Date: May 16, 2006
Issue: 352
ISSN: 1538-3202

In this Issue

1. From the Editor: Extended School Year

2. How I Got ESY Services After the School Said "No!"

3. Standards for Extended School Year (ESY)

4. Strategies: Negotiating for ESY Services

5. Caselaw: Extended School Year

6. Wrightslaw Programs in NY, PA, DE

7. Subscribe & Contact Info

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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.

But first, we want to share a Success Story!

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.

What happened next?
Read How I Got Extended School Year (ESY) Services After the School Said "No".

More Success Stories

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.

The CESA-7 website is an excellent source of information for parents and educators and was the winner of the Wrightslaw Best School Website Contest.

Learn more about Extended School Year (ESY) Services.

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.

To learn how to resolve an ESY dispute, read Advocacy Strategies: Negotiating for Extended School Year Services.

Learn more about the parent as expert and special education advocacy.

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).

"Windows of Opportunity:" Lawyer v. Chesterfield School Board (1993)

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

"Windows of Opportunity" Evidence: J.H. ex rel. J.D. v. Henrico County School Board, 326 F.3d 560 (4th Cir. 2003)

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.

"We direct that upon such reconsideration, the Hearing Officer shall consider the 'window of opportunity' evidence presented by the Plaintiffs to the extent that it is relevant to the question of whether the level of services provided in the Summer 2001 IEP was adequate to prevent the gains that JH had made during his regular kindergarten school year from being significantly jeopardized."

Extended School Year (ESY) Services and Caselaw.

More special education caselaw

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.

The Spring 2006 schedule includes these programs:

May 17: Rochester, NY - Special Ed Law & Advocacy Training with Wayne Steedman and Pat Howey; sponsored by Greater Rochester SAFE.

June 7: Wilkes-Barre, PA - Special Education Advocacy Training with Pat Howey; sponsored by Supporting Autism and Families Everywhere - SAFE.

June 14: Rehoboth Beach, DE - Special Ed Law & Advocacy Training with Pete and Pam Wright at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel; sponsored by The Arc of Delaware.

Full 2006 Schedule
l Program Descriptions

Online Training Countdown! Progress report from Pete & Pam (we are doing training programs!)

We are scheduling programs for 2007. If you are interested in bringing a Wrightslaw program to your community, please read Conference Information.

7. Subscription & Contact Info

The Special Ed Advocate is a free online newsletter about special education legal and advocacy issues, cases, and tactics and strategies. Newsletter subscribers also receive "alerts" about new cases, events, and special offers on Wrightslaw books. Subscribe

Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043
Website: https://www.wrightslaw.com
Email: webmaster@wrightslaw.com