What does an IEP team have to consider when making an ESY eligibility determination?

Published: June 16th, 2016

The determination of whether a pupil is eligible for ESY services shall take into account least restrictive environment considerations and shall be determined by a multifaceted inquiry by the [IEP] team based on retrospective data, such as past regression and the rate of recoupment, and predictive data. [A.R.S. § 15.881(B)] “The critical question that each IEP team must ask regarding ESY services is whether meaningful progress on critical skills related to IEP goals that occurred during the regular school year will be significantly jeopardized (thus significantly jeopardizing the provision of FAPE) if ESY is not provided.” [Arizona Department of Education, Exceptional Student Services (ESS) AZ-TAS Guidelines for Extended School Year Services, February 2007, pg. 2] A critical skill is defined as an academic, social, functional or behavioral skill that is related to an IEP goal and is critical to the student’s overall school and community functioning. [Id. pg. 5] It may be that some goals on a student’s IEP are not critical skills. Therefore, it is incumbent on the IEP team to make “a determination if the student’s IEP contains critical skills that need ESY services in order to ensure [a] FAPE to the student.” [Id. pg. 12]