Demystifying Extended School Year Services: Guidance for Special Education Advocates and Parents

by | Apr 18, 2023 | Advocate Resources, Special Education Academy, Special Education Advocate

Last week I presented a free webinar, Qualifying for Extended School Year Special Education Services (April 12, 2023) providing valuable insights into the complex realm of Extended School Year (ESY) Special Education Services.  We delved into the intricacies of ESY and explored the nuances of this essential support system to determine if it’s right for your child or the children you advocate on behalf of.  

ESY services encompass additional educational and related services provided to students with disabilities during breaks in the regular school year. Summer break is just around the corner and now is the time to establish if these services are appropriate, and if your student qualifies, not every student will qualify. However, for those who do, ESY services can significantly impact their educational journey.

The pivotal question: How can a student qualify for ESY? The answer lies in the collaborative efforts of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team. To establish a student’s eligibility, the team will examine the following criteria:

  1. Regression and Recoupment: Will the student lose critical skills during a break, and how long will it take them to regain those skills once school resumes?
  2. Degree of Progress: Is the student making progress toward their IEP goals at a satisfactory rate?
  3. Emerging Skills: Is the student on the verge of mastering a critical skill, such as reading or self-care, where an interruption in learning could impede their progress?
  4. Nature and Severity of Disability: Does the student’s disability necessitate continuous support to prevent significant regression?
  5. Special Circumstances: Are there any unique factors or situations that may justify ESY services for the student?

Armed with this knowledge, it’s essential to prepare for the next phase – building a compelling case. Documentation is the backbone of this process. Keep a record of your child’s progress, regression, and recoupment time. Collect work samples, progress reports, and any relevant information to support your case. Remember that collaboration is vital. Engage with your child’s IEP team and maintain open lines of communication.

By diligently gathering evidence and fostering cooperation, we can ensure that ESY services are available to those who need them most. Together, we can guarantee that every child has the opportunity to maintain their progress, even during extended school breaks.

As always, stay committed, and remember … When we get it right for the child, we get it right for everyone.  Continue advocating for the best interests of our children.

If you didn’t get a chance to join our live webinar on April 12, 2023, it’s not too late to catch up. Watch the replay and gain invaluable insights that can help determine if ESY services are the right fit for your child. Click the link below to access the webinar replay ⏯️

Webinar Replay

#ESY #SpecialEducation #WebinarReplay #Advocacy 


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