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Hundred Student May Return

By Staff | Dec 8, 2015

A special needs student may be allowed to return to Hundred High School after intervention by West Virginia Department of Education officials.

Roy Stevens’ parents withdrew the 17-year-old, who has Down syndrome, from Wetzel County Schools after the district this fall told them he must attend Magnolia High School.

However, he may be allowed to return to his old school, Hundred, pending a new Individualized Education Program due on Dec. 18.

An IEP is a written statement of the educational program designed to meet a child’s individual needs, a document required for every child who receives special education services.

Stevens’ parents had requested that the board of education allow their son to continue attending Hundred after he had a positive experience there during the 2014-15 school year.

However, school administrators have argued that district policy requires severely affected special needs students from Hundred, Valley and Paden City high schools to be placed at Magnolia.

Part of Stevens’ struggles involved the hour-long commute to Magnolia, in which Roy had to be fastened into a five-point harness.

Stevens’ siblings, along with fellow Hundred students, spoke out at various board meetings concerning Stevens’ placement.

Earl and Karen Stevens eventually pulled Roy out of the Wetzel County School system after he had met the maximum amount of truancy days.

According to Karen Stevens, the West Virginia Department of Education listed corrective actions that Wetzel County Schools must take concerning Roy’s IEP.

She said she had spoken with county Board of Education President Mike Blair and Superintendent Leatha Williams.

Karen Stevens said the conversation was “really respectful” and Blair and Williams are working on implementing the corrective actions.

“The state told them they want this ironed out before Christmas break,” Karen said, adding she hopes Roy will be able to return to Hundred High School after Christmas break.

“I’m so grateful to everyone,” Karen said of those who have fought for Roy’s placement at Hundred. “I finally have the ear of the state Department of Education. That was because of a lot of loud voices.”

Karen said the state is going to make sure Roy’s IEP is “run by the law and that every person is heard.”

“It’ll reflect Roy’s needs,” she added.