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ESY not necessary to provide FAPE to student who had little risk of serious regression over summer break

C.H. ex rel. F.H. v. Goshen Cent. Sch. Dist., 61 IDELR 19 (S.D.N.Y. 2013)—in this case, a fifth grade student with dyslexia had received ESY services to prevent regression in her English Language Arts (ELA) skills. A Subcommittee of the IEP Team convened to develop the student’s fifth grade IEP, where it considered prior evaluations as well as updated reports from teachers and samples of the student’s work. The Subcommittee decided not to recommend ESY because no regression had been observed. Thereafter, the parents filed a due process complaint challenging (among other actions) the removal of ESY services for ELA. Ultimately, the SRO rejected the IHO’s finding that the student had been denied a FAPE, and the parents appealed that decision. The court, giving due weight to the decision of the SRO, found that the record supported the conclusion that substantial regression was not likely. The court reasoned that the district met its burden of proving the absence of a need for ESY services by providing numerous evaluations by different professionals (including some professionals privately retained by the parents) which revealed no risk of substantial regression over the summer break.

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