Virginia is knee deep in snow. Kids are sledding, not swimming.
But for parents, it’s time to think about summer and what extended services your child will need when school ends.
Extended School Year (ESY) services are special education and/or related services provided beyond the usual school year. ESY is not limited to the summer months. Your child may need these services during the summer and throughout the year in order to receive FAPE.
If you have not already started, plan now for ESY services for your child.
When your IEP team meets, you should be prepared to request needed services and be able to defend your position.
- Review the criteria for ESY
- Get your state regulations and standards for ESY – they vary from state to state
- Learn the legal requirements for ESY
- Collect data about your child’s performance (academic, functional, behavioral)
- Document what happens when your child has a break from school
ESY Criteria and Standards
Federal courts describe different standards. Don’t allow the school to refuse ESY only on the regression-recoupment standard.
ESY can be used to recoup regression or to catch your child up to where he should be. ESY is a team decision, not a unilateral decision by the school.
There are other factors that IEP teams should consider when making decisions about ESY.
- Regression and recoupment – Is your child likely to lose critical skills or fail to recover these skills within in a reasonable time?
- Degree of progress your child is making toward IEP goals and objectives
- Emerging skills/breakthrough opportunities – If your child is learning a key skill, like reading, will a lengthy summer break cause significant problems?
- Interfering Behavior – Does your child’s behavior interfere with his ability to benefit from special education?
- Nature and/or severity of disability or physical problems
- Vocational needs
- Special circumstances that interfere your child’s ability to benefit from special education
More Resources and Caselaw
IDEA regulation about ESY at 34 CFR § Section 300.106
Sample Letter to request information from your school about ESY