Hundred High School Student Will Return to Class
NEW MARTINSVILLE – Wetzel County resident Roy Stevens is officially a Hundred High School student once again.
The decision came Tuesday after an hours-long meeting was held to determine Stevens’ fate in the Wetzel County school system. Stevens’ parents had requested the board allow their son with Down Syndrome to continue attending Hundred after he had a positive experience there during the 2014-15 school year.
However, school administrators argued that district policy requires severely affected special needs students from Hundred, Valley and Paden City high schools to be placed at Magnolia High School in New Martinsville. Part of Stevens’ struggles involved the hour-long commute to Magnolia.
Stevens returned to Hundred High School on Monday after being re-enrolled, although he was not at school Tuesday because his presence was required at the meeting to discuss his Individual Education Program, a written statement of the educational program designed to meet a special education student’s individual needs.
“He talked to (those attending) and he hugged the state facilitators before he left,” Roy’s father, Earl Stevens, said. “He was happy to see everybody together. At one point, I don’t know what he said, but he addressed the whole group. He stayed right with it. That is hard to do when there is 20 people there discussing your strengths and weaknesses.”
Despite a several months-long battle for Roy’s return to Hundred, Earl Stevens said the tone at Tuesday’s meeting was “very amicable and very cordial.”
“All procedures were followed,” he stated, adding that the official documents had been signed by Wetzel County Schools’ Special Education Director, Deborah Novotny, who would then inform Superintendent Leatha Williams of the decision made by the IEP team.
Roy will attend school today and then will return with the rest of his peers after winter break.
Earl Stevens expressed appreciation for the way the community rallied around Roy and pushed for his return to Hundred High.
“The community here will have a really good Christmas gift,” he said.
Roy’s siblings, along with fellow Hundred students, spoke out at various board meetings concerning his placement. His parents eventually pulled him out school after he had missed the maximum amount of truancy days.
In early December, the state Department of Education listed corrective actions that Wetzel County Schools must take concerning Roy’s IEP, leading to Tuesday’s meeting.