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IDEA Complaint Decision 15-041

On June 1, 2015 (form dated May 25, 2015), the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX against the River Valley School District. This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issues are whether the district, during the 2014-15 school year, properly considered extended school year services.

Extended school year (ESY) services are special education and related services required by the student’s individualized education program (IEP), and provided beyond the school term. A school district is required to provide ESY services to a student when the student requires such services to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). In determining whether ESY is required, the IEP team should consider multiple factors including the likelihood of regression and the recovery time from this regression. The primary issue is whether the progress the student made during the regular school year will be significantly jeopardized if ESY is not provided during the summer. If the IEP team decides the child requires ESY services, the team must include a description of the necessary ESY services to be provided, including the amount, frequency, and the duration of the services in the student’s IEP. The ESY services must be tailored to the unique needs of the student and may not be based solely on the availability of services during the summer. 

On May 7, 2015, the student’s IEP team met to consider whether the student required ESY services. Based on an audio recording of the meeting, in determining that ESY services were not required, the IEP team failed to consider the student’s history of skill regression and recoupment following school breaks, and there was only limited discussion of student-specific academic data from the 2014-15 school year. The team did not properly consider extended school year services.

As corrective action, the district is required to hold an IEP team meeting within 30 days of the date of this decision to reconsider, based on student-specific data and a discussion of the proper factors, whether the student needs ESY services to receive FAPE. If the team determines the student needs ESY services, the IEP team must also consider provision of compensatory services due to the lack of ESY services during the summer of 2015. The district must also develop a corrective action plan within 30 days of this decision to ensure all ESY determinations are appropriately made based on data and proper considerations.

All noncompliance identified above must be corrected as soon as possible, but in no case more than one year from the date of this decision. This concludes our review of this complaint.

//signed CST 7/31/2015
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support