The Irvington school district has settled a high school student’s lawsuit by agreeing to develop and implement an individualized plan to ensure he receives the education programs and support services required by the NJ Supreme Court’s landmark Abbott v. Burke rulings.

The lawsuit, O.O. v. Irvington Board of Education, asserted that Irvington improperly excluded the student since November 2004 from its traditional and alternative high school programs, and failed to provide him with the remedial programs and services mandated by Abbott and NJ Department of Education regulations.

Under the terms of the settlement, the student will be provided with temporary home instruction pending an immediate assessment of his academic, social and health needs by a team of specialists. On the basis of this evaluation, Irvington will develop, together with the student and his parent, an individualized education plan. The plan must:

  • recommend placement of the student in an appropriate high school program
  • identify the academic program, and social and health services, that address his needs
  • set forth goals and measurable benchmarks to insure that the student has a meaningful opportunity to earn a high school diploma in a timely manner

The student and his parent must agree to the plan before it is implemented. The plan must also be reviewed at least annually for effectiveness by the Irvington team, the student and his parent, and modified as appropriate.

In recognition of the time the student spent out of school since 2004, Irvington also agreed to continue to provide all of the programs and services set forth in the plan for one additional year beyond the legal age cutoff, if needed.

“This agreement will ensure this student receives the programs and services to which he constitutionally-entitled under the Abbott rulings and regulations,” said ELC staff attorney Koren Bell. “It is now incumbent upon Irvington to put in place a rigorous academic program, along with needed social and health supports, to enable the student to obtain a high school diploma in a timely manner.”

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