ESY or Extended School Year is an option for many children with specialized education plans. Many people think of ESY as a form of summer school or tutoring to better prepare their child for September and maybe even make gains! This is not always accurate.
What is ESY?
While ESY is designed to prepare your child for September, it is not an expectation that students will make significant gains. In fact, ESY is designed to help students maintain skills that were taught throughout the year. This decision to attend ESY is made by the IEP team on an individual basis. The ESY services should be at no cost to the parents. Preschoolers that are classified as Preschool Disabled are also eligible to attend. According to NJ State Code,
“An extended school year program is provided in accordance with the student’s IEP when an interruption in educational programming causes the student’s performance to revert to a lower level of functioning and recoupment cannot be expected in a reasonable length of time.”
Is your child eligible for ESY?
If you feel that your child would benefit from ESY, the IEP team will consider all relevant factors. One of the larger considerations will be the amount of time your child needs to recoup information after an extended break. How many hours does it take your child to relearn December’s lessons after winter break? Is your child struggling with June’s mastered goals September through November?
Please note, districts cannot limit ESY services to particular categories of disability or limit the type, amount, or duration of those services. Your child does not have to receive services in a specific placement to be eligible for ESY. Related services and transportation should be considered as an additional supports throughout the ESY session.
From the point of view of the district, if you agree to attend ESY it is in the best interest of your child and the program to attend as much as possible. Children often benefit from routine. ESY programs tend to run on shortened days and with different students. Attendance every day will ensure a comfortable learning environment. Classes without 1-2 students that are scheduled to have 10 waste school funds by having extra teachers on staff and ordering excessive materials.
For more information one ESY for this summer, contact your district, case manager, or teacher.