Extended School Year

  • Some students may require the provision of services beyond the traditional school year. Such services are components known as extended school year (ESY) services. Federal and state laws and regulations do not require that every student with a disability receive extended school year services. These decisions are to be made in each individual case based on established eligibility criteria that have evolved over the past 20 plus years through case law and procedural application of the IDEA. It is critical to identify those students who really need Extended School Year services. These are students who will suffer irreparable harm if not provided ESY services.

    ESY services are special education and related services that are provided to a special education student beyond the normal school year (180 days). An extended year program is provided in accordance with the Individual Educational Program (IEP) and is provided at no cost to the parent or student. ESY services must be provided only if a student's IEP team determines, on an individual basis, that the services are necessary for the provision of a free, appropriate public education to the student. It must also be noted that every child with a disability is not entitled to nor must receive extended school year services.

    All IEP-driven services outside the 180-day school year are extended school year services, as long as they meet the following criteria:

    • The IEP Team identifies the need for these services beyond the 180 day school year;
    • That need is documented in the IEP; and
    • The services are accessed or provided by the school district.

    There should be no valid distinction between extended school year services and such things as "summer options." Any option made available to a student in response to his or her educational needs during the summer months is regarded as an extended year program.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does Extended School Year mean?

  • Who must be considered for ESY services?

  • Who determines ESY eligibility?

  • What criteria should be used in making an ESY eligibility determination?

  • How is eligibility for ESY services determined?

  • Are students required to fail in order to be eligible for ESY services?

  • How is ESY Structured?

  • Must all the services that are provided during the regular school year be duplicated in the ESY program?

  • Is a student automatically entitled to ESY services because he/she was determined eligible the year before?

  • Do ESY services have to be provided in a classroom?

  • When is ESY not an appropriate decision?

  • What happens if there is disagreement regarding ESY?

Last Modified on January 3, 2024