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IDEA Complaint Decision 16-065

On September 27, 2016 (form dated September 14, 2016), 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, in May 2016, properly determined extended school year (ESY) services for a student with a disability, and properly provided ESY services in accordance with the student’s individualized education program (IEP) during the summer of 2016.

ESY services are special education and related services required by the student’s 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 31, 2016, the student’s IEP team met to consider whether the student required ESY services. The IEP team determined ESY services were required. Based on a review of an audio recording of the meeting, the IEP team determined the student would receive ESY services Monday through Thursday, 8:30 to 11:30, June 13 through June 30, and between July 11, and July 28, with speech and language services online 25 minutes one time a week and transportation to and from school. The IEP team determined goals with benchmarks to address math and literacy including instruction on vocabulary and sentence syntax. In addition, the IEP team determined the district would research instructional programs. However, the vocabulary, sentence syntax instruction, and the instructional program research was not documented in the student’s IEP. The district provided the required hours of one-on-one ESY instructional services, speech and language services, and transportation. The district provided some vocabulary, sentence syntax instruction, and completed research on instructional programs. Although the IEP team properly considered ESY services, the district did not document the services determined in the student’s IEP.

As corrective action, the district is required to hold an IEP team meeting within 30 days of the date of this decision to determine and accurately document the student’s disability-related needs related to vocabulary and sentence syntax, and the accompanying services required. The district must provide the department a copy of the IEP within 10 days of the IEP team meeting.

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 11/18/2016
Carolyn Stanford Taylor
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support