27, 2011 September 30, 2011 October 3, 2011 November 8, 2011 November 11, 2011

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing:

Pocono Mountain School District P.O. Box 200
Swiftwater, PA

Representative:
Judith Gran, Esquire Carolla, Reisman, Gran 19 Chestnut Street Haddonfield, NJ 08033

Rebecca Young, Esquire
King Spry Herman Freund and Faul One West Broad Street Suite 700 Bethlehem, PA 18018

Date Record Closed: November 30, 2011

Date of Decision: December 12, 2011

Hearing Officer: Linda M. Valentini, Psy.D., CHO Certified Hearing Official

Background

Student is an eligible teen-aged child who during the relevant period was classified as having an Other Health Impairment. The Parent requested this hearing, asserting that the District failed to timely evaluate Student for eligibility for special education under the IDEA and/or for a 504 Service Plan, that once identified the program delivered was inappropriate, and that the District inappropriately sought to graduate Student. The District maintains that in all respects it delivered a free, appropriate public education [FAPE] and that graduation is appropriate.

For the reasons presented below I find for the Parent regarding timeliness of the evaluation and appropriateness of the implementation of the IEP, but for the District regarding the issue of graduation.

Issues

  1. What was Student’s pendent placement as of the start of the hearing?
  2. Did the District fail to evaluate Student for eligibility for special education and/or 504 accommodations in a timely manner?
  3. Once Student was evaluated and found eligible for special education, did the District fail to provide Student with FAPE?
  4. Did Student meet the requirements for graduation at the end of the 2010-2011 school year?
SZ-Pocono-Mountain-ODRNo-2007-10-11-KE

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