I got more information about ESY – extended school year – services today from the woman who ran the IEP on Friday morning.
ESY by definition is designed to help the student maintain their current level of progress, NOT to help them progress further. It is done as a tutorial service that is brought to the child, and is implemented by certified teachers. Her proposal was that we reconvene the folks from the IEP session late April to evaluate how Dominic has done with all the changes we make, including the supplemental services and decide at that point how much ESY he needs. She couldn’t give me a typical range because its all child specific, but she said on a minimum she has some kids that get 30minutes 3x a week. She is pretty sure he’ll qualify for more than that.
Then the kicker. We had a deeper discussion on why she believes that Dominic’s needs would be better met in a classroom other than Longfellow at present. Her point was that on the whole the teachers in the D11 staffed classrooms have a higher level of education than the teachers in CPCD staffed classrooms, but more specifically, they deal more frequently with autistic kids and are therefore able to implement the changes his IEP requests more quickly and efficiently. I countered with the fact that we’ve experienced putting him in a classroom in mid term and it didn’t go well. And that he’s happy AND the kids (and staff) know his quirks right where he is. She countered with the fact that one of the classrooms that has an opening has a teacher who ran the D11 autism preschool supplemental program for 3 years and that his current teacher is fabulous but in 10 years has only had one other autistic child that she worked with her on. She added that her teachers are used to kids coming in right after age 3 – that the program at Buena Vista was a pay preschool, not a preschool dictated by the special ed laws.
Rod and I will discuss it.