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A Beach Ridge Road woman will challenge the reading program that the Starpoint School District has provided her disabled daughter during state hearings today and Thursday.

The hearings for Carolyn Demjanenko, a high school sophomore who has spina bifida, will be held at 10 a.m. both days in the the district's Special Program Conference Room at the district administrative office wing in Starpoint Middle School. The hearing is open to the public.

Virginia Demjanenko, the girl's mother, said the reading program the district set up for her daughter is ineffective because it does not instruct her in a way that allows her to learn reading. Spina bifida often causes partial paralysis, learning challenges and other physical problems.

Demjanenko said that there are ways to overcome her daughter's challenges but that the district is not willing to accommodate her. Instead, she said, district officials have taken a more traditional approach to teaching her daughter, which does not work.

The district will present its evidence today, and Demjanenko will present her evidence Thursday to State Hearing Officer Michael Lanzan.

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