Negotiating for ESY Services,
NPR Interview about Winkelman Case

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May 31, 2007

ISSN: 1538-3202

Issue: 392
Subscribers: 50,248

In This Issue

How I Got Extended School Year Services

Supreme Court & Special Education

Pete Interviewed by NPR

Listen to Pete in NRP Interview about the Winkelman decision

How Did You Vote in the Winkelman Poll? Who Won?

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Effective Advocacy Strategies
ESY Standards
ESY Caselaw
Learning to Negotiate
Parent-School Relationships
Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
P. O. Box 1008
Deltaville, VA 23043



Copyright 2007, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved. Please do NOT reprint or host on your website without explicit permission.

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We are receiving pleas for help from parents whose requests for Extended School Year Services are being denied.

Why? The child's IEP team says the child does not meet the "regression-recoupment standard" so does not qualify for ESY.

Yet, courts have held that schools may not use regression-recoupment as the only standard for determining if a child is eligible for ESY. The Office of Special Education Programs and the Office of Civil Rights have issued policy letters requiring schools to look at other issues than regression and recoupment.

It's time to take a look at Extended School Year Services - the standards for ESY services and eligibility. .

After the Supreme Court ruled that parents may represent their children's interests in Court. Pete was interviewed about the significance of this case. You'll want to listen to this interview so we include a link below.

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How I Got Extended School Year Services After the School Said "No!"

"When we attended our child's ESY Meeting, we were told that he did not qualify for Extended School Year services because he did not meet the "regression-recoupment criteria". We were not advised of any other criteria that may be used to determine if a child is eligible for ESY."

This success story tells how one parent got answers to her questions about ESY. Rather than confronting school personnel, she asked questions and used the Columbo Strategy. Find out what happened!

You can negotiate successfully on your child's behalf but first you must become the "Parent as Expert". This may sound challenging, but you can do it. Learn effective advocacy strategies and how to obtain the information you need to negotiate for ESY services.

Standards for ESY

Dr. 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.

  • What are ESY services?
  • Who is entitled to ESY services?
  • How is the need for ESY determined?
  • What do ESY services look like?

State Standards

Standards vary from state to state. You need to get your state standards for ESY.

Finding your state manuals or standards is easy. In the Google search box enter "ESY, Department Education, (your state name here), then click search. Or use the Directory of State Departments of Education on the Yellow Pages for Kids to find the site for your state department of education. Search the site for "Extended School Year."

The Virginia Extended School Year Services document includes a good summary of ESY issues, what IEP teams must consider, and the impact of court cases.

You will find that Extended School Year (ESY) is not mentioned in the IDEA statute, but it is in the IDEA regulations. Read the IDEA regulation about ESY at 34 CFR § Section 300.106 (see pages 205-206, Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition).

Court Rulings on ESY

Federal courts have issued decisions that define extended school year services and factors that must be considered to determine if a child is eligible for these services. Some of these factors are:

  • regression and recoupment
  • child's progress toward IEP goals
  • window of opportunity to learn emerging skills
  • interfering behavior and impact on child's ability to benefit from special education
  • nature and severity of the disability
  • areas that need continuous attention

If you are familiar with cases about ESY, you will be in a stronger position to negotiate for your child.

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Supreme Court & Special Education: Pete Wright & Christina Samuels Interviewed on NPR
Sandee and Jacob WinkelmanLast week, the U.S. Supreme Court granted all parents the right to advocate for their children's special education needs in federal court, without the assistance of a lawyer.

After the decision, Kojo Nnamdi interviewed Pete Wright and Christina Samuels, reporter for Education Week, for NPR station WAMU.
Listen to the interview to learn what this case means for students, parents and school districts, locally and nationwide.

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How Did You Vote in the Winkelman Poll? Who Won?

After oral argument in Winkelman v. Parma, attorney Wayne Steedman wrote "Will the Supreme Court Side with the Parents in Winkelman v. Parma? Oral Argument Provides Clues."

We put the "Winkelman Poll" up on Wrightslaw. We asked if the Supreme Court would issue a favorable decision for the parents or the school. Would the decision be split or unanimous?

You cast your votes about the outcome in this case. Do you remember how you voted? See poll results.

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Great Products From Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

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