At Wrightslaw, our mission is to help you gain the knowledge and skills you need to navigate the confusing, changing world of special education.
1. From the Editor: Extended School Year (ESY) Services
"Success comes before work only in the dictionary." Anon
It's IEP season - and many parents are writing with questions about Extended School Year (ESY) services.
In this issue, you will learn about legal standards for Extended School Year (ESY), advocacy strategies that will help you negotiate for ESY services, and decisions about ESY from federal courts.
2. How I Got Extended School Year Services After the School Said "No!"
"At a recent meeting, the team said our child did not qualify for Extended School Year services because he did not meet the 'regression-recoupment criteria.' The team did not advise us about any other criteria to determine if a child is eligible for ESY services."
"I remembered what you told us at the Wrightslaw Boot Camp in Jackson - that parents need to do their own independent research, and not accept everything they are told. I decided to do my own research on this subject ..."
In How I Got Extended School Year Services After the School Said No!, you will learn how one parent got answers to her questions about ESY (it was fast and easy). At the next meeting about ESY, instead of confronting school personnel, she asked questions and used the Columbo Strategy.
3. Standards for Extended School Year (ESY)
In Standards for Extended School Year (ESY), Nissan Bar-Lev describes the legal basis and standards for ESY as defined by federal courts around the country. Dr. Bar-Lev is the special education director of CESA-7.
4. Advocacy Strategies: Negotiating for Extended School Year (ESY) Services
If you have a disagreement with the school about Extended School Year (ESY) services, you need to learn about the legal standards for ESY. You also need to learn how to negotiate with school staff so you resolve the problem and protect your relationships with school personnel.
5. Special Education Caselaw: ESY
It is useful to read a case of two about your legal question. We selected summaries of three cases about ESY to help you understand how these issues are decided: Daniel Lawyer v. Chesterfield (1993), Reusch v. Fountain (1994), and J.H. ex rel. J.D. v. Henrico County School Board (2003).
Danny Lawyer was a young child with autism who had expressive language and phonological processing problems. Although Danny regressed in his ability to communicate during the summer, his school district refused to provide any speech language therapy during the summer months.
After a due process hearing and review, the case was appealed to federal court. In Daniel Lawyer v. Chesterfield School Board, Judge Spencer ruled that "Regression is not the only factor" in deciding if a child needs ESY services. The judge listed several factors that IEP teams should consider in making ESY decisions.
Judge Spencer also discussed the need to take advantage of "windows of opportunity" in educating children with disabilities. Read Daniel Lawyer v. Chesterfield School Board
Hostility to Providing ESY: Reusch v. Fountain (1994)
In Reusch v. Fountain, (D. MD 1994), the court found that educational decisions were not individualized according to the child's needs. Instead, "administrative convenience" took precedence over providing FAPE to children with disabilities.
The court listed six factors the IEP team should consider in deciding if the child is eligible for ESY. Read Reusch v. Fountain
In 2003, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit issued a decision in J.H. ex rel. J.D. v. Henrico County School Board, 326 F.3d 560, 567-69 (4th Cir. 2003) . The Court found that the district court and hearing officer applied an incorrect legal standard in determining whether extended school year services were necessary to provide a free appropriate education and remanding the case for reconsideration under the correct standard.
6. Wrightslaw Training Programs in NY, PA, DE
Wrightslaw offers a variety of special education law and advocacy programs taught by experts in the field of special education law and advocacy.
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