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IDEA Complaint Decision 08-067

On August 4, 2008, the Department of Public Instruction received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the Racine Unified School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2007-2008 school year, properly determined and implemented the student’s individualized education program (IEP) regarding extended school year (ESY) services.

On November 28, 2007, an IEP team meeting was held to determine continuing eligibility, develop an annual IEP with transition plan, and determine placement for the student. In addition, the IEP team determined the student required extended school year services. However, the IEP team did not include a description of the necessary extended school year services in the student’s IEP.

In June the student’s mother contacted the district and a parent advocate regarding ESY services for her son. During the 2008 summer, the student received ESY services two hours and twenty minutes four days a week for five weeks for a total of 46 hours and 40 minutes. During the 2007 summer, the student received ESY services two hours and twenty minutes four days a week for seven weeks for a total of 63 hours. The complainant believes the student should have received the same number of hours of ESY services in summer 2008 as in summer 2007. Although ESY services were provided in the summer of 2008 based on staff review of the student’s current IEP goals, the IEP team did not determine the 2008 summer ESY services, and the student’s IEP was not revised to specify the ESY services that would be provided.

ESY services are special education and related services required by the student’s IEP provided beyond the limits of the school term. A school district is required to provide ESY services to a child when the child requires such services to receive a free appropriate public education. The provision of ESY services in a prior year does not mean ESY services are needed in the current year. If the IEP team decides the child requires ESY services, they must include a description of the necessary ESY services to be provided, including the amount, frequency, and the duration of the services in the child’s IEP. The ESY services must be tailored to the unique needs of the child and cannot be based solely on the availability of services during the summer. The district is obligated to provide the ESY services consistent with the child’s IEP. The district did not properly determine the student’s ESY services during the 2007-2008 school year because it did not conduct an IEP team meeting to determine the appropriate services. Furthermore, although ESY services were provided during the 2008 summer based on a staff determination, they were not provided pursuant to an IEP team determination and in accordance with the student’s IEP.

Within 30 days from the date of this decision, the district must develop a corrective action plan to ensure that ESY services are properly determined by the IEP team; the student’s IEP is revised based on the determination and includes the amount, frequency, and duration of the services; and the ESY services are provided in accordance with the student’s IEP. In addition, the district must reconvene an IEP team meeting to determine whether additional services are necessary due to the district’s failure to provide ESY services based on a proper IEP team determination of ESY services. By November 3, 2008, the district must send the department a copy of the student’s IEP.

This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 9/25/08
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support: Equity and Advocacy