ZH vs. Central Dauphin School District

Pennsylvania
Special Education Hearing Officer

DECISION
Student’s Name: Z.H.
Date of Birth: [redacted]
ODR Nos. 13647-12-13-AS; 13882-12-13-AS

CLOSED HEARING

Parties to the Hearing: Parents

Central Dauphin School District 600 Rutherford Road Harrisburg, PA 17109-5227

Representative: Pro Se

Christopher J. Conrad, Esquire Marshall, Dennehey, Warner Coleman & Goggin
4200 Crums Mill Road, Su. B Harrisburg, PA 17112

Dates of Hearing: May 23, 2013; August 7, 2013

Record Closed: August 16, 2013

Date of Decision: August 24, 2013

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

INTRODUCTION AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The student named in the title page of this decision (Student) is an eligible resident of the school district named in the title page of this decision (District), and attends a District middle school. (NT 8-10.) Student is identified as a child with a disability pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. §1401 et seq. (IDEA), in the categories of Autism, Mental Retardation (in Pennsylvania called Intellectual Disability) and Speech or Language Impairment. (NT 8 10.)

Parents named in the title page of this decision (Parents) requested due process alleging that the District failed to provide Student with a free appropriate public education (FAPE). Parents requested compensatory education for the period from January 6, 2012 to May 23, 2013 and an order for changes in programming to ensure provision of a FAPE for the 2013-2014 school year. The District subsequently filed a request for due process to defend its evaluation in the face of a parental request (made to the District after the Parents filed their due process request) for an independent educational evaluation at public expense (IEE).

I heard both matters together for the sake of efficient resolution of the parties’ intertwined disputes, and the matter was concluded in two hearing sessions. The record closed upon receipt of written summations.

ISSUES

  1. Did the District fail to offer or provide Student with a FAPE from January 6, 2012 to May 23, 2013?
  2. Was the District’s re-evaluation dated April 19, 2013, appropriate under the IDEA?
  3. Should the hearing officer order the District to provide compensatory education to Student for all or any part of the period from January 6, 2012 to May 23, 2013?
  4. Should the hearing officer order the District to provide an IEE at public expense?
  5. Should the hearing officer order the District to provide services for the 2013-2014 school year?
Z-H-Central-Dauphin-ODRNo-13647-12-13-AS-13882-12-13-AS

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