What is Extended School Year?
Extended School Year (ESY) services are special education related services provided to students with disabilities beyond the regular 180-day school year. Extended School Year services are not day care or respite services. They are not a summer recreation program or other programs or services which are not required to ensure the provision of a free, appropriate, public education (FAPE) to a student--even if they provide some educational benefits.
Which students are "targeted" for Extended School Year?
There are four targeted groups: students with mental retardation, students with emotional disturbance, students with autism, students with degenerative impairments, and students with multiple disabilities. Data is collected on specified goals within the child's IEP.
When is ESY data collected?
The special education teacher begins collected data before and after an extended school break. This can include: Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break, and when appropriate Spring. All data specific to the IEP goals must be collected by February 28th of that school year. At which point, an IEP meeting will be held to determine the student's eligibility and review data results.
If a student qualifies for ESY services, when is the Extended School Year program determined?
After holding an initial ESY qualification meeting, the IEP team will have multiple conversations regarding an appropriate program that will meet the targeted goals of the student. The final decision for Extended School Year programming is made on or before March 28th of that school year.
Can a student qualify for ESY services one year but not the following school year?
Yes. All decisions regarding Extended School Year services are based upon the data findings of the special education teacher and collaborative efforts of IEP team members. Data will always be collected for the "targeted" student groups regardless if the student does or does not qualify.
If the IEP team feels that a student has maintained acquisition of learned skills it is a likely that the child may not qualify for Extended School Year services. In some cases, even though data indicates qualification, parents have the right to decline offered services.