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BOOK: 19 
MONTH-YEAR: September - 2000
IN RE: In re (Redacted student name)
APPELLANT: (Redacted)
APPELLEE: (Redacted School District name) & Heartland AEA 11
KEYWORDS: Special Education/Placement
DETAILS: Student was born on September 11, 1986, and has a complex physical condition known as CHARGE syndrome characterized by seizures, impaired vision, impaired hearing, physical abnormalities, severely delayed development and other difficulties.  Appellants identify their primary issue as their belief that the student can appropriately have her needs met in a self-contained special education setting in a school with peers without disabilities. They further assert that the school has not met its burden of proof regarding the need for the student to leave the school district and be served in a different districts special school. Appellants attorney and the Districts attorney agreed that the party advocating the more restrictive setting in this situation (AEA and LEA) carry that responsibility. In this opinion, the need for the student to have her program delivered in a special school setting has NOT been established.
  The unwillingness of other districts to cooperate in providing a needed program does not negate the responsibility of the AEA and LEA to provide an appropriate program in the least restrictive setting. Closely related to the question of least restrictive setting is the notion of a continuum of alternative placements. As asserted by Appellees, the educators and parents working on behalf of the student have diligently put together a number of programming components to provide an appropriate program for the student up to this point in time.  In moving forward, it would seems that the vehicle for providing an appropriate program for the student should not be limited to the districts special school.
  An agreement regarding the stay put status of the students program was confirmed.  Appellants prevail in this proceeding. The students needs required that she be served in a special school setting was not established.