June 5, 2020

MDE Releases Extended School Year Guidance

June 3, 2020

The Minnesota Department of Education has updated their Due Process COVID-19 Guidance to address a question related to extended school year (ESY) eligibility. The new question is:

43. Is there guidance to assist IEP teams in making extended school year eligibility determinations for students with disabilities during the 2019-20 school year?

MDE’s guidance states:

ESY eligibility is based on the individual student’s needs based upon data collected during the school year. This would include data for a large portion of the school year prior to the school closure, as well as data collected during distance learning. Some Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams will already have considered the need for ESY and incorporated that into a student’s IEP. If it has not yet been addressed, IEP teams would need to consider the need for ESY services as they have in the past (although it would be done virtually during the distance learning period).

The guidance also addresses compensatory education, noting that decision is separate from ESY eligibility:

The Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) has not yet specifically addressed the issue of ESY services due to school closures and the implementation of distance learning. What OSEP has addressed is the issue of compensatory education due to school closures. ESY eligibility is determined prior to the end of the school year. Compensatory education is an individualized determination of whether a student is in need of compensatory education due to services not being provided or accessed during the distance learning period. The compensatory education individualized determination is not made until schools resume normal operations. That language can be found in the OSEP/OSERS Supplemental Fact Sheet, dated March 21, 2020.

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