Extended School Year

A teacher helps a student with an iPad.

Definition

ESY means additional special education and related services for pupils with disabilities to supplement the normal school year. These services are provided as part of a free appropriate public education (FAPE) and documented on the student's IEP.

Issues

Students with disabilities are not required to attend ESY.

ESY is not day care or respite service for pupils with disabilities; a summer recreation program; or a program to maximize the academic potential of pupils with disabilities.

Requirements

Schools are required to provide ESY for pupils with disabilities when such a program is necessary to:

  • Prevent irreparable harm to the pupil's ability to maintain identified skills or behaviors.
  • Accommodate critical learning periods for pupils who are unlikely to receive another opportunity to learn or generalize skills or behaviors.

Schools should develop ESY criteria in the following areas:

  • Regression-recoupment factors
  • Critical learning stages
  • Least restrictive environments (LRE) considerations
  • Teacher and parent interview and observations
  • Data-based observation of the pupils
  • Consideration of the pupil's previous history
  • Parental skills and abilities

Example

The School would compare pre/post testing after every break in instruction (winter, summer, spring breaks) to decide whether the student has regressed too far to recoup the skills learned during the previous instruction period on specific skills designated as "essential skills" on the IEP.

Schools may not use the students' categorical eligibility as a determining factor.

The School should review previous IEP's to determine if the student has a history of eligibility for ESY and interview the parents and consider whether the student might succeed in a less restrictive environment, if ESY was provided to the student the prior summer.