On October 2, 2019, the Department of Public Instruction (department) received a complaint under state and federal special education law from XXXXX (complainant) against the XXXXX (district). This is the department’s decision regarding that complaint. The issue is whether the district, during the spring of 2019, properly determined whether a student with a disability required extended school year (ESY) services.
A school district is required to provide ESY services to a student when the student requires these services to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE). If the parent or any other member of the IEP team expresses a desire to discuss the student’s need for ESY, the IEP team, including the parent, must determine, on an individual basis, whether the student requires ESY services in order to receive FAPE (34 CFR § 300.106). In determining ESY services, IEP teams must ensure that students receiving ESY services are educated in the least restrictive environment (LRE). (34 CFR § 300.114). In determining whether ESY is required for a particular student, the IEP team should use a multi-factored determination of eligibility including, but not limited to regression during an interruption in services, recoupment of skills after services resume, and predictive data based on the opinion of professionals. (Todd v. Duneland School Corp., 229 F.3d 899, 907 [7th Cir. 2002]).
In Spring 2019, the student’s parent requested an IEP team meeting to consider whether the student required ESY services, specifically speech and language services. The IEP team held meetings in April 2019 to conduct a reevaluation for the student and develop the student’s annual IEP. The IEP team meeting was continued, and on May 2, 2019, the final IEP team meeting was held. Both parents and all other required IEP team members were present at the May 2 IEP team meeting, where ESY was discussed. The team considered multiple factors when considering the student’s qualification for ESY services related to communication including the student’s progress toward meeting annual goals, the student’s present levels, information provided by the student’s parents about the student’s skills at home, predictive data based on the opinion of the student’s speech and language therapist, non-curricular activities the student participated in that required the student to communicate, and the speech and language therapist’s assessment of the student’s regression during previous school breaks. The district, during the spring of 2019, properly determined the student did not need ESY services.
This concludes our review of this complaint. This decision is final for the IDEA State Complaint process. These issues may be addressed through other dispute resolutions, including mediation and due process hearings. Visit http://dpi.wi.gov/sped/dispute-resolution for more information.
//signed by BVH 11/27/19
Barbara Van Haren, PhD
Assistant State Superintendent
Division for Learning Support