Luis, Amaya and Francisco Borjas, Jon, Lucinda and Lucas Dunning, Thomas, Elizabeth and Carter Brundage, Johnathan, Carmen and Jaxon Shaw, and Serena and Sophia Kelleher v. Calvary Church and Patricia Collins 16-CVS-9
The Borjas, Dunning, Brundage, Shaw and Kelleher families (the “Plaintiff families”), along with Calvary Church and its Child Development Center founder Pat Collins (the “Defendants”), issue the following statement which will be the parties’ only comment regarding this matter:
“After two and a half years of hard-fought litigation encompassing in excess of twenty-five depositions, the parties to this case are happy to have reached a resolution to all issues that were in dispute. The case centered on claims by the Plaintiff families that the Defendants had failed to provide reasonable accommodations for Plaintiff families’ five children who claimed special needs and on the need for accommodations for children with special needs and disabilities in the private church education setting in North Carolina.
While Calvary and Ms. Collins steadfastly deny Plaintiff allegations and regret the Plaintiffs’ decision to pursue litigation, Calvary Child Development Center takes seriously the development, education, care and safety of the hundreds of children entrusted to it each year and acknowledges the importance of continually improving policies to better serve children with disabilities and special needs in its community.
As part of the overall settlement, the parties have agreed that Calvary will:
- Add a statement to its admission policy that states Calvary Child Development Center will admit children with special needs if services can be provided with reasonable accommodation;
- Retain the services of a registered nurse during the school year to serve students directly;
- Expand current staff responsibilities to include identification and assessment of special need situations and to provide additional support and training for special education; and
- Allow third-party occupational therapists and other medical professionals continued access to the classrooms of students identified as having special needs.
“The Plaintiff families’ primary objective was to bring improvements to Calvary Child Development Center that would further open doors to children with special needs and disabilities in the community. Calvary is confident that these policy updates will help it continue and improve upon its more than 40-year record of service to many thousands of Charlotte-area children and their families.”
“Calvary Child Development Center is regarded as a national model for excellence in child care and early childhood education and regularly hosts directors and staff from child development programs around the country who come to study its methods, programs and curriculum. The families and church are eager for these newly refined practices to be shared with others, thus opening the doors for families in similar circumstances around the nation.”
“Hedrick Gardner and Van Kampen Law are very proud to have represented their respective clients in this matter and for being part of a settlement that brings positive changes for families of children with special needs and disabilities.”
JOSH VAN KAMPEN, SEAN HERMANN AND KEVIN MURPHY VAN KAMPEN LAW
ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFF FAMILIES
MEL GAROFALO AND ROB WILSON
HEDRICK GARDNER KINCHELOE & GAROFALO
ATTORNEYS FOR CALVARY CHURCH AND PAT COLLINS