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  • NC Education Lawyer

They're talking about ESY...what is that?

It is that time of year when Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are being reviewed and revised. You may have heard the term Extended School Year (ESY) as part of an IEP meeting, but you were advised that your student was not eligible before you could even ask what it was. This blog post will discuss the following:


1. What are extended school year services and why might my child need them;

2. How do I know if my child needs extended school year services;

3. What are the benefits of extended school year services;

4. How can I get my child enrolled in extended school year services;

5. What happens during an extended school year day;

6. How much does it cost to send my child to Extended School Year Services;

7. Who provides Extended School Year Services; and

8. Are there any other options for my child during the summer months?

1. Extended school year services, also known as ESY, are special programs that provide students with additional educational and therapeutic support to help them make progress towards their educational goals during summer months or other breaks in the regular school year. These services can be provided in a variety of settings such as the student’s home, a community setting, or in a school setting. The amount of ESY services a student receives depends on the individual needs of the child and the recommendation of their IEP team.


2. If your child has an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), you can consult with their team to determine if Extended School Year services would be beneficial for them. This might include situations where your child is making limited progress with their educational goals, if they have difficulty retaining knowledge over the summer months, or if they need additional therapeutic interventions that cannot be provided during the regular school year.


3. Extended School Year services can help your child make meaningful progress towards their educational goals and help them retain knowledge throughout the summer months. In addition, these services can also provide your child with socialization opportunities, help them develop self-regulation skills, and provide therapeutic support to help them manage their individual needs.

4. To get your child enrolled in Extended School Year services, you will need to work with the IEP team at your child’s school or district. They will be able to assess your child’s individual needs and determine if ESY services are appropriate for them. Once the IEP team has made a recommendation, you can discuss the various options available with the school to get your child enrolled.


5. During an Extended School Year day, students typically receive both educational instruction and therapeutic support. Depending on their individual needs, students might receive one-on-one instruction from a special education teacher or therapist, participate in group activities with other students, work on independent projects, or engage in recreational activities.


6. The cost of Extended School Year services will depend on the individual needs of your child and the type of services they require. In most cases, the school district is responsible for providing ESY services at no cost.


7. Extended School Year services can be provided by a variety of professionals such as special education teachers, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and mental health counselors. In some cases, the services may be provided directly by the school district, while in other cases they may need to be provided by an outside provider.


8. Depending on your child’s individual needs, there are a variety of summer programs available for them to participate in. These can include academic camps, recreational activities, therapeutic programs, and other specialized programs. You can contact your local school district or community organizations to learn more about the options available in your area.


No matter what option you choose for your child, it is important to ensure that they receive the support and guidance they need to continue making progress towards their educational goals throughout the summer months. With the right resources and support, your child can make meaningful progress towards their goals and have an enjoyable summer experience.

If you need assistance with requesting Extended School Year services, or you believe the IEP team unlawfully denied ESY for your student, contact the North Carolina Education Lawyer.

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