Should Your Child’s IEP Include Extended Year Services (ESY)?

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Some children with disabilities require special education and related services longer than the usual school year in order to receive FAPE. Extended School Year (ESY) services are special education and/or related services provided beyond the usual school year, at times when school is not usually in session – typically during the summer.

ESY services are different from summer school, summer remedial classes, and summer enrichment programs. ESY services are individualized, based on the child’s needs as documented in the IEP, and are free of charge to parents.

Decisions about whether your child will receive ESY services and what services he will receive will be made by your child’s IEP team. You are a member of the IEP team. An IEP meeting is held to consider your child’s needs for ESY services. This meeting must be conducted like any other IEP meeting with appropriate prior notice.

You, the child’s teacher(s), related service providers, or administrators may request an IEP team meeting to consider your child’s need for ESY services!

If these services are not already part of your child’s IEP, you need to consider whether they would be necessary to meet his unique needs. If so, you should consider convening an IEP meeting to revise the IEP to include these services.

Your state department of education develops the criteria for Extended School Year services for schools in your state. These criteria will differ from state to state. Your state department of education will be influenced by legal decisions about Extended School Year services in your state or circuit courts. These issues lead to confusion about Extended School Year services for children with disabilities.

The Regression-Recoupment Myth

You may receive incorrect information about ESY from the staff at your child’s school. For example, you may be told that ESY services are not available for children in your child’s disability category. School staff may tell you they only use a “regression-recoupment” formula to determine which children are eligible for ESY services. Although these statements are legally incorrect, you will need documentation to make your case.

You need to know what the law and regulations say.You will find that Extended School Year (ESY) is not mentioned in the IDEA statute, but it is in the IDEA regulations. Read the IDEA regulation about ESY at 34 CFR § Section 300.106

Contact your state department of education ( Ask that they send you all information they publish about Extended School Year services. Next, visit the web site of your state department of education. Search the site for information about “Extended School Year” and “ESY.”

Learn more about Extended School Year (ESY) Services

  1. Question: My son just failed his Adapted Math class again. He has dyscalculia. He will be a senior next school year and is behind 15 credits. When asked if he can go to summer school, the IEP team stated that they do not offer the same classes to earn credits that they do in the regular school year and he can take a credit recovery class or ESY to earn elective credits not math credits. However my son is in an adapted math class, there is no way he can understand the material that is geared for general education students in the online credit recovery. Can they do this? Every other student has the opportunity to make up classes they failed credits in summer school, how is that equal access? Now my son may not graduate on time.

  2. My child has a 12 mth program on his most recent IEP (March) but now the school has decided that they can’t fiscally provide this for his integrated class… they now want to amend the IEP to 10 month only program but I don’t agree. My son has adhd and asd and his neurologist is recommending 12 month program for routine and stability. What can I do?

  3. Hi, my son Alex has been attending ESY in our school system for 4 years. I was told that there would be no transportation provided this year to/from his school. Alex missed out because both my husband and I work full time and are unable to drive him. (my mom stays with us but does not drive) I then noticed Safeway buses transporting children to/from school. Who determines when a child is eligible to receive transportation? Thank you.

  4. My child just recently had an initial IEP meeting and ESY was not even mentioned to the committee for consideration. Eligibility was determined, the need for an IEP determined, service plan documented, then, we went straight to the assurances . When I realized the discussion had not occurred, I inquired about ESY and was told that my child would not be considered for ESY until she could be tracked through the duration of an entire school year after services start. Since when is it okay to not visit each section of the IEP meeting and discuss it with the team? **Living in Massachusetts**

  5. My child’s doctor told me that children with special needs are often denied services that they rightfully should have. My son has Aspergers and needs help that his school can provide – but getting them to provide that help has been a difficult and disappointing trial.

    The doctor gave me a list of advocates and attorneys. I hired an advocate who knows the laws and can help me get the services my child needs. Going in the ARD with an advocate has been amazing and worth the money I have paid for her assistance!

  6. My son (7 years old) receives extended school services but I really think his time would be better spent trying to socially connect with other typically developing children. I live in Massachusetts. Could I request the school district pay for summer camps that would facilitate his learning social skills?

  7. Rosemary
    Our state also uses predictive data to help determine the need for ESY. This is based on the child’s primary disability. Please check on this in your state guidelines.

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