Extended School Year (ESY)
The term EXTENDED SCHOOL YEAR encompasses a range of options in providing programs in excess of the traditional 180-day school year. The issues of regression and recoupment have been pivotal in the litigation that has advanced the concept of extended school year (Armstrong v. Kline, 1979; Battle v. Commonwealth 1980). Regression has been described as the lack of maintenance or loss of skills over the summer recess. Recoupment is getting back that which was lost.
According to a survey of State Directors of Special Education, 49 states currently have statutes or policies that either require extended year programs or allow them to be provided as district options (Alper & Noie, 1987). There is great variability among providers in determining eligibility for and delivery of ESY services.
When is ESY Needed?
ESY is needed whenever a student would experience unacceptable regression and recoupment. Research conducted by Tilley, Cox, and Staybrook (1986) found that most students experience some regression over the summer months. Students in regular education regressed by about 4% as measured by standardized tests. The study also found that students with mild handicaps, serious behavior disorders, and hearing impairments regressed at about the same rate as regular education students. Students with moderate and severe handicaps showed a faster rate of regression and a slower rate of recoupment. Regression occurred in language, gross motor, fine motor, and self-help skills as well as in academic areas. ESY should be made available whenever there is an indication of substantially greater regression and slower recoupment than for regular education students. Tilley, Cox, and Staybrook (1986) assumed that there would be no regression in language, gross motor, and self-help skills by regular class students; therefore, any regression in these areas by a handicapped student might automatically fulfill eligibility criteria. The issue of self-sufficiency has been a major factor in litigation and has been interpreted as the attainment of functional skills.
Reprinted with the permission of the Education Resources Information Center.
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