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L.C. v. Issaquah School District

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

May 8, 2019

L.C., on behalf of A.S., a minor, Petitioner,
v.
ISSAQUAH SCHOOL DISTRICT, Respondent.

          ORDER ON ADMINISTRATIVE APPEAL

          Hon. James L. Robart, U.S. District Court Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Petitioner L.C. appeals on behalf of her daughter, A.S., from the decision of an administrative law judge (“ALJ”) that Respondent Issaquah School District (“the District”) upheld its obligations under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), 20 U.S.C. § 1400, et seq. Before the court are three motions: (1) L.C.'s motion to amend the complaint (Mot. to Am. (Dkt. # 64)); (2) L.C.'s motion for summary judgment (L.C. MSJ (Dkt. # 34)); and (3) the District's cross-motion for summary judgment (Dist. MSJ (Dkt. # 35)). L.C. filed an opposition to the District's summary judgment motion, which also serves as a reply in support of her summary judgment motion. (L.C. Reply (Dkt. # 41).) The District filed a reply in support of its summary judgment motion. (Dist. Reply (Dkt. # 44).) The court has reviewed the administrative record, the submissions of the parties, and the applicable law. Being fully advised, [1] the court DENIES L.C.'s motion to amend the complaint. The court further DENIES L.C.'s motion for summary judgment, GRANTS the District's motion for summary judgment, and AFFIRMS the decision of the ALJ.

         II. BACKGROUND

         A. Statutory Context

         “The IDEA is a comprehensive educational scheme, conferring on disabled students a substantive right to public education.” J.W. ex rel. J.E.W. v. Fresno Unified Sch. Dist., 626 F.3d 431, 432 (9th Cir. 2010) (quoting Hoeft v. Tucson Unified Sch. Dist., 967 F.2d 1298, 1300 (9th Cir. 1992)). In exchange for IDEA funds, school districts must provide a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) to all eligible children. See 20 U.S.C. § 1400(d)(1)(A); see also Id. § 1412(a)(1). A FAPE, as the IDEA defines it, includes both “special education” and “related services.” Id. § 1401(9). “Special education” is “specially designed instruction . . . to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability”; “related services” are the support services “required to assist a child . . . to benefit from” that instruction. Id. §§ 1401(26), (29). A school district must provide a child with disabilities such special education and related services “in conformity with the [child's] individualized education program, ” or “IEP.” Id. § 1401(9)(D).

         “The IEP is ‘the centerpiece of the statute's education delivery system for disabled children.'” Endrew F. ex rel. Joseph F. v. Douglas Cty. Sch. Dist. RE-1, ___ U.S. ___, 137 S.Ct. 988, 994 (2017) (quoting Honig v. Doe, 484 U.S. 305, 311 (1988)). A comprehensive plan prepared by a child's “IEP Team, ” which includes teachers, school officials, and the child's parents, an IEP must be drafted in compliance with a detailed set of procedures. 20 U.S.C. § 1414(d)(1)(B) (internal quotation marks omitted). An IEP must contain, among other things, “a statement of the child's present levels of academic achievement, ” “a statement of measurable annual goals, ” and “a statement of the special education and related services to be provided to the child.” Id. § 1414(d)(1)(A)(i). When formulating an IEP, a school district “must comply both procedurally and substantively with the IDEA.” M.L. v. Fed. Way Sch. Dist., 394 F.3d 634, 644 (9th Cir. 2005) (citing Bd. of Educ. of Hendrick Hudson Cent. Sch. Dist., Westchester Cty. v. Rowley, 458 U.S. 176, 206-07 (1982)).

         When parents and educators disagree about what a child's IEP should include, the parties may turn to dispute resolution procedures established by the IDEA. See 20 U.S.C. §§ 1415(e), (f)(1)(B)(i). If mediation fails to produce an agreement, the parties may proceed to what the IDEA calls a “due process hearing” before a state or local agency. Id. §§ 1415(f)(1)(A). In Washington State, the Office of Administrative Hearings, a state administrative agency, conducts IDEA due process hearings. See RCW 28A.155.020; WAC 392-101-010(2). At the end of the administrative process, the losing party may seek redress in state or federal court. 20 U.S.C. § 1415(i)(2)(A).

         A school district may violate the IDEA in two different ways. “First, a school district, in creating and implementing an IEP, can run afoul of the Act's procedural requirements.” Fresno Unified, 626 F.3d at 432 (citing Rowley, 458 U.S. at 206). “Second, a school district can be liable for a substantive violation by drafting an IEP that is not reasonably calculated to enable the child to receive educational benefits.” Fresno Unified, 626 F.3d at 432 (citing Rowley, 458 U.S. at 206-07); see also Endrew F., 137 S.Ct. at 999.

         B. Factual Background

         1. Referral for Special Education Services

         A.S. began attending kindergarten at an elementary school in the District in 2013. (Administrative Record (“AR”) at 2927.) In July 2015, after A.S. finished first grade, L.C. contacted Leslie Lederman, the principal of A.S.'s school, and requested that A.S. be evaluated for special education services. (Id. at 2916-17.) Ms. Lederman informed L.C. that the guidance team would meet in September to discuss L.C.'s request and asked that L.C. provide any outside information she wanted the team to consider. (Id. at 2916.) L.C. subsequently arranged for A.S. to be privately evaluated by Linda Gorsuch, a retired school psychologist. (Id. at 2931-47, 3635.)

         Ms. Gorsuch met with L.C. and A.S. in August 2015. (Id. at 2931-32.) Ms. Gorsuch conducted several assessments of A.S., including the Woodcock-Johnson IV test of cognitive abilities. (Id. at 2936.) Ms. Gorsuch found that A.S.'s score for general intellectual ability was within the average range. (Id. at 2943.) She also found that A.S.'s “[b]road [r]eading” skills and oral “[r]eading [f]luency” scores were below average. (Id.) Although Ms. Gorsuch did not formally diagnose A.S., Ms. Gorsuch concluded that A.S. “demonstrated a pattern of academic and cognitive strengths and weaknesses consistent with . . . the specific learning disability of dyslexia.” (Id.) She recommended that the District “initiate [its] own evaluation to determine [A.S.'s] eligibility for special education services, ” including services in the areas of “written language and math.” (Id. at 2944.)

         The guidance team from A.S.'s school met with L.C. and A.S.'s father, J.S., (collectively, “the Parents”), at the beginning of A.S.'s second grade year. (Id. at 2918-24.) At the meeting were Ms. Lederman; Sue Schoot, a special education teacher; Stacie Schultz, a speech language pathologist; Devon Heras, a school psychologist; and Jessica Clark, A.S.'s general education teacher. (Id. at 2953.) The guidance team discussed the results of Ms. Gorsuch's evaluation and the Parents' concerns about A.S.'s academic progress. (Id. at 2923.) The guidance team recommended that A.S. undergo an initial evaluation to determine whether she was eligible for special education services. (Id. at 2925; see also Id. at 2967.)

         2. 2015 Special Education Evaluation

         In October 2015, the evaluation team examined its existing data on A.S. and conducted several additional assessments. Ms. Heras, the school psychologist, reviewed A.S.'s progress in general education, focusing on prior standardized test scores, her first-grade report cards, and input from Ms. Clark, A.S.'s second-grade teacher. (Id. at 2967, 2969.) Ms. Heras also examined A.S.'s social-emotional functioning through ratings submitted by L.C. and Ms. Clark under the Behavior Assessment System for Children-Second Edition (“BASC-2”), a standardized assessment. (Id. at 2971.) A.S. did not exhibit any clinically significant behaviors under the BASC-2. (Id. at 2971-72.) In addition, Ms. Heras administered to A.S. the Differential Abilities Scale-Second Edition (“DAS-II”), a cognitive development test for school-age children. (Id. at 2974.) She concluded that A.S.'s cognitive functioning was in the average range. (Id. at 2973-75; see also Id. at 4408 (showing that A.S.'s DAS-II verbal, nonverbal reasoning, spatial, and general conceptual abilities scores were all average).)

         Separately, Ms. Schoot, the special education teacher, assessed A.S.'s academic performance in reading, writing, and math. (Id. at 2977.) Ms. Schoot administered the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement-Third Edition (“KTEA-III”), which allowed Ms. Schoot to compare A.S.'s current academic performance with a national sample of her peers. (Id.) A.S. scored in the average range for all subjects, except for the reading composite and reading comprehension components, in which she obtained below-average scores. (Id.) In summarizing A.S.'s KTEA-III assessment, the evaluation team stated that A.S. demonstrated “average basic reading skills but below average reading comprehension skills.” (Id. at 2978.) The evaluation team thus recommended that A.S. “receive specially designed instruction in reading comprehension and reading fluency.” (Id.) The team also recommended that A.S. receive specially designed instruction in written expression. (Id. at 2979.)

         Additionally, Ms. Schultz, the speech language pathologist, assessed A.S.'s communication skills. (Id. at 2980.) Ms. Schultz administered two standardized evaluations: (1) the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals-Fifth Edition (“CELF-5”), which helps identify language and communication disorders in students; and (2) the Goldman Fristoe Test of Articulation-Second Edition, which considers a child's ability to accurately produce a speech sound. (Id.) A.S. scored in the average range on both tests. (Id.) Ms. Schultz also obtained feedback about A.S.'s communication from A.S.'s teachers and observed A.S. in the classroom. (Id. at 2981-82.) In light of the standardized tests, her classroom observations, and teacher input, Ms. Schultz concluded that “[A.S.] does not demonstrate a disability in the area of communication at this time.” (Id. at 2982.)

         Finally, a District occupational therapist evaluated A.S.'s fine motor skills. (Id. at 2983.) The occupational therapist examined several writing samples Ms. Clark provided and administered to A.S. the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency-2. (Id. at 2984.) She concluded that A.S.'s fine motor skills fell within the average range and did not recommend specialized instruction in that area. (Id.) Nonetheless, she suggested that A.S. “be given accommodations such as lined paper for assignments and early access to keyboarding.” (Id.)

         Following these assessments, the District concluded that A.S. was eligible for special education services under the eligibility category of “Specific Learning Disability.”[2] (Id. at 2961.) In particular, the evaluation team found that “[A.S.] is developing reading and written expression skills at a rate and level significantly below her same age peers[.]” (Id.) As a result, the team concluded that A.S. “qualifie[d] for specially designed instruction in the areas of reading and writing as well as supplementary aides and services to support her in the general education classroom.” (Id.) The evaluation team further concluded that A.S. did not require specially designed instruction in the areas of math, communication, fine motor skills, or social-emotional functioning. (Id. at 2993.) Finally, the team recommended several specific accommodations for A.S., including, among other measures, preferential seating, oral test instruction, and access to a keyboard for written assignments. (Id. at 2968.) The District documented the initial evaluation in a written report. (Id. at 2960-94.)

         On October 15, 2015, A.S.'s evaluation team met with the Parents to review A.S.'s initial evaluation. (Id. at 2993.) The evaluation team provided the Parents a copy of the draft evaluation report, which the Parents signed at the meeting. (Id. at 2964.) The Parents requested that A.S. undergo an assistive technology assessment, and the team agreed. (Id. at 2994.) The District later sent the Parents a prior written notice (“PWN”) that summarized the meeting. (Id. at 2993-94.) The PWN indicated that, within 30 days, the District would hold a meeting with the Parents to formulate an IEP for A.S. (Id.)

         Shortly thereafter, the District conducted an “assessment revision” to determine whether A.S. would benefit from the use of assistive technology in the classroom. (Id. at 3002.) An assistive technology specialist evaluated A.S. using Co:Writer, a software program designed to help students write complete sentences. (Id.) The specialist recommended that A.S. be given access to a computer with word prediction, spelling support, and text-to-speech software when completing writing assignments. (Id. at 3003.)

         3. 2015 IEP

         On November 5, 2015, A.S.'s entire IEP team met to discuss the assistive technology evaluation and A.S.'s IEP. (Id. at 3005.) The IEP team included Ms. Schoot, Ms. Clark, Ms. Heras, Ms. Lederman, Tara Slinn, the District's Director of Elementary Special Services, and the assistive technology specialist. (Id. at 3008.) L.C. was ill and did not attend, but J.S. was there. (Id.; see also Tr. 489:11-15, 1844:6-15.[3]) After reviewing the assistive technology assessment, J.S. agreed that A.S. be given access to Co:Writer in the classroom. (Id. 487:16-488:20.) In addition, the team reviewed with J.S. a draft of A.S.'s IEP. (Id. 1845:4-11).)

         A.S.'s 2015 IEP began on November 5, 2015. (AR at 3008.) The IEP identified A.S.'s “[d]isability” category as “Specific Learning Disabilities.” (Id.) In addition to summarizing the District's assessment of A.S., the IEP noted that “[A.S.'s] parents reported that [A.S.] has dyslexia and difficulty with language” and explained that Ms. Gorsuch had concluded that “[A.S.] demonstrated a pattern of academic and cognitive strengths and weaknesses consistent with . . . the specific learning disability of dyslexia.” (Id. at 3011.)

         The IEP also identified the special education services and accommodations A.S. required for the 2015-16 school year. Under the IEP, A.S. would receive specially designed instruction in reading for 20 minutes per day, five times per week, as well as specially designed instruction in writing for 20 minutes per day, five times per week. (Id. at 3026.) A.S. would spend the remainder of the school day in the general education setting. (Id.) Moreover, A.S. would receive the following accommodations: visual aids, a word processor or computer with word prediction and text-to-speech software, audiobooks, BrightLines paper, redirection to task as needed, preferential seating, extra time for writing assignments, modifications in homework and classwork, modified grades in content areas impacted by her disability, and certain testing accommodations. (Id. at 3023.) Finally, the IEP set four annual goals for A.S. in reading, reading comprehension, and writing. (Id. at 3020-21.) At the administrative hearing, Ms. Schoot and Ms. Clark testified that, during the 2015-16 school year, they consistently provided A.S. the accommodations required by her IEP. (See, e.g., Tr. 720:15-724:4, 1850:13-1851:9.)

         4. 2015-16 School Year

         In mid-January 2016, L.C. contacted Ms. Lederman, the principal, and asked to schedule an “issue review” for A.S. (AR at 3038.) Specifically, L.C. stated that she had concerns about A.S.'s “[IEP] goals and progress.” (Id. at 3037.) On February 2, 2016, the Parents met with A.S.'s IEP team. (Id. at 3044-48.) At the meeting, L.C. expressed that she “fe[lt] as though [A.S.] [was] not making positive changes.” (Id. at 3044.) In response, Ms. Schoot stated that A.S. was starting to self-correct as she read, that A.S.'s reading fluency was progressing, and that A.S.'s reading comprehension had improved. (Id. at 3044-45.) Ms. Schoot also stated that, in a period of just 40 days, A.S. had moved up two levels, from level “G” to level “I, ” in the District's Fountas & Pinell (“F&P”) reading assessment program-a progression that typically developed over the course of 10 to 12 weeks. (Id. at 3044.) Similarly, Ms. Clark expressed that A.S. had made progress in the general education setting. (Id. at 3046.)

         During the meeting, the Parents made, and A.S.'s IEP team considered, several requests related to A.S.'s IEP:

• The Parents asked that they be allowed to “drop in” during A.S.'s general education classes so that they could monitor A.S. (Id. at 3049.) The IEP team explained that, consistent with District policy, the Parents could schedule times to volunteer or visit but could not drop in at undesignated times because such visits would disrupt the learning environment. (Id. at 3050.)
• The Parents requested that the District reassess A.S.'s communication skills. (Id.) The IEP team explained that, given the results of the initial evaluation of a few months earlier, A.S. did not qualify for specially designed instruction in communication; however, Ms. Heras stated that Ms. Schultz, the speech language pathologist, would contact the Parents about the request. (Id.)
• The Parents requested that A.S. receive full-time, one-on-one support in the special education classroom. (Id. at 3049.) The IEP team discussed this request and concluded that, because A.S. was benefitting from small-group instruction, one-on-one instruction was unnecessary and “too restrictive.” (Id. at 3050.)
• The Parents requested that A.S. work with a tutor over the summer break. (Id. at 3049.) Ms. Lederman explained that, later in the school year, the District would share with all parents information about fee-based summer instruction. (Id. at 3050.)
• The Parents requested that A.S. be required to use Co: Writer at all times. (Id. at 3049.) The IEP team explained that they would encourage A.S. to use Co:Writer but could not force her to do so. (Id. at 3050.)
• The Parents requested that, when a substitute was present in Ms. Clark's classroom, A.S. spend the entire day in the special education classroom or a different general education teacher's classroom. (Id. at 3049.) The IEP team discussed this request but denied it, reasoning that “[i]t [was] important that [A.S.] be with her peers in a least restrictive environment.” (Id. at 3050.) For the same reasons, the IEP team denied the Parents' request that A.S. remain in the general education classroom whenever a substitute was teaching on Ms. Schoot's behalf. (Id.)
• The IEP team considered and denied the Parents' requests that L.C. be allowed to work with A.S. in the special education classroom, that A.S.'s teachers not correct her work, and that L.C. be allowed to read with A.S. in the general education classroom five days per week. (Id.)
• The Parents requested that Ms. Schoot and Ms. Clark be trained in the Orton-Gillingham Approach to reading instruction. (Id. at 3049.) The IEP team explained that school staff would “utiliz[e] the curricula and methodologies as trained by the District”; however, Ms. Schoot agreed to review an Orton-Gillingham manual. (Id. at 3050).
• The IEP team agreed that A.S. would be given a BrightLines notebook to use at home, that A.S. would not participate in state or district standardized testing, that Ms. Clark would encourage A.S. to use Co:Writer in the general education classroom, that A.S. would not be provided crossword or scrambled puzzles, and that A.S. would not work with parent volunteers in the general education classroom. (Id. at 3051.)
• Finally, the IEP team agreed to allow L.C. to schedule a time to speak to A.S.'s classmates about dyslexia. (Id.)

         The IEP team memorialized the Parents' requests in a PWN. (Id. at 3049-51.) The Parents did not request another IEP meeting during the 2015-16 academic year. (Tr. 1859:2-5.) During that time, the District provided the Parents reports on A.S.'s progress toward her annual IEP goals. (AR at 3030-34.)

         5. 2016 IEP

         Soon after the 2015-16 school year ended, L.C. wrote Ms. Lederman and requested that the District hold another IEP team meeting “ASAP” because she did not want A.S. to wait until October or November to receive “help.” (Id. at 3055.) Ms. Lederman responded that, although A.S.'s IEP review would occur after the school year started, A.S. would still receive IEP services in September. (Id.) A few days later, the Parents e-mailed the District Superintendent, Ron Thiele, and other District personnel. (Id. at 3054.) The Parents stated that they “ha[d] been unsuccessful in resolving [a] dispute” with A.S.'s school “concerning [A.S.'s] IEP and her placement” and requested mediation services before the beginning of the school year. (Id.) In response, Melissa Madsen, the District's Executive Director of Special Services, sent the Parents the contact information for Sound Options Group, which could provide mediation at no cost to the Parents. (Id. at 3053.) After speaking with Sound Options, L.C. informed the District that they wished to take part in a facilitated IEP team meeting before the school year began. (Id.)

         The Parents met with A.S.'s IEP team on August 31, 2016. (Id. at 3068, 3327.) A Sound Options facilitator participated in the meeting. (Id. at 3068.) The IEP team agreed to take new baseline data on A.S. and prepare revised IEP goals at the beginning of the school year. (Tr. at 1639:1-6, 1835:17-23; AR at 3076, 3079, 3327-41.) After the meeting, L.C. emailed Mr. Thiele and reported that the Parents were satisfied with the meeting. (Id. at 3062.) In fact, L.C. expressed that meeting was “fabulous” and stated that, “[f]or the first time in three years, ” she had “hope for [A.S.] and the school year.” (Id.)

         On October 27, 2016, the District convened an IEP meeting between the Parents and A.S.'s IEP team. (Id. at 3087.) Prior to the meeting, the District sent the Parents a draft IEP for the Parents' review. (Tr. 1860:21-1861:13.) At the meeting were the Parents; Ms. Lederman; Ms. Schoot; Ms. Madsen; Ms. Heras; Ms. Slinn; Christina Desmond, a speech language pathologist; and Amy Van de Vord, A.S.'s third grade general education teacher. (AR at 3089.) The IEP team discussed with the Parents A.S.'s educational performance and progress toward her 2015 IEP goals. (Id. at 3104-11.) That information was also memorialized in the IEP. (Id. at 3089-101.)

         The IEP team addressed in detail A.S.'s educational performance in reading, writing, and math. (See id.) With respect to reading, the IEP team noted that, as of October 2016, A.S. was reading at an instructional level “J, ” as measured by the F&P curriculum. (Id. at 3091.) A.S. had thus improved several instructional levels since the 2015 initial assessment, when she was reading at an instructional level “G, ” but still did not meet the grade-level expectation to read between instructional levels “M” and “O.” (Id.) With respect to writing, the IEP team noted that A.S. wrote stories quickly but struggled with spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. (Id.) Ms. Van de Vord observed that A.S. used Co:Writer to support her spelling, but Co:Writer “sometimes interrupt[ed] her thought process.” (Id.) With respect to math, the IEP team stated that, when A.S. worked independently, she was often unable to correctly read or work through multi-step math problems without support. (Id.) Separately, Ms. Van de Vord stated that A.S. is a good listener, “very sweet and kind to her peers, ” and “not shy to participate.” (Id. at 3092.)

         The IEP team also documented A.S.'s progress toward her 2015 IEP goals. (Id. at 3092-93.) Ms. Schoot explained that, as of October 2016, A.S. could correctly read 94% of the words at an instructional level “J.” (Id. at 3092.) Accordingly, A.S. had not met her 2015 IEP goal to improve her reading accuracy from 94% to 98%; however, she had progressed to a more advanced reading level without sacrificing accuracy. (Id.) Ms. Schoot also noted that A.S. could correctly answer eight of 12 reading comprehension questions at the second-grade level and 13 of 20 questions at the third-grade level. (Id. at 3092-93.) A.S. had thus progressed toward, but ultimately fallen short of, her 2015 goal to correctly answer 83% of a set of third-grade level reading comprehension questions. (Id. at 3092.) In writing, Ms. Schoot explained that A.S. could now write topic sentences but continued to work toward writing paragraphs with supporting sentences and a conclusion. (Id. at 3093.) As a result, A.S. had yet to meet her 2015 goal of writing four grade-appropriate sentences. (Id.) Finally, Ms. Schoot noted that, when using a computer with teacher support, A.S. used correct punctuation in her writing assignments 50% of the time. (Id.) According to Ms. Schoot, A.S. had thus satisfied her 2015 goal to increase her punctuation accuracy from 0% to 50%; however, the 2015 IEP goal does not indicate that it would be measured by A.S.'s work with teacher support. (Id.; see also Id. at 3021.) In sum, A.S. had either met or progressed toward all four of her 2015 IEP goals.

         Moreover, the 2016 IEP identified A.S.'s accommodations and modifications for the 2016-17 school year. (Id. at 3097-98.) With respect to accommodations, the IEP required that A.S. have daily access to audiobooks in the general education classroom, daily use of BrightLines paper in all classrooms, daily use of visuals in all classrooms, additional time to complete tasks in all classrooms, and an electronic or adult reader to read text that did not measure reading ability. (Id. at 3097.) In addition, A.S.'s general education teacher was to provide A.S. preferential seating and read aloud to A.S. any materials and tests “to verify [A.S.] kn[ew] what[] [was] expected of her.” (Id.) With respect to modifications, A.S.'s general education teacher was to refrain from correcting A.S.'s work in writing and was not to ask A.S. to read aloud in a large group, among other measures. (Id. at 3097-98.) Finally, the 2016 IEP provided that A.S. would undergo 30 minutes per day of specially designed instruction in reading and 30 minutes per day of specially designed instruction in writing, an increase of 10 minutes per day in each subject. (Id. at 3100; see also Id. at 3026.) The 2016 IEP also set new goals in reading and writing. (Id. at 3092-93.)

         Additionally, at the October 27, 2016, IEP meeting, the Parents made, and the IEP team considered, several specific requests concerning A.S.'s IEP. (Id. at 3102-03.) Specifically:

• The Parents requested that the District reassess A.S. in math to determine whether she qualified for specially designed instruction in that area. (Id. at 3103.) The IEP team agreed. (Id.; id. at 3107.)
• The Parents requested that the District reassess A.S. in communication. (Id. at 3102.) The IEP team discussed the request but decided a communication reassessment was not warranted “because previous testing by the School District was strong and valid” and “[t]here [was] no reason to believe that [A.S.'s] scores would drop significantly enough to qualify her for speech/language services.” (Id. at 3103, 3108.)
• The Parents asked that the District change A.S.'s IDEA disability category from “Specific Learning Disability” to “Dyslexia.” (Id. at 3102.) The IEP team rejected the request, explaining that “Dyslexia” is not a qualifying disability category. (Id.)
• The Parents requested that A.S. be “reevaluated by district specialists” outside of her elementary school. (Id.) The IEP team rejected the request because the school personnel who had evaluated A.S. did so in accordance with District training on the administration of standardized assessments. (Id. at 3103.)
• The Parents requested that A.S. receive extended school year (“ESY”) services. (Id. at 3102.) The IEP team rejected this request because the District makes decisions regarding ESY in the spring and “there [was] no data to suggest that [A.S.] require[d] the service at [that] time.” (Id. at 3103.)
• The Parents requested that A.S. receive one-on-one support in the general education classroom. (Id. at 3102.) The team rejected the request because “[t]here was . . . no data” to suggest that A.S. required such assistance and explained that “interventions in the classroom should be implemented before making such a decision.” (Id. at 3103.)
• The Parents requested that the District inform them of the credentials of the educational assistants who support students in the special education classroom. (Id. at 3102.) The IEP assured the Parents that the educational assistants were properly qualified and trained but stated that the District “is not at liberty to share the qualifications of staff members to parents.” (Id. at 3103.)
• The Parents requested that A.S.'s IEP be revised to require the District to instruct A.S. through the Orton-Gillingham method. (Id. at 3102.) The IEP team rejected the request on the ground that “[t]he District does not identify specific programs in the IEP goals.” (Id. at 3103.)

         At the end of the October 27, 2016, IEP meeting, the Parents signed the IEP but indicated that they did not agree with the IEP. (Id. at 3089 (showing that L.C. wrote “dissent” next to her signature and J.S. wrote “not agree fully” next to his).) The District provided the Parents a PWN, dated November 4, 2016, which proposed to implement the IEP on November 8, 2016. (Id. at 3102-03.) The PWN also memorialized the Parents' requests and the District's reasons for declining to implement those requests. (Id.)

         6. 2016 Assessment ...


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