ERIC Identifier: ED321503
Publication Date: 1990-00-00
Author: Pinkerton, Dianna
Source: ERIC Clearinghouse on Handicapped and Gifted Children
Extended School Year (ESY). ERIC Digest #E471.
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.
HOW IS ELIGIBILITY FOR ESY DETERMINED?
The most appropriate method for determining eligibility for ESY is direct,
ongoing assessment of individualized education program (IEP) objectives
as they relate to the regression and recoupment a child experiences (Browder,
1987; Browder & Lentz, 1985). According to Alper and Noie (1987), 25
states currently rely on IEP teams that include teachers, administrators,
related services personnel, and parents to assess eligibility on an individual
basis. Browder, Lentz, Knoster, and Wilansky (1988) made the point that
assessment of IEP objectives should be clearly defined and consistent to
avoid an esoteric approach. The advantages of this method are that (a)
assessment can be matched to each objective in every student's IEP, (b)
cross-time trends can be noted, and (c) the data obtained can be compared
and used for subsequent evaluation of service effectiveness.
A series of measurements is valuable in providing a baseline to document
regression and a point from which to measure recoupment. Edgar, Spence,
and Kennowitz (1977) recommended a four-point schedule for collecting data
about student progress: (1) at the end of the regular school year, (2)
at the end of the summer program, (3) at the beginning of the subsequent
year, and (4) at the end of the subsequent school year.
Parent and teacher reports are integral to accurate assessment of a
child's need for ESY. They are necessary in order to form a complete picture
of the child's level of functioning and to supply information such as regression
and recoupment history, current instructional strategies, maintenance strategies,
family circumstances, and recent behavioral and medical problems.
WHAT ARE SOME FACTORS THAT COULD MANDATE A NEED FOR ESY?
1. Type and severity of the handicap.
2. Presence of medically diagnosed health impairments.
3. The child's age.
4. Attainment of self-sufficiency.
The severity of the handicap is a major factor in providing ESY services.
Litigation has been geared primarily to individuals with moderate and severe
handicaps, because regression and recoupment are more marked in these individuals.
Younger students with medically diagnosed health impairments are more likely
to receive ESY services, possibly because teachers consider them to be
especially at risk for regression due to degenerative diseases or school-year
absenteeism (Browder et al., 1988).
The attainment of self-sufficiency has been a key issue in ESY eligibility,
although only one study has specifically addressed it in terms of regression
and recoupment. McMahon (1983) analyzed teacher ratings on 10 areas of
self-sufficiency for 26 ESY students attending a private 6-week summer
program. He found that regression did occur when instruction was interrupted,
but there was improvement when it was resumed.
WHAT OTHER FACTORS MAY BE CONSIDERED IN OFFERING AN ESY PROGRAM?
1. Need for recreational programs.
2. Respite care for parents.
3. Family environmental factors (family stress levels).
Although they are not supported by litigation, recreation and respite
care for parents are two critical areas of concern in considering ESY programs.
It may be argued that these factors are valid considerations because they
affect both regression and recoupment. Stress levels can influence a family's
ability to implement maintenance procedures (Browder et al., 1988). Respite
care and recreation may be effective in decreasing family stress levels
and providing support for parents and, in turn, may promote recoupment.
WHAT TYPES OF DELIVERY MODELS ARE AVAILABLE?
There is a range of options available in providing ESY services beyond
those found in typical center-based summer programs. Programming should
involve modification of the regular-year instruction in order to maximize
the potential for generalization and maintenance during the summer interruption
of instruction (Sobsey, 1985).
Instruction should be based on established IEP objectives, but methods
may need to be altered in order to provide maintenance, as opposed to acquisition
of skills. Partial mastery of IEP objectives may also indicate that summer
support is required until complete mastery is achieved.
Delivery options for ESY services include but are not limited to the
following: 1. The traditional 2- to 6-week school-based summer program.
2. Home consultation to provide support and instruction to parents in preventing
regression. 3. Residential placement in a boarding facility. 4. Summer
camp or recreational programs that provide opportunities for maintenance
of skills. 5. Private summer school programs providing the least restrictive
Support services should also be made available when they are required
for maintenance of skills. These services may include speech therapy, physical
and occupational therapy, and adaptive physical education.
Alper, S., & Noie, D. R. (1987). Extended school year services for
students with severe handicaps: A national survey. THE JOURNAL OF THE ASSOCIATION
FOR PERSONS WITH SEVERE HANDICAPS, 12, 61-66. EJ354020
Armstrong v. Kline, 476 F. Supp. 583 (E.D. Pa. 1979). Aff'd CA78- 0172
(3rd Cir., July 15, 1980).
Battle v. Commonwealth, 79-2158, 79-2188-90, 79-2568-70 (3rd Cir., July
Browder, D. (in press). Methodology for implementation of ESY. In L.
H. Meyer, C. A. Peck, & L. Brown (Eds.), Critical Issues in the Lives
of People with Severe Disabilities. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes.
Browder, D. (1987). Assessment of Individuals with Severe Handicaps:
An Applied Behavioral Approach to Life Skills Assessment. Baltimore: Paul
Browder, D., & Lentz, F. E. (1985). Extended school year services:
From litigation to assessment and evaluation. SCHOOL PSYCHOLOGY REVIEW,
14, 188-195. EJ317622
Browder, D. M., Lentz, F. E., Knoster, T. P., & Wilansky, C. (1988).
Determining extended school year eligibility: From esoteric to explicit
criteria. THE JOURNAL OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR PERSONS WITH SEVERE HANDICAPS,
13, 235-243. EJ387204
Edgar, E., Spence, W., & Kennowitz, L. (1977). Extended school year
for the handicapped: Is it working? JOURNAL OF SPECIAL EDUCATION, 11, 441-447.
McMahon, J. (1983). Extended school year programs. EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN,
49, 457-461. EJ281160
National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE).
(1989). Extended school year programs for children with handicaps: A literature
review and report. LIAISON BULLETIN, 15, (3).
Sobsey, D. (1985, April). Developing and Implementing Summer-School
Programs for Students with Severe Handicaps. Paper presented at the annual
convention of The Council for Exceptional Children, Anaheim, CA. ED261477
Stainback, W. C., Stainback, S. B., & Hatcher, C. W. (1983). Developing
policies for extended year programs. THE JOURNAL OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR
THE SEVERELY HANDICAPPED, 8(3), 5-9. EJ295109
Tilley, B. K., Cox, L. S., & Staybrook, N. (1986). An Extended School
Year Validation Study. (Report No. 86-2). Seattle: Seattle Public Schools.