an appropriate placement for Ryan. Although Ms. Timmel has significant experience as an educational consultant, for the reasons set forth below, her conclusion that Medford’s proposed IEP is not appropriate for Ryan and that the Landmark School is an appropriate placement for Ryan, is not supported by the evidence
Ms. Timmel described Medford’s IEP for Ryan as a pull-out model. None of the Medford staff characterized his IEP in this way. Ms. Timmel testified that she never observed Ryan in his program at Medford. Furthermore, Ms. Timmel testified that she was aware that Medford had a language based classroom which at one point may have been appropriate for Ryan. Her testimony in this regard was vague. Her testimony was also vague as to why Medford’s proposed IEP was not appropriate. She seemed to focus more on Ryan’s Tourette’s Syndrome and Ryan’s behaviors as a result of his Tourette’s Syndrome and conclude that Medford could not service Ryan mainly because of his Tourette’s Syndrome.22 The testimony from the Medford staff, however, was that Ryan did not exhibit behavior problems that interfered with his ability to access the curriculum. Ms. Timmel’s conclusions that Medford could not service Ryan and that the Landmark School was an appropriate placement were not supported by the evidence.
Dr. Trainor who sees Ryan and his family for therapy also testified on behalf of Ryan and his parents. I found Dr. Trainor to be professional and credible in her testimony about her therapy with Ryan. Her testimony, however, merely showed that Ryan reported to her that he is frustrated at times with school and that he has difficulties with reading and writing. Her testimony did not show that Ryan was not making progress at school or that the IEP proposed by Medford would not provide Ryan with a FAPE.
No one disputes that Ryan is having difficulty in the aforementioned areas. The law is clear, however, that an IEP must be developed that will allow a student to receive some educational benefit, not an IEP that maximizes a student’s potential. The IEP proposed by Medford from May 4, 2010 to March 18, 2011 provides for more services than the last accepted IEP. The evidence presented shows that Ryan was making progress with the services provided in the last accepted IEP. Certainly then, the most recently proposed IEP (May 4, 2010 to March 18, 2011) reflecting additional services is reasonably calculated to enable Ryan to receive educational benefits in the least restrictive environment.
The parents have not met their burden of persuasion. I find that the May 4, 2010 to March 18, 2011 IEP proposed by Medford is reasonably calculated to provide Ryan with a FAPE in the least restrictive environment. I would, however, urge Medford to conduct a thorough reading and written language evaluation
22 Dr. Geller, who treats Ryan for his Tourette’s Syndrome did not testify at the Hearing, nor did he provide any report that would explain how the Tourette’s Syndrome effects Ryan in the classroom.