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                         Quick Helps: extended school year services                                               



Each public agency shall ensure that extended school year services (ESY) are available as necessary to provide a free appropriate education (FAPE).  Extended school year services must be provided only if a child's IEP team determines, on an individual basis that the services are necessary for the provision of FAPE to the child.   A public agency may not limit extended school year services to particular categories of disability (such as a class just for autistic children) or unilaterally limit the type, amount, or duration of those services (i.e. we only offer summer school).

Extended school year services means special education and related services that are provided to a child with a disability beyond the normal school year of the public agency; in accordance with the child's IEP; and at no cost to the parents of the child; and meets the standards of the SEA.

In general, if a child will experience severe or substantial regression during the summer months (or other “off times”?), in the absence of a summer program, the child may be entitled to ESY. The issue is whether the benefits accrued to the child during the regular school year will be significantly jeopardized if he is not provided an educational program.

The IEP team decisions must be consistent with the individualization requirement of the IDEA.  The IEP team cannot limit analysis to one and only one criterion for evaluating appropriateness. When using the analysis of regression and recoupment there must be sufficient evidence demonstrating the severity of the past problems as well as the future problems.

The IEP team should review the unique needs of the child and the present and past IEP documents.  The IEP team should consider the following when making a determination regarding extended school year services for the student:

Has the student experienced a regression in skills?  To what degree?

Will the student experience a regression in skills?

If the student was not provided ESY would the student be able to recover skills at the same rate as grade level/age level peers?

What are the unique needs of the child?  What are the child’s behavioral and physical problems?

How has the child progressed?  What is the child’s rate of progress?  How has the child stayed the same? Are the same goals being carried from year to year with little or no change?

What have been the exact times of past regression?

How does the child do upon return from school breaks such as winter and spring breaks?

Do the parents have the ability to provide educational structure at home?  If appropriate, what are the related services that can be provided to the parents to support the child?

What are the alternative resources that can or should be considered?

Are the requested services extraordinary for the child’s condition, as opposed to an integral part of a program for populations of students with the same disabling condition?

Is the child at grade level?  Why not?  What would the child need in order to be at grade level and/or to receive educational benefit?

Is the child participating in the regular education classroom, curriculum, and/or environment?  Why not?  Does the child have the ability to interact with nondisabled children?  How will ESY support the child in achieving or maintaining participation in the regular education classroom, curriculum, and/or environment? 

What are the areas of the child’s curriculum that need continuous attention?

What are the child’s vocational needs? 


If the child is not meeting their IEP goals the team should assess an appropriate ESY program or reconsider the appropriate identification of the child’s unique needs and the appropriateness of the IEP to meet those needs.


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(c)  2006      Claudia Lowe, B.S., J.D.     Educational Strategist & Consultant

(c)   2006   Claudia Lowe, B.S., J.D.        Educational Strategist & Consultant

Information provided on this site and all other communications produced by Claudia Lowe, J.D., SENC is for educational purposes only and not to be considered legal or medical advice or recommendations.