What is Extended School Year (ESY)?
Each public agency must ensure that extended school year services are available as necessary to provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE),to students who are identified and the IEP determines that the student is eligible for ESY. There are many factors that the IEP team takes into consideration, but key to the discussion is what services are required so that the student can access the general curriculum when he/she re-enters the school after long breaks.The team looks at regression, recoupment, emergence of new life skills, and if services were not extended that the child would be denied FAPE. It is not he case that a student is entitled to ESY services, but that the student will not receive FAPE if ESY services are not provided. The IEP must address the provision of ESY services, if required, in order for the student to receive FAPE. The question for the IEP is: Does the student need ESY services in order to receive FAPE?Back to Top
What is FAPE?
FAPE means Free and Appropriate Public Education. Special education and related services that are provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge ((300.17, New Hampshire Rules for the Education of Children with Disabilities). The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 provides that all students with disabilities are entitled to a free appropriate public education. To have meaningful access to public educationstudents with disabilities may required services or types of educational programs that are different from those needed by other students since each student with a disability has unique learning needs. When children are identified for special education the team develops an IEP. The IEP lists all the supports, accommodations,modifications and services that a student needs to access the general curriculum. It makes sure that every child has the same opportunities. It does not guarantee the "best education", but an appropriate one. Back to Top
Factors that Teams Consider for ESY.
ESY - Factors to ConsiderGuiding DocumentIn general, 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 FAPE to a student with a disability. They are distinct from enrichment programs, summer school programs, and compensatory services and are not simply an extension of time. ESY services are not so much a regression and recoupment issue as they are an issue of FAPE. Unrecouped regression, over time, may be evidence that FAPE is not being provided. In other words, it is not the case that a student is entitled to ESY services, but that the student will not receive FAPE if ESY services are not provided. As such, consideration of ESY services is a part of the individualized education program (IEP) process.Factors to be considered by the IEP Team:When determining the need for ESY services by the IEP team, decisions should always occur retrospectively or prospectively based upon the unique needs of the student. Decisions are made to ensure that the student is provided FAPE. Thus, the decision is based upon data and discussions by the IEP team and not determined solely by any formula, including a regression/recoupment formula. Factors that the IEP team should consider in making its decision are listed below. Any of these factors, alone or in combination, can trigger the need for ESY if they indicate that the benefits the student has received during the regular school year will be significantly jeopardized. 1. Regression/Recoupment - The IEP team determines whether without these services, there is a likelihood of substantial regression of critical life skills caused by a school break and a failure to recover those lost skills in a reasonable time following the school break. It is noted that some regression in skills typically occurs with all students during school breaks, but such losses would not be considered substantial. 2. Degree of Progress - The IEP team reviews the student’s progress toward the IEP’s goals on critical life skills and determines whether, without these services, the student’s degree or rate of progress toward those goals (or objectives or benchmarks, if required) will significantly jeopardize the student’s receipt of benefit for his/her educational placement during the regular school year. 3. 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 or benchmarks, if required) by the school break is likely to significantly jeopardize the student’s receipt of benefit from his/her educational program during the regular school year without these services. 4. Interfering Behaviors - The IEP team determines whether without ESY services any interfering behavior(s), such as ritualistic, aggressive or self-injurious behavior(s) targeted by 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 significantly jeopardize the student’s receipt of benefit from his/her educational programming during the next school year without ESY services. 5. Nature and Severity of the Disability - The IEP team determines whether, without ESY services, the nature and severity of the student’s disability are likely to significantly jeopardize the student’s receipt of benefit from his/her educational program during the regular school year. 6. Special Circumstances or Other Factors - The IEP team determines whether, without ESY services, there are any special circumstances that will significantly jeopardize the student’s receipt of benefit from his/her education program during the regular school year. Other factors cited in cases include: - ability of the child’s parents to provide the educational structure at home; - ability of the child to interact with children without disabilities; and - areas of the child’s curriculum, which need continuous attention.Because ESY services are uniquely designed to provide FAPE to students with disabilities, it is necessary to emphasize that these services are: • Not based on the category of the student’s disability - services must be based on the student’s unique educational needs; • Not mandated twelve-month services for all students with disabilities; • Not a child care service; • Not necessarily a continuation of the total IEP provided to a student with a disability during the regular school year; • Not required to be provided all day, every day, or each day; • Not an automatic program provision from year to year; • Not summer school, compensatory services, or enrichment programs; • Not required to be provided in a traditional classroom setting; and • Not a service to be provided to maximize each student’s potential. 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