When a student requires additional time beyond the school year to benefit from the special education program described in the Individualized Education Program (IEP) plan, Extended School Year (ESY) services may be necessary. This document provides guidance to IEP teams as they gather data and then make data-based decisions regarding the need for extended school year programs for each child with a disability. The guide includes a recommended sequence of steps for IEP teams to follow, as well as an "ESY Checklist" to be used to gather information. While this Guide provides suggested approaches, it is not mandated that an lEA adopt this particular approach. lEAs may have alternative systems in place that they can continue to use, as long as they conform with requirements.
All students with disabilities, who qualify for special education services, must be considered for ESY eligibility at each IEP meeting. The type, amount, duration or location of those services may not be pre-determined or limited based on category of disability or severity of disability.
The basic steps in the ESY Decision Process are:
Step 1: Gather information
The first step in the ESY decision-making process is to gather the information that will be used by the IEP team to make the ESY decision. Reliable sources of information may include:
¦ Progress toward goals on consecutive IEPs.
¦ Progress reports maintained by educators, therapists and others having direct contact with the student before and after interruptions in education.
¦ Medical or other agency reports indicating degenerative-type difficulties, which become exacerbated during breaks in educational services.
¦ Observations and opinions by educators, parents and others.
¦ Results of tests including criterion-referenced tests, curriculum-based assessments, ecological life skills assessments and other equivalent measures.
¦ Data collected while monitoring student progress.
Information on a student’s progress on IEP goals and objectives should be collected all year long, especially just before and just after interruptions in educational programming. This information should also be reported to parents as part of the progress-reporting requirement. lEAs should report on progress of their students with disabilities at least as often as progress is reported for other students.
Data for the ESY determination need to provide information about the following factors:
¦ Regression / Recoupment — Regression refers to how much knowledge or how many skills a student loses due to a break in educational programming. Recoupment is how long it takes for the student to get that knowledge or those skills back to the level they were before the break.
Example: Before winter break, John knew his times tables up to 5’s. After break, he could only recite 2’s and 3’s. It took him 20 school days to relearn 4’s and 5’s.
Kind of data gathered: Progress monitoring reports on skill levels before and after breaks. Information on how long it takes for a student to relearn what was lost. Results of tests given before and after breaks.
¦ mastery — When a student is learning a crucial skill or series of steps necessary for the mastery of a skill, or when a student has not yet completed the number of repetitions necessary to master a skill and there is a break in the educational programming this would mean that student would have to re-learn all the necessary steps for mastery from the beginning.
Example: Philip is learning how to dress himself. He has learned all the steps except for the final step of fastening his shirt. It has taken him all year and innumerable repetitions to learn the process up to this point. His IEP meeting is this week. It is unlikely that Phil will learn the last step and have enough time to perform an adequate amount of repetitions to master this skill before the end of the school year.
Kind of data gathered: Progress monitoring information regarding his dressing goal. Tallies of repetitions necessary for mastery.
¦ Self-sufficiency and independence — Which skills are necessary for students to gain appropriate levels of self-sufficiency and independence so they are not dependent on a caregiver for basic needs? How do breaks in educational programming affect the mastery of such skills? How much regression occurs and what is the recoupment rate?
Example: In September, Serena was unable to make requests of any kind. Goals were implemented to address the initiation of requests for bathroom breaks, calming breaks, and/or snacks both in school and in Serena's work experience. In December Serena made unprompted requests 30 percent of the time and prompted ones 70 percent of the time. Following Christmas break, Serena did not return to these levels until late February.
Kinds of data gathered: Progress monitoring information from both settings.
¦ Successive interruptions — The extent to which successive interruptions in educational programming and the cumulative loss of skills and knowledge suffered during those interruptions in educational programming result in a student becoming so frustrated, lost or confused that the student withdraws from the learning process
Example: Jim is a student with multiple disabilities. His teachers and therapists have been working with Jim on toileting skills, from scheduled visits to the bathroom to self-initiated visits. During the spring break, Jim was self-initiating the need to go to the bathroom 50% of the time. After the break he regressed to 20 percent of the time.
Kinds of data gathered: Progress monitoring data on his toileting goals and objectives. Observational data on a checklist used by his teacher and his family.
¦ Severity of disability — Is the student’s disability severe, such as autism/pervasive developmental disorder, serious emotional disturbance, severe mental retardation, degenerative impairments with mental involvement or severe multiple disabilities?
Example: Jane has been identified as a student with autism and participates in an autistic support classroom. One of her goals is to learn to transition among daily routines. Progress monitoring data was collected before and after the holiday break. Jane lost 25 percent of her learned skills.
Kinds of data gathered: Information on Jane’s diagnosis and its severity can be found in her Evaluation Report. Other information that indicates her level of functioning could be found in reports from her therapists and observations from parents. Progress monitoring data was used to make the determination of how much time Jane needed to recoup after a break.
The attached "ESY Checklist" is intended as a tool for collecting data for Step 1 and is not a required component of the IEP process. tEchnical aSSiStancE DocumEntS / ExTENDED SCHOOl YEAR PROGRAMS: A GuIDE FOR IEP TEAMS 9
Step 2: Make the determination regarding ESY eligibility< /p>
The ESY eligibility determination will be made by the IEP team at the IEP meeting. The following statements can provide guidance in making a decision:
¦ If after reviewing the factors listed above the IEP team considers it unlikely that the student will attain or maintain skills and behaviors relevant to IEP goals and objectives, the student is ESY eligible.
¦ If a child’s IEP team determines, on an individual basis, that ESY services are necessary for the provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) as outlined in the IEP, then the child is eligible.
¦ The IEP team will NOT consider the desire or need for any of the following as the basis for needing ESY services:
- Day care or respite care services
- A summer recreation program
- Other programs or services which, while they may provide educational benefit, are not required to ensure the provision of FAPE
Step 3: Document the determination on the IEP format (see figures 1, 2, and 3 on the following pages).
Step 4: Issue the Notice of Recommended Educational Placement (NOREP), if appropriate
The Local Education Agency informs parents concerning ESY eligibility or ineligibility by issuing the NOREP. The NOREP only needs to be issued if the LEA is:
¦ Proposing to add ESY services to an IEP that previously did not have it
¦ Deleting the provision of ESY services from an IEP that previously did have it
¦ Refusing to initiate the provision of ESY services requested by the parent