Extended School Year services are provided to students in special education who have unique needs and require special education and related services in excess of the regular academic year. Per education code, ESY is for “a student who has disabilities which are likely to continue indefinitely or for a prolonged period, (and) interruption of the student’s educational programming may cause regression, when coupled with limited recoupment capacity rendering it impossible or unlikely that the student will attain the level of self-sufficiency and independence that would otherwise be expected in view of his or her disability.” ESY is intended to serve students who would require an excessive amount of time to re-learn the information that they had prior to an extended vacation period time or to continue to make progress on a newly learned critical life skill. It is not intended to be a time for new material to be taught or for new learning to occur.
Providing extended school year (ESY) services to a student is an IEP team decision.
The IEP team will consider if the benefits accrued to the student during the regular school year be significantly jeopardized if s/he were not provided an education program during an extended break from the regular school year.
15.1 Factors to Consider in Determining If a Student Requires ESY
The IEP team determines whether without extended school year services, there is a likelihood of substantial regression of critical life skills* caused by an extended school break along with a failure to recover those lost skills in a reasonable time following the school break (e.g., six to eight weeks after summer break).
- IEP team question: Will the student regress such that s/he cannot recoup within a few weeks? Is there data (including observation) to support this?
Degree of Progress
The IEP team reviews the student’s progress toward IEP goals on critical life skills and determines whether, without these services, the student’s degree or rate of progress toward those goals or objectives will prevent the student from receiving benefit for his/her educational placement during the regular school year.
- IEP team question: What is the student’s rate and/or degree of progress?
Emerging Skills/Breakthrough Opportunities
The IEP team reviews all IEP goals targeting critical life skills to determine whether any of these skills are at a breakthrough point. When critical life skills are at this point, the IEP team needs to determine whether the interruption in services and instruction on those goals or objectives during the school break is likely to prevent the student from receiving benefit from his/her educational program during the regular school year without these services.
- IEP team question: Will interrupting services cause the emerging/breakthrough skills to be lost and not recouped in a few weeks?
Nature and/or Severity of the Disability
The IEP team determines whether, without ESY services, the nature and/or severity of the student’s disability is likely to prevent the student from receiving benefit from his/her educational program during the regular school year.
- IEP team question: What is the severity of the student’s impairment?
The IEP team determines whether without ESY services any interfering behavior(s) such as ritualistic, aggressive, or self-injurious behavior(s) targeted by the IEP goals have prevented the student from receiving benefit from his/her educational program during the school year. The team also determines whether the interruption of programming which addresses the interfering behavior(s) is likely to prevent the student from receiving benefit from his/her educational programming during the next school year.
IEP team question: Will interruption of support for interfering behaviors cause the student to lose the benefit gained from that support?
Special Circumstances or Other Factors
The IEP team determines whether, without ESY services, there are any special circumstances that will prevent the student from receiving benefit from his/her education program during the regular school year.
- IEP team question: Are there special circumstances such as the student requiring year-round treatment (example: ABA treatment)?
15.2 Steps to Complete the ESY Service Plan
1. The IEP team will complete an ESY Service Plan checklist found in the district’s electronic IEP system. If a student is determined eligible for ESY, completion of the form will insure ESY is listed on the IEP.
2. In addition, when completing IEP goals, check the box in the electronic IEP system that states the goal will be addressed in ESY. A list of the ESY goals will then appear in the IEP.