Harwich Public Schools – BSEA # 10-4496



<br /> Harwich Public Schools – BSEA # 10-4496<br />

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

BUREAU OF SPECIAL EDUCATION APPEALS

In Re: Harwich Public Schools

BSEA# 10-4496

DECISION

This decision is issued pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 USC 1400 et seq. ), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC 794), the state special education law (MGL c. 71B), the state Administrative Procedure Act (MGL c.30A) and the regulations promulgated under these statutes.

A hearing was held on February 25, 2010 and February 26, 2010 in Harwich, MA before Ann F. Scannell, Hearing Officer. Those present for all or part of the hearing were:

Zack’s1 Mother

Zack’s Step- father

Anthony Teso Director of Special Education, Harwich P.S.

Samuel Hein Principal, Harwich P.S.

Mary Anne Bragdon Special Needs Teacher, Harwich P.S.

Lindsey Asack Grade 4 Teacher, Harwich P.S.

Marcy Dugas Assistant Principal, Harwich P.S.

Nanci Barnett Psychologist, Harwich P.S.

Kathryn Riley Nurse, Harwich P.S.

Marilyn Reedy Licensed Mental Health Counselor

Anita Woods Director, Stony Brook Program

Alisia St. Florian Attorney for Harwich P.S.

The official record of the hearing consists of documents submitted by Harwich Public Schools and marked as Exhibits S-1 through S-35; documents submitted by Zack’s parents and marked as Exhibits P-1 through P-7; two cassette tapes of the November 9, 2009 meeting submitted by Zack’s parents; and approximately two days of recorded oral testimony. Oral closing arguments were heard at the close of the second day of testimony on February 26, 2010 and the record closed on that date.

INTRODUCTION

Zack is a 9 year old student in the 4 th grade at Harwich Elementary School. He has a history of behavioral issues in school. He has been on an IEP with a noted disability of a health impairment, namely ADHD. On January 21, 2010, Harwich Public Schools proposed an extended evaluation at the Cape Cod Collaborative-Stony Brook Elementary School in Brewster (“Stony Brook program”). Parents rejected the proposal. On January 25, 2010, Harwich Public Schools filed a Hearing Request with the Bureau of Special Education Appeals, seeking an order for a 45 day extended evaluation at the Stony Brook Program. Further, the school district requested an expedited hearing. The expedited hearing request was granted.

It is the school’s position that Zack needs an extended evaluation because the school does not have enough information about Zack’s unpredictable and explosive behavior to write an IEP that will provide him with a FAPE. The school believes that they cannot conduct the evaluation at the Harwich Elementary School because they do not have the staff or therapeutic environment to do so.

It is the parents’ position that they do not necessarily object to an extended evaluation but that Stony Brook is not the appropriate setting. They are fearful that Zack will return home with additional behavior issues after observing the other students in the program. The parents believe that the evaluation can take place at the Harwich Elementary School in one of the other 4 th grade classrooms, in the guidance office or another location.

ISSUES

The narrow issues to be decided in this matter are the following:

Is an extended evaluation of Zack necessary in order to write an appropriate IEP for Zack and provide FAPE?

If so, is the Stony Brook program the appropriate placement for the extended evaluation?

FACTS

Zack, who is nine years old, lives with his mother, stepfather and older brother in Harwich, MA. Zack attends the 4 th grade at Harwich Elementary School. He is very bright and has tested in the borderline gifted range. He is advanced in math and science and has excellent verbal vocabulary. Zack is at or above grade level in all areas. Zack has a great sense of humor and lots of energy. (Exhibits S-10, S-15, S-19, S-27; testimony of Asack, Teso)

Zack has a history of behavioral problems. Prior to coming to Harwich in the fall of 2008, Zack was enrolled in the public schools in Oregon. He was found eligible for special education services and placed on an IEP in 2007. He exhibited anger, oppositional behaviors, mood changes, hyperactivity, anxiety and impulsiveness. Zack also had difficulties with social interactions. Zack was diagnosed with ADHD and was prescribed medication. The IEP contained social and emotional goals. A safety plan and behavior plan was put in place. Zack was educated in the regular education classroom. (Exhibit S-19)

When Zack entered the Harwich Public Schools in the fall of 2008, he exhibited many of the same behavior difficulties that he had exhibited in Oregon. Zack enrolled in the 3 rd grade at the Harwich Elementary School in a regular education classroom. Throughout the 3 rd grade school year, Zack had many incidents of inappropriate and unsafe behavior. He was physically aggressive with classmates. He was disruptive during class, often yelling, crying and pounding his fists on the desk. He bolted from the classroom on numerous occasions forcing staff to search for him to ensure his safety. He used inappropriate sexual language. Zach was also argumentative with his teachers, sometimes resulting in him hitting and pushing them. Often times, Zack’s problematic classroom behaviors required administrative staff to escort Zack from the classroom until he could regain control. (Exhibit S-17 and testimony of Teso, Hein and Barnett)

Zack was found eligible for special education services by virtue of his ADHD diagnosis. Harwich proposed an IEP from 11/17/08 to 11/17/09. The IEP contained a social/emotional goal. Zack was also placed on a positive behavioral plan. Zack’s IEP included a consult with the school psychologist and direct service with the special education teacher one time per week. As in Oregon, Zack was placed in a full inclusion program. The IEP was accepted in full by the parents. (Exhibit S-10)

During the 4 th grade year many of Zack’s problematic and disruptive behaviors increased in intensity and frequency. Most significantly, the volatility and unpredictability of Zack’s behaviors increased. Since the beginning of the year, Zack’s 4 th grade teacher has had to remove the entire class from the classroom on three or four occasions while the administration worked to de-escalate Zack. Zack has spent a considerable amount of time out of class in the student support room or the Principal’s office. The Principal has called the parents on numerous occasions to pick up Zack from school and bring him home. The classroom teacher was given a walkie talkie in order to contact the administration when Zack escalated out of control. Approximately twelve times this school year, the classroom teacher has needed to use the walkie talkie to contact administrative staff for assistance due to Zack’s unsafe behavior. No other teacher at Harwich has ever required the use of a walkie talkie. (Exhibits S-2, S-23, S-32, S-33, P-4 and testimony of Teso, Asack, Hein, Dugas and Barnett)

Since the start of school in September 2009, Zack has been averaging about 4-5 major behavioral incidents per month that have required administrative staff to remove him from the classroom. Zack has refused to relinquish scissors after jabbing them repeatedly into the desk. He has repeatedly banged his head against the desk. He has verbally threatened staff and drawn a picture of himself shooting the teacher. He has destroyed school property by kicking a hole in the wall and pulling out the insulation. He has tipped over tables and thrown chairs. He has physically assaulted staff by throwing chairs and punching and kicking them. Zack has also threatened to injure a classmate and then followed through with his threat by ramming the classmate in the face with a tire swing. Zack’s behavior this year has resulted in several physical restraints by the Principal in order to keep Zack and others safe. (Exhibits S-2, S-23, S-32, S-33, P-4 and testimony of Teso, Asack, Hein, Dugas and Barnett)

During this school year, five of Zack’s classmates and several of the parents of other students have conferenced with the teacher to express concerns about the safety of other students due to Zack’s aggressive behaviors towards them. They have also expressed concerns about how Zack’s behavior problems disrupt the learning environment for his peers. The principal, Mr. Hein, has held parent-initiated conferences with at least eleven of Zack’s classmates’ parents to address these same concerns. The school psychologist has spoken with Zack’s class on several occasions to reassure students, following frightening outbursts and violent behavior by Zack. (Testimony of Hein, Asack and Barnett)

Zack’s volatile behavior culminated in a series of serious incidents that resulted in a manifestation determination meeting. The meeting was held on December 7, 2009. The TEAM determined that Zack’s behavior was a result of his disability. The parents agreed to share Zack’s current school behavior plan with Zack’s treating behaviorist and psychiatrist and to provide feedback to the TEAM the following week. The TEAM also agreed to make adjustments to Zack’s behavior plan. Mr. Teso suggested that the TEAM consider an outside placement at the Stony Brook program. The parents rejected this suggestion2 . There was also a discussion about using a 1:1 aide. Harwich was concerned about the stigmatization for a 4 th grader with 1:1 aide and noted that Zack had been particularly defiant with adults. Consequently, Harwich questioned how successful a 1:1 adult aide would be with Zack. Zack’s behavior plan was also adjusted. Following the December 7, 2009 meeting, Zack was returned to his regular classroom. (Exhibits S-2, S-11 and testimony of Teso, Hein, Asack and Barnett)

After returning to class, Zack’s behavior escalated on several additional occasions. On one of these occasions the assistant principal had to physically restrain Zack to ensure his safety. Each of these incidents of aggressive, noncompliant and unsafe behavior resulted in removal from the classroom. On January 20, 2010 when Zack engaged in unsafe behavior once again, his parents were called to pick him up and bring him home. The parents refused to bring Zack home. The Principal advised Zack’s parents that Zack could not return to his classroom because Zack’s behavior created a safety threat to Zack’s classmates, staff and Zack. (Testimony of Hein and Teso)

A second TEAM meeting was held on January 21, 2010. An extended evaluation at the Stony Brook program was proposed. The questions to be answered included: 1.) does a public elementary school provide “FAPE” (free, appropriate public education) in the least restrictive environment for Zack, 2.) what are the precursors and reinforcers maintaining Zack’s maladaptive behavior, 3.) is Zack responsive to a highly structured therapeutic public day school setting and 4.) what kinds of interventions, supports and aids would Zack require in order to be successful in a public elementary school? The parents rejected the proposed extended evaluation at the Stony Brook program. Harwich and the parents agreed, however, that Zack would continue to receive the 4 th grade curriculum in the guidance office until such time as a resolution was reached. (Testimony of Hein and Teso).

During his month in the guidance office, Zack continued to have behavioral problems resulting in administration assistance and physical restraint. On February 22, 2010, the school and the parents agreed that Zack would receive tutoring at the Parent’s place of employment while the hearing request was pending. (Testimony of Hein and Teso).

DISCUSSION

Zack is an individual with a disability falling within the purview of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 20 USC 1400 et seq. and the state special education statute, M.G.L. c. 71B. Accordingly, Zack is entitled to a free, appropriate public education (FAPE). Zack’s eligibility, entitlement to a FAPE and status are not in dispute.

The narrow issue to be decided in this case is whether an extended evaluation of Zack is necessary in order to provide Harwich with sufficient information to write an appropriate IEP for Zack and thereby provide him a FAPE. Further, if the extended evaluation is necessary, is the Stony Brook program the appropriate program to perform the evaluation. Since Harwich is the party seeking relief, it has the burden of persuasion.3

A BSEA Hearing Officer has the authority to order an evaluation “when necessary to determine the appropriate special education for the student.”4 Harwich Public Schools has asserted that despite numerous efforts, they have been unable to determine the triggers for Zack’s behavior or to predict the frequency or intensity of Zack’s behaviors which result in Zack being unavailable for learning. Harwich also contends that they do not have the resources or staff to conduct an in-district extended evaluation of Zack. Without additional information, Harwich cannot develop an appropriate IEP for Zack.

Zack is a very complicated child. According to his treating psychiatrist, Zack suffers from a mood disorder NOS or Bipolar Disorder NOS. He has also been diagnosed with severe ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder. Harwich has been unable to gather more specific information about these diagnoses and only recently learned that Zack had in fact been diagnosed with anything other than ADHD. In October of 2009, Ms. Barnett, the school psychologist conducted a functional behavioral assessment5 . She was unable, however, to conduct a complete assessment because the parents did not return authorizations to allow Ms. Barnett to speak to Zack’s psychiatrist, Dr. Scarry, or his behaviorist, Ms. Reedy6 . Ms. Barnett credibly testified that she made numerous attempts to obtain the parents’ consent to contact Zack’s providers but was unsuccessful. Further, despite repeated requests, the parents did not complete any of the behavioral scales that she sent to them. It is clear that information from Zack’s treating providers and information about his behavior at home and in the community would have been valuable to the TEAM in developing an appropriate IEP for Zack. (Exhibit P-1 and testimony of Barnett, Asack and Parent)

Further, it should be noted that Zack has taken medication for his ADHD since 2007 and more recently has been taking medication for his mood disorder. His behavior difficulties, however, have continued. Unfortunately, Harwich was unaware of his additional diagnoses until November 2, 2009 when Zack’s mother emailed the teacher to tell her that Zack’s ADHD medication was increased and his “bipolar medication had also been increased. “ This was the first indication from anyone that Zack had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder (Exhibit S-29).

Shortly thereafter, on November 9, 2009, an IEP meeting was held. During this meeting, the TEAM initially brought up the idea of an outside placement at the Stony Brook program. Mr. Teso was instrumental in starting the program at Stony Brook and was very familiar with the program. In light of Zack’s additional diagnosis of bipolar disorder, Mr. Teso raised the question as to whether the Stony Brook program would work for Zack.

The TEAM was never given permission to contact Zack’s psychiatrist following the new information from Zack’s mother that Zack had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. As a matter of fact, Harwich never received medical confirmation of Zack’s diagnosis of bipolar disorder until February 1, 2010. Harwich was given a letter from Zack’s treating psychiatrist, Dr. Scarry, dated February 1, 2010. This letter stated that Dr. Scarry had been treating Zack since November, 2008. (Although Dr. Scarry had been treating Zack for well over a year, Harwich had never been given an opportunity to speak with and/or gather information from Dr. Scarry.) In light of the severity of Zack’s diagnosis of a mood disorder and oppositional defiant disorder, any information from Dr. Scarry would have been helpful for Harwich to develop a behavior plan for Zack. In her letter to the school, Dr. Scarry characterized Zack as a “rather complicated little boy” who carries several diagnoses, including severe ADHD, mood disorder (bipolar disorder) and oppositional defiant disorder. She also opined that Zack needs a small, very structured classroom, possibly with a point system-type program. Dr. Scarry’s letter provides some insight into why Harwich was having such a difficult time planning for Zack.

All of Harwich’s staff testified that it is the intensity of Zack’s outbursts, his volatility and the unpredictable nature of his behaviors at school that have made his case so challenging. In fact, Mr. Hein testified that Zack has been his “most” challenging student. Harwich’s staff was clear in their testimony, that they are unable to develop an appropriate plan for Zack because they cannot determine the triggers to his behavior or predict how he will behave. All of the staff expressed grave concerns for Zack’s safety and the safety of his classmates and staff.

Even when Zack was placed in a one on one situation in the guidance office, he continued to have outbursts and exhibit unsafe behavior. Mr. Banks who served as the one on one staff noted that he did not notice any difference in Zack’s behavior in this one on one environment versus the classroom. Mr. Banks gave Zack physical breaks and allowed him to play Sudoku. Zack had very few demands placed on him while in the one on one setting yet there was no appreciable reduction in his behavioral outbursts. Zack was defiant and argumentative several times with Mr. Banks, escalating to the point where Mr. Banks needed to call for assistance from the administration. Zack refused to work and bolted from the area. On one occasion, Zack had to be physically restrained after becoming aggressive towards the assistant principal. In less than two week’s time in this one on one environment in the guidance office, Zack exhibited four significant and reportable incidences of unsafe and aggressive behavior. (Exhibit S-34, S-35 and testimony of Hein, Teso and Dugas)

The Harwich staff testified that they have used all of their available tools to attempt to service Zack.

The evidence shows that Harwich has made numerous changes to Zack’s behavior plan, conducted a functional behavioral assessment in order to better understand his behaviors and how to address them, utilized a BCBA consultant to observe Zack and provide suggestions, provided daily support from the psychologist, provided support from the special education teacher, placed Zack in the 4 th grade class that they felt was best suited for him based on his difficulties and provided a positive behavioral support system. In spite of all their efforts, Harwich is still unable to understand Zack’s behavior to be able to develop an appropriate plan for Zack to decrease his outbursts and allow him to access the curriculum on a regular basis so he can succeed in school. (Testimony of Teso, Hein, Asack, Barnett, Riley and Bragdon)

In summary, the evidence is overwhelming that Zack has significant behavioral issues that impact his ability to access the curriculum, his safety and the safety of the other children and the staff at Harwich. The complicating factor
appears to be the unpredictability, volatility and explosive nature of Zack’s behaviors. Harwich testified convincingly that they have exhausted all their options in trying to plan for Zack. Nothing they have tried to do has consistently worked. They simply do not have the staff, resources or expertise in-district to develop an appropriate IEP for Zack. Zack requires an extended evaluation by staff who are therapeutically and behaviorally supported. He is a complicated boy with multiple and significant emotional and behavioral difficulties who has not responded to numerous and varied behavioral interventions attempted by the TEAM. I, therefore, find that Harwich has met their burden of persuasion that an extended evaluation is warranted in order for Harwich to write an appropriate IEP for Zack and provide him with a FAPE.

I now turn to the question of whether the Stony Brook program at the Cape Cod Collaborative is an appropriate place for the extended evaluation to be conducted. The Stony Brook program is part of the Cape Cod Collaborative and services students from 6-10 years of age. It is a substantially separate classroom, housed in the Stony Brook Elementary School in Brewster. Stony Brook is a day program. Mr. Teso testified that he has referred students to the Stony Brook program in the past and is very familiar with the program. The program is a 15 minute bus ride from Harwich. (Exhibit S-20 and testimony of Teso and Woods)

The program can accommodate up to 12 students. The Stony Brook program is designed to integrate behavioral, social, clinical and academic supports for students who have been unsuccessful in an inclusion setting or are in need of a step down program after placement in a more restrictive setting. The students are generally working at grade level academically but need to develop coping skills. In general, the students carry the diagnoses of bipolar disorder, ADHD, mood disorder, PTSD and relationship attachment disorder. (Exhibit S-20 and testimony of Woods)

Ms. Anita Woods is the Director of the Stony Brook program. I found her to be a very caring, professional and credible witness who seemed to care deeply about her students and the program. Ms. Woods testified that the program does not take a disciplinary approach with the students as often happens in the public school. Stony Brook does not use punitive interventions with the students. Instead they have a level system, promoting positive behavior shaping, and a classroom token system. The token system provides a tangible reward system for positive behavior. The program is supported by two lead special education teachers, four full-time paraprofessionals, one social worker/clinician and a BCBA consultant. The goal of the program is to help students develop more effective strategies. Staff are trained and available to provide instruction in the moment. (Exhibit S-20 and testimony of Woods)

Ms. Woods testified that her program provides an extended evaluation of a student when the student’s TEAM needs more information in order to develop an appropriate IEP. In conducting such an evaluation, Ms. Woods would review the student’s records, current IEP, progress notes and current evaluations. She would also speak with the parents and any outside providers. Ms. Woods would then hold an intake TEAM meeting. When the student enters the program, data collection would begin. The staff would look for antecedents to the student’s behavior, the student’s behavior, the consequences of the student’s behavior and patterns of behavior. She also noted that there would be daily school/home communication. A meeting would be scheduled at the halfway point or sooner if the parent requested it. After the evaluation is completed, a narrative report would be prepared and conveyed to the school based TEAM. (Testimony of Woods)

Ms. Woods also testified that traditionally she does not accept students for less than a 45 day placement. Nonetheless, depending upon the student and the nature of the assessment, if the evaluation can be completed in less than 45 days, the student would not be required to remain in the program for the entire 45 day period. Ms. Woods testified that in her experience, it usually takes some time to gather the required information because students may experience an initial honeymoon period in which they don’t exhibit the full range of their behaviors. Alternately, a student may enter the program initially exhibiting only the worst behaviors in their arsenal believing that they won’t then have to remain in the program. (Testimony of Woods)

Ms. Woods also credibly testified about why an extended evaluation could not be conducted in the student’s regular classroom in the public school. She testified that the pacing of the program at Stony Brook is not tied to the school schedule. The program staff can focus their attention on the one student because there are other staff available for the remaining students. In addition, a student at the Stony Brook program would not lose hours of instruction time because they would not have to be removed from the classroom to the same extent that removal occurs in the public school. Ms. Woods noted that there is a timeout room, available right in the classroom if it becomes necessary after working with the student to remove him from the class. (Testimony of Woods).

Throughout these proceedings, the parents have stated that they do not necessarily object to an extended evaluation of Zack but that they vehemently object to the evaluation occurring at the Stony Brook program. The parents have expressed understandable concerns in this regard. (Testimony of Parent)

The parents had an opportunity to visit the Stony Brook program and speak with Ms. Woods. The parents expressed concerns with the fact that of the 20 students who have attended Stony Brook, only 3 have returned to their district school. No students from Harwich have returned to the District. Parents felt that the Stony Brook program could not, therefore, be considered successful. Ms. Woods reiterated that the goal is to provide students with strategies so that they can be successful in the program that is in the least restrictive environment. Based upon the record, I am confident that if Zack underwent an extended evaluation at Stony Brook it would be honestly and professionally conducted so that the school based TEAM would have enough information to write a proper IEP for Zack and place him in the least restrictive environment. If Harwich can modify their approach to provide Zack with a FAPE, they have credibly testified that they would want Zack to return to Harwich Elementary School.

Parents testified that at the time the parents visited Stony Brook, it was chaotic and the classroom had been disrupted by a student. Ms. Woods again credibly testified that sometimes it is chaotic due to the nature of the students’ disabilities and behaviors. Unlike in a public school setting, the Stony Brook staff will use these incidents as teaching and learning moments for the students.

The parents emphasized that their primary fear is that Zack will pick-up the behaviors of the other students and his behavior will further deteriorate. Ms. Woods acknowledged in her testimony that she could not guarantee that this wouldn’t happen. Her testimony, however, also made it clear that this would not be an inevitable outcome of undergoing an extended evaluation at the Stony Brook program. In fact, Zack would be at the older end of the age range and would not have an opportunity to mimic problematic behaviors of substantially older students. Being one of the older students may have the opposite effect on Zack, and encourage him to be a positive model for younger students.

The parents feel that Zack could be effectively evaluated in the Harwich Elementary School. If not in his 4 th grade classroom, then in one of the other 4 th grade classrooms or the guidance office. As the evidence has established, an evaluation of Zack in the guidance office would be an artificial environment without other students and clearly would not make sense. Evaluating Zack in another 4 th grade classroom would also be contraindicated because of the safety issues and the lack of availability of therapeutic supports and staff, the same problems that arose in his original classroom.7

While the Parents’ concern that once Zack leaves Harwich Elementary School for an extended evaluation, he will not return to the public school is compelling, it is not substantiated by the evidence. Zack is clearly a bright and talented boy. The Parents should bear in mind that an extended evaluation at Stony Brook does not constitute a placement for Zack. Upon completion of the extended evaluation the TEAM, which includes the parents, will meet to discuss the evaluation, draft an IEP and propose placement. The Parents retain their rights to accept or reject the IEP and accept or reject the placement.

The evidence as a whole, underscores the importance of Zack’s undergoing an extended evaluation. Based on Zack’s profile and significant behavioral difficulties, it is equally important that Zack be evaluated in an environment that has the needed therapeutic and behavioral supports for him. I find that the parents’ concerns, could be appropriately addressed at Stony Brook. Morever, at the present time, these parental concerns are outweighed by the serious risk to the safety of Zack, his class and his teachers that could arise from evaluating Zack in an environment without appropriate therapeutic and behavioral supports, as well as his inability to access the curriculum in such a setting.8

ORDER

I find that Harwich has met their burden of persuasion to show that a 45 day placement at the Stony Brook program is necessary for Harwich to write an appropriate IEP for Zack and provide him with a FAPE. Zack shall undergo an extended evaluation at the Stony Brook program not to exceed 45 school days. The evaluation should address the questions outlined in the January 21, 2010 request for extended evaluation. Harwich will provide transportation to and from the Stony Brook program.

So Ordered by the Hearing Officer.

____________________________

Ann F. Scannell

Dated: March 8, 2010


1

Zack is a pseudonym used for confidentiality and classification purposes in publicly available documents.


2

Mr. Teso had made the same suggestion at the November 9, 2009 TEAM meeting after the TEAM became aware that Zack had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The Parents rejected the suggestion of an outside placement at that time.


3

Schaffer v. Weast , 546 U.S. 49, 62 (2005)


4

603 CMR 28.08(5) (c). .


5

The BCBA consultant, Karen Pineau, observed Zack in class and provided additional information for the FBA.


6

Ms. Reedy testified at the hearing. She has seen Zack in her office on eight occasions since mid-December. Ms. Reedy testified that she could not render any opinion about the need for an extended evaluation for Zack or about the Stony Brook program because she did not have appropriate information.


7

The parents also expressed concern that Harwich has not done enough to service Zack. This inquiry falls outside of the narrow issue articulated in the hearing request, i.e., whether an extended evaluation is necessary in order to write an appropriate IEP and provide a FAPE to Zack. I am, therefore, unable to consider that issue.


8

There was testimony that there is also a program at Otis Air Force Base but is located 45 minutes by bus and is considered a more restrictive placement. It is an out of district day program. The testimony revealed that this program is not appropriate.


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