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NC Education Lawyer Blog

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The ABCs of Education Law: ESY

What is Extended School Year and When is a Student Eligible to Receive It?


As a parent, you want to ensure that your child is receiving the best education possible. However, some students require additional support or services, such as an extended school year. You may have heard about this term before but are not sure what it means or if your child is eligible for it. In this blog post, we will delve into extended school year, explore what it is, and discuss when a student is eligible to receive it.


Extended School Year ("ESY)", is an educational program that provides additional instructional services to students with disabilities during the summer months. The goal of this program is to prevent regression in academic, social, or behavioral skills that may occur over summer break. ESY is designed to support students in special education programs who require year-round services to ensure that they make progress and achieve their academic and functional goals.


ESY services are individualized and tailored to meet the specific needs of each student. These services may include academic instruction, occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, or behavioral support. ESY services are provided at no additional cost to eligible students, and parents are often encouraged to participate in the development of the ESY program with their child's teachers and service providers.


The eligibility criteria for ESY services vary from state to state and depend on the student's unique needs and circumstances. In general, students who are eligible for ESY services are those who have a disability that significantly impacts their ability to learn and requires year-long support. The decision to offer ESY services is made by the student's Individualized Education Program (IEP) team, which consists of teachers, service providers, parents, and administrators.


Some factors that IEP teams often consider when determining ESY eligibility include the student's rate of progress, degree of skill regression, likelihood of significant skill loss over summer break, and the availability of alternative services during summer months. The IEP team may also consider if the student has a history of needing additional support during the school year or if they have a critical skill that requires continuous support.


In closing, Extended School Year is a valuable program that can provide additional educational support to students with disabilities during the summer months. If you are concerned about your child's eligibility for ESY services, contact your child's school to learn more about the criteria for ESY services in your state. Remember that the decision to offer ESY services is based on individualized needs and circumstances, and you play an important role in advocating for your child's educational needs. By working together with your child's IEP team, you can ensure that your child receives the support necessary to achieve their academic and functional goals.

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