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ESY, Regression, and Responding to "Misinformation" from School Administrators
by Sue Whitney, Research Editor, Wrightslaw

The school told me that the state regulations mandate that a child cannot receive more hours of support per week during ESY than he has specified in his IEP for the regular school year. His classroom teacher and I both feel that he needs more hours per day in order to recoup what he loses each summer.

ESY is a Team Decision

What you were told is not true. Extended School Year (ESY) decisions are made by the IEP team. ESY is not limited to the summer months, so even the logic behind this “misinformation” is faulty.

It would be a good idea to document that:

  • 2 team members agree your son needs more hours
  • the school administrators and/or case manager are “misinformed”

ESY can be used to recoup regression, or to catch the child up to where he should be, or for any other reason the team decides.

It can be more or fewer hours than what your child is already getting. If a child is falling behind with what he is currently getting there is an argument that he is not getting what he needs during the year.

When classroom “support”, whatever that is, does not work it would make sense to switch to something that is more likely to work. Daily one-to-one instruction for increasing amounts of time until he has mastered the state curriculum standards for reading and writing for his grade may be more appropriate.

Sample Letter

I suggest a letter in formal business-letter format that contains wording similar to the sample letter below.

Jane Smith
500 Oak Lane
Nashua, NH 03060

February 1, 2015

Nathan Weiss, Director of Special Education
SAU #1
1001 Main Street
Nashua, NH 03060

Reference: Michael K. Smith
DOB: 01/02/2002
School: Grove Middle School

Dear Mr. Weiss:

I am having a hard time getting an answer to an ESY question.

I have been reading through the NH statute and through all of the Wrightslaw books that I own in addition to on-line research. I can’t seem to find a specific answer.

My son has an IEP that provides him with 3 hours per week of in-class support in Reading & Writing.

His standardized testing (NECAPs, NWEAs) for fall 2014 and winter 2015 (NWEA only) have shown regression. His fall NECAPs actually showed him in the Partial range for proficiency. His fall testing consistently shows regression.

We have been informed by ___________ at our last IEP meeting that ESY for Michael is limited to 3 hours per week (1 hr. per day, 3x a week) as that is what is specified in his IEP for the regular school year. His classroom teacher and I both feel that he needs more hours per day in order to recoup what he loses each summer.

His case-manager, ___________, has told me that the NH state regulations mandate that a child cannot receive more hours per week during ESY than he has specified in his IEP for the regular school year. I have asked her repeatedly to show me where that is stated in the statute or otherwise. She refuses and states that “this is what she has been told by the school administrative unit”.

I am confused. Is it a policy of the _______________school district to set this limit on ESY? If so, please send me a copy of that policy.

If state or federal statute or regulations set this limit on ESY, please refer me to the location of the wording.

If the case-manager is misinformed, and no such limit exists, please accept this letter as my request to reconvene the IEP team meeting to continue the discussion of what is needed to close the gap between Michael and his peers. I understand that a meeting will be scheduled within 21 days or you will issue a Prior Written Notice of why my meeting request has been refused.

Thank you for your assistance and quick response. If you have questions about my request, please call me at 555-555-1212.


Jane Smith

Copy: Michael's cumulative education file

Be sure to keep a copy for your records. Hand deliver your letter to the school. Note the time, date, identity of the person who received the letter and include this information in your records.

Good Luck,


More information and caselaw about Extended School Year Services (ESY)

Meet Sue Whitney

Sue Whitney of Manchester, New Hampshire, works with families as a special education advocate and is the research editor for Wrightslaw.

Doing Your Homework, Suzanne Whitney gives savvy advice about reading, research based instruction, and creative strategies for using education standards to advocate for children and to improve public schools.

Her articles have been reprinted by,,, The Beacon: Journal of Special Education Law and Practice, the Schafer Autism Report, and have been used in CLE presentations to attorneys.

Sue is the co-author of Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind (ISBN: 978-1-892320-12-4) that was published by Harbor House Law Press, Inc.

She also served on New Hampshire's Special Education State Advisory Committee on the Education of Students/Children with Disabilities (SAC).

Sue Whitney's bio.

Copyright © 2002-2022 by Suzanne Whitney.

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