EXTENDED SCHOOL YEAR SERVICES Printer friendly version
Extended school year (ESY) refers to special education and/or related services provided beyond the normal school year of a public agency for the purpose of providing a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) to a student with a disability in accordance with the child’s IEP, at no cost to the family.
The IEP team must discuss ESY services at an initial IEP meeting and at every annual IEP meeting. Team members may also discuss ESY services through an addendum to the annual IEP if necessary. School staff members, parent(s), and/or the student may request an IEP meeting at any time to discuss ESY services.
ESY services are only necessary to FAPE when the benefits a disabled child gains during the regular school year will be significantly jeopardized if the child is not provided with an educational program during breaks in instruction. ESY services are intended to address critical life skills.
Critical Life Skills
A critical life skill includes any skill determined by the IEP team to be critical to the student’s overall educational progress, including social and behavior skills. In determining critical life skills for the specific needs of the student, the school division may consider those skills that lead to independent living, including toileting, feeding, communicating, dressing, and other self-help skills. In some cases, the school division may consider and address academic and behavioral issues. Depending on factors, such as a student’s age, ability, and the number of years the student has left in school, the areas of reading, math, and written language could be considered critical life skills.
Any child receiving special education services, regardless of disability category, may be eligible to receive ESY services if the IEP team determines that they are necessary for the student to receive FAPE. The IEP team members should discuss the following factors when they are considering ESY services:
ESY services may be delivered through a variety of settings and methods, examples of which might include classroom instruction, a parent-guided home program with progress periodically monitored by the teacher, and/or consultative or supervisory support from staff members within community settings.
While ESY services could be provided at any time of the year, as determined to be required by the IEP team to provide FAPE, most students who are eligible for ESY receive services during some portion of the extended summer break. ESY services could be provided in combination with existing summer school intervention programs, if such programs are available and are appropriate for the individual student. However, the division is not required under the least restrictive environment provisions of IDEA to create a general education setting for delivery of ESY services.
ESY services are uniquely designed to provide FAPE to certain students with disabilities. Therefore, it is necessary to emphasize that these services:
For further information, see the Virginia Department of Education Technical Assistance Resource Document: Extended School Year Services, December 2007:
Individualized Education Program information >
Assessment and ESY
Robin Sheare, Web Development Specialist
September 27, 2011