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JhonZ.opin.No.14 14

JhonZ.opin.No.14 14

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MSDE Opinion
MSDE Opinion

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04/06/2014

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MONTGOMERYCOUNTYBOARDOFEDUCATION,Appellee.INTRODUCTIONBEFORETHEMARYLANDSTATEBOARDOFEDUCATIONOpinionNo.14-14OPINIONTheAppellantfiledanappealofthedecisionoftheMontgomeryCountyBoardofEducation(localboard)denyinghisrequestthathisdaughterbeallowedearlyentranceintokindergarten.ThelocalboardfiledaMotionforSummaryAffirmancemaintainingthatitsdecisionshouldbeupheld.TheAppellantdidnotrespondtothemotion.FACTUALBACKGROUNDAppellant sdaughterwasbornonSeptember29,2008,makinghereligibletoattendpublicschoolkindergarteninthe2014-15schoolyear.BecauseAppellantwantedhertoattendkindergarteninthe2013-14schoolyear,Appellantsubmittedanapplicationforearlyentry.TheschoolsystemscreenedandassessedAppellant sdaughteratFlowerHillElementarySchoolonMay16,2013.AppellantsignedtheWellnessVerificationandDisclosureFormcertifyingthathisdaughterwasingoodphysicalhealthandabletoparticipateinalloftheassessmentactivitiesrelatedtotheapplicationandscreeningprocess.(Mtn.,Ex.4).ThestandardforearlykindergartenadmissioninMontgomeryCountyisthatthechildmustachieveanacceptablescoreinallsevenassessmentareas.Appellant sdaughterachievedanacceptablescoreinonlyoneareaofassessment,VisualMotorTasks,butnotonanyoftheotherareas.Thescoresintheotherareasareasfollows:AreaofAssessmentRecordofOralLanguageLetterIdentificationLetter-SoundCorrespondenceConceptsAboutPrintMathematicsIndependentTaskwithMulti-StepDirectionsChild sScore1of1417of54
 
of93of169of236of8AcceptableScore10ormore45ormore6ormore10ormore18ormore7ormore(Mtn.,Ex.7).ByletterdatedMay22,2013,theprincipalofFlowerHilladvisedtheAppellantthathisdaughterwasdeniedearlykindergartenentrybecauseshedidnotmeettheestablishedcriteria.(Mtn.,Ex.5).Onappeal,LarryA.Bowers,ChiefOperatingOfficerandtheSuperintendent sDesignee,referredthemattertoahearingofficerforreview.ThehearingofficerrecommendedthatJHONZ.,Appellant
 
Appellant sdaughternotbeallowedearlyentrancetokindergartenbasedonherassessmentscores.Mr.BowersconcurredandadvisedAppellantofthedenial.(Mtn.,Ex.7).Onfurtherappealtothelocalboard,Appellantmaintainedthathisdaughterwasnotfeelingwellonthedayoftheassessment.(Mtn.,Ex.8).Thelocalboardaffirmedthedenialofearlyadmissionbasedonfailuretomeettherequiredcriteria,notingthattheAppellanthadsignedtheWellnessVerificationandDisclosureFormpriortohisdaughter sparticipationintheassessment.(Mtn.,Ex.9).Thisappealfollowed.STANDARDOFREVIEWBecausethisappealinvolvesadecisionofthelocalboardinvolvingalocalpolicy,thelocalboard sdecisionisconsideredprimafaciecorrect,andtheStateBoardmaynotsubstituteisjudgmentofthatofthelocalboardunlessthedecisionisarbitrary,unreasonable,orillegal.COMAR13A.01.05.05A.ANALYSISAppellant sdaughterfailedtoachieveanacceptablescoreonalloftheassessmentareas,asrequiredforearlyadmissiontokindergarteninMontgomeryCountyPublicSchools.ThisBoardhasheldonnumerousoccasionsthataschoolsystemmaydenyearlyentrytokindergartenbasedonthechild sfailuretoattaintherequiredscoresontheassessment.
SeeKristenMv MontgomeryCountyBd ofEduc
MSBEOp.No.13-16(andcasescitedtherein).AlthoughtheAppellantmaintainsthathisdaughterdidnotscoreashighasshecouldhavebecauseshewasnotfeelingwellwhenshetooktheassessment,hecertifiedatthetimethatshetooktheassessmentthatshewasin goodphysicalhealth and abletoparticipateinallassessmentactivities. (Mtn.,Ex.
4).
Theschoolsystemreasonablyrelieduponhiscertification.Accordingly,wefindthatthelocalboard sdecisiondenyingAppellant sdaughterearlyentrytokindergartenwasnotarbitrary,unreasonableorillegal.CONCLUSIONForallofthesereasons,weaffirmthelocalboard sdecision.
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