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HomeLearning DifficultiesLegal Rights & AdvocacyIndividuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004Individual Education Plan (IEP)

Services Beyond the School Year for Students With IEPs

Page 3 of 3

GreatSchools Blog

By Candace Cortiella, The Advocacy Institute

What Might ESY Services Look Like?

As noted earlier, ESY services are not necessarily a continuation of the same instructional program and related services the student receives during the normal school year as prescribed by his IEP. IEP teams have flexibility in determining what ESY services might be needed. For example, ESY services may take the form of teachers and parents working together by providing materials for home use with progress monitored by the teacher. Independent service providers or agencies - such as those used by the school district to provide supplemental educational services (SES) under Title I of No Child Left Behind — might be used to deliver ESY services, such as individualized reading instruction.

Once the IEP team agrees upon ESY services, specifics about those services, where the student will receive the services, and how his progress will be measured and reported should be included in the student's IEP.

Action Tips for Parents

  • Obtain a copy of any ESY determination guidelines issued by your school district and/or state. Most states have policies or guidelines regarding ESY. These should be made available to you upon request. Familiarize yourself with the guidelines and ask questions. Contact your state's Parent Training and Information (PTI) Center for additional assistance.
  • Don't wait until late in the normal school year to discuss your child's potential need for ESY services during the summer break. If necessary, request an IEP meeting specifically for the purpose of determining ESY eligibility for your child. Be sure to put this request in writing to the school principal or school district special education director and specify the purpose of the meeting. Make certain that important school personnel - those who know your child best - will attend the IEP team meeting.
  • List all of the factors you think should be taken into consideration when determining your child's need for ESY services. Refer to the types of information listed earlier to help compile your list. Take your list to the IEP team meeting. Remember that the determination should be based on a broad range of factors and an array of information.

Ensuring Accommodations in Non-ESY Programs

Many parents take advantage of school offerings outside of the regular school year, such as summer school and enrichment programs. Parents may be required to pay an additional fee for such programs. While such programs aren't ESY, schools are required by non-discrimination laws such as Section 504 to provide any accommodations a student with an IEP may need to fully participate in them. The student may need a Section 504 Plan to ensure that needed accommodations are provided.

The author wishes to thank Scott F. Johnson, Esq., Professor of Law, Concord University School of Law and founder of NHEdLaw, LLC, and the Education Law Resource Center, for his assistance with this article.

Reviewed February 2010

Candace Cortiella's work as Director of the nonprofit The Advocacy Institute focuses on improving the lives of people with learning disabilities, through public policy and other initiatives. The mother of a young adult with learning disabilities, she lives in the Washington, D.C., area.

Comments from GreatSchools.org readers

06/22/2012:
"thanks for guiding me this far!Tobe continued "
08/17/2011:
"Hi wanted to ask a question on compensatory therapies.My son was awared compensatory therapies but was told that he could not get services during a regal school day has to be after school hours.I live in arkansas wanted to know if this is right what are the laws on this mater. "
04/25/2011:
"I think that this is a GREAT idea. My son has a stuttering problem and without the different speech strategies he regresses during the summer. H"
04/14/2011:
"I disagreed with my child's IEP. I found the goals and objectives were not measurable. You can ask for a reevaluation every year. Then, if you disagree, ask for an independent evaluation. Don't use the one done by the school. Get someone from outside to observe in the classroom and they will tell you how little instruction actually occurs. Read lots of books. Wrightslaw.com is very helpful. Know what programs are effective for teaching writing. Many schools don't use programs that teach reading, then say your child is not making progress and it's all your child's fault. Get modifications and accomodations and make the teachers adher to them. Be a stickler for record keeping and e-mail or write letters every time a teacher doesn't follow the IEP."
04/14/2011:
"The program is fine but what about transportion for kids to and from these programs.my child has a iep and rides the bus to and from school but doing the summer their no bus service and i can't aford bus fare all summer.Same thing with after school programs no buses."
04/14/2011:
"Great article, but what schools should vs WILL provide are two different things. My 8th grade autistic son reads at a 4th grade level. We've tracked that he's not meeting goal and can show regression by the beginning of each school year. They refuse ESY. I'm paying $3,500 to a private provider because I can't wait any longer for the school to do what they're supposed to do."
08/16/2010:
"Thank you for this information now I have something I can request my daughter's IEP team and teacher to include in her IEP because they never said anything about this ESY program."
07/19/2010:
"Hi, i am trying to get extended services for my daughter who has auditory processing problems. She just started receiving speech therapy in school 8th grade. would love to have her get extended services but in your article you stated that it is not necessary for a student to demonstrate previous regression in order to be eligilble. is this a federal or state part of the special ed??? thanks for your help!! I love this site!"
08/20/2009:
"I have a 26 yr old son diagnosed as ADHD, OCD, bi-polar, manic depressive, suicidal. He went through public school with no help other than ME. And I have 3 children besides him! I was actively involved in all his/and his 3 brothers classes K-6, attended JH with him for 3 months, moved him to another JH, and to a third JH - which actually held him accountable for his actions/with home reinforcement, and helped him. I was actively involved with him in HS. The other kids knew I would be around, and he did better with school, knowing that I would find out about anything. He was into drugs by JH, but continued in school AND GRADUATED! He graduated a live-in REHAB 3 years ago, and is GREAT (and much appreciated at his job. He is taking courses at work to continue his I am now a 1 on 1 K-Instructional Asst. in our local public school. I DO NOT understand why a parent would put their child in this environment. This child is obviously not able to keep up with the other children mentally, yet he has to sit in a chair, at a desk, in a school that is 1-yr advanced in all classes, for 1-3 hours at a time. Why do that to a child. He gains nothing, and tax dollars pay this WHY? He needs to be where he can learn life skills by modeling and repetition. The other children are distracted from their studies because he is distracting them. I feel so bad for the teacher. I don't get it! I WILL do my best to help him learn to make circles, but why is this allowed?"
08/20/2009:
"I have a 26 yr old son diagnosed as ADHD, OCD, bi-polar, manic depressive, suicidal. He went through public school with no help other than ME. And I have 3 children besides him! I was actively involved in all his/and his 3 brothers classes K-6, attended JH with him for 3 months, moved him to another JH, and to a third JH - which actually held him accountable for his actions/with home reinforcement, and helped him. I was actively involved with him in HS. The other kids knew I would be around, and he did better with school, knowing that I would find out about anything. He was into drugs by JH, but continued in school AND GRADUATED! He graduated a live-in REHAB 3 years ago, and is GREAT (and much appreciated at his job. He is taking courses at work to continue his I am now a 1 on 1 K-Instructional Asst. in our local public school. I DO NOT understand why a parent would put their child in this environment. This child is obviously not able to keep up with the other children mentally, yet he has to sit in a chair, at a desk, in a school that is 1-yr advanced in all classes, for 1-3 hours at a time. Why do that to a child. He gains nothing, and tax dollars pay this WHY? He needs to be where he can learn life skills by modeling and repetition. The other children are distracted from their studies because he is distracting them. I feel so bad for the teacher. I don't get it! I WILL do my best to help him learn to make circles, but why is this allowed?"
04/27/2009:
">My daughter is presently in a private school for >disabled children. Does she qualify? Or does she have >to be in public school to qualify. It depends ... If your daughter was placed in the private specialized school by your SD because that was deemed to be the appropriate placement for her, then she should easily qualify for ESY. Also, if your daughter has an IEP with the district she may qualify for ESY. However, if daughter's private placement was made by parental choice then I don't believe the school district is required to provide a spot for her in their ESY program. Check Wrightslaw.com to be sure. "
04/16/2009:
"Thank you so much for the information that you provided on ESY program. I was so frustrated about the situation that my son 's been facing for the past few months. My son's attending public school with the ctt program. In november 08 his teacher told me that he' s doing well and met his IEP goals, but in Jan 09, she complaint that my son is far behind in academic and did'nt meet his goals. She also told me that CTT program is not the right program for him. IEP support team come up with the decision that my son has to go to the private school with smaller setting.(12:1). I keep asking the school to help him get a tutor or sending him to summer school. The teacher told me that there is no summer school for first grade. I came to school almost every day since his IEP meeting ask for help no one help me at all. I now have to wait for a mediation meeting. I was so happy to know that there is a ESY program offered for special needs. I will try to bring it up to the medi! ation party. I hope that my son can get extra help during the summer so that he will be able to catch up. Thanks again for the information that you provided."
04/16/2009:
"My daughter is presently in a private school for disabled children. Does she qualify? Or does she have to be in public school to qualify. "
04/16/2009:
"Thanks to GreatSchools.org for featuring this article. It is, as noted, an important time of year. But this year-and this particular time-has even more importance to parents of students with disabilities. That's because local school districts across the country are about to receive (most likely by end of April 2009) an unprecedented infusion of federal funding to support special education services in their districts. These extra funds are part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). The funds must be spent on special education services and must be obligated by Sept. 30, 2011 at the latest. One very suitable use of these funds is to provide additional learning time for students with disabilities-particularly those who are performing poorly on key measures of academic achievement such at the state assessments in reading and math-via extended school year services. I encourage parents to push for these additional learning opportunities even harder during these next two years. Don't hesitate to ask your child's school and school district how they are spending the additional ARRA special education funds they have received--and how those expenditures will improve outcomes for students with disabilities. The U.S. Dept. of Education has stated that 'the additional funding for special education provided by the ARRA will provide an unprecedented opportunity for states, LEAs, and EIS programs to implement innovative strategies to improve outcomes for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities while stimulating the economy.� Let's make sure this opportunity becomes a reality! Candace Cortiella Director The Advocacy Institute "
09/16/2008:
"I have a 16yr old child that reads at the a 2nd grade level sge recieves IEP services and is in Special Education classes can she receive free tutoral services. I hvae no idea how to even get started."
07/10/2008:
"I have an child that receive IEP services I want to know can she receive some free tutoral services."
07/10/2008:
"As the grandmother and guardian of a 13 year old male with ADD I am greatly interested in what programs I can access during the summer months to help my grandson. He receives help at school and has been determined elegible but his progress slips during school breaks and it takes constant monitoring and encouragement to help him succeed. Any programs he may have access to would be a great help."
06/2/2008:
"I am so glad I see this article. I called for an ARD meeting at my son's high school to really request them from retaining him a second time. Reading through the districts website that I learned about summer school for special education ESY -NO- cost. Thank You so very much for this article and website that is my support and teaches me as I advocate for my seventeen year old. God bless you. Mom, Ms. Garcia "
05/6/2008:
"Hello, we're the parents of 4 year-old twin boys. They stopped talking when they were 18 months old. They have received services since they were two and a half years old. One was diagnosed with a mild form of autism and he was placed in an autism class. His behavior began to change, he started to mimick the actions of the other children in the classroom. Actions he had never done before. The other was placed in a regular program and at the age of three transitioned into a preschool under a Prop10 grant and he flourished under that environment. We wanted the same opportunity for our other son and we had him transitioned to the same preschool as his brother and his progress has been phenomenal. We would like for them to remain together in this program another year before sending them to Kindergarten, but being a grant it is unknown if the school will receive it next year. If they do, the boys won't qualify because they will be of Kindergarten age. They will turn five! in November. Our two options are to place our son with autism in a special ed. class with children school age K-3 and his brother in the general class next door so at least they can play together during recess. We are a little frightened to place our child with older students and would prefer to have him be in a class with children his own age. Our other option would be to place them in a private preschool which we would need to pay for and financially that is not possible. Our son with autism needs some hand over hand guidance in the beginning when he is learning something new and needs help with transitions. We live in California, we know that services vary from state to state. Any help is appreciated. Thank You."
04/30/2008:
"hello my daughter has dyslexia and she is going to the 9th grade in september but she is still struggling in reading and writing i am afraid she is going to have a hard time passing i would like to have her in a school that will fit her needs public schools teachers are not trained to teach a child like mind so she can be productive educated young lady."
04/28/2008:
" Hello Everyone; My son is a 19 yr old college student, doing his freshman year he was very excited about going off to school. We decided to not let him take his car because this is his first year. Of course grades went up and down but never the less he made it the first year of college. Then came the second year, yes we let him take the car with him to a different state but all Hell broke lose, my son was caught smoking drugs (joint) with another student. Keep in mine that he is ADD, but he won't take any meds for it, I also know for a fact that he has the systoms. my questions is, do the college have any help for my son. Concern parent"
04/28/2008:
"Thank you for the information. My number one obstacle with my son's IEP is that I feel like as a parent I should be better educated. This would help me and my family make the right decisions for us. The IEP 'system' should be not be a frustration with the schools. Being the school is the very place the attention and assistance is needed and given. This is a place where my child is trying to thrive, academically and socially. There should be something or somewhere for parents to have available resources and people to assist with the schools and community available resources. I am in my third year with IEP 'system' and everything learned thus far has been like having to turn into your own detective. Constructive and insightful services and programs has to be discovered by the parent, they're not readily shared or offered. As for us, the discovering of our child's disability alone has redirected our opportunity to help him be his best self. Our school and community should not be the place for more obstacles and challenges."
04/17/2008:
"My 10th grader has APD since 3rd grade. She overcame it with her determination and hard work and along with family support. She has to work 2X as hard to be equal and 4X to excell. She grad from middle school with 3.8 GPA. She has an A in Algebra with the help of private tutor once a week on 9th grade with a GPA of 3.6. This yr. she's taking Geometry with such a difficulty. Nothing seems to help. I have changed teacher. And even putting in 4X to 5X a week tutoring that's breaking my pocket book. She is so frustrated but would not give up. As the parents it kills me to see her to be all stress out. We are planning for he worst is to re-taking it during the summer. But truly for the first time, I don't see anyway out. She just can't get Geometry at all. I don't think she would have any improvement by repeating the same things that she can not comprehand the first time around. She was never in full time special ed. Only speech therapy once a week for 45 min from! 3rd to 7th grade. It hurts me and upsets me to see her staying up at night to try working on something she just can not do for the first time in her school years. What can I do? It is a basic requirement class for hi school grad. She is planning to go for 4 yrs colloege. We can't not let one class to limit her for qualify for a good state or uc. Any advice? Please help. With all this going on she still maintain A and B with all the other subject, excetp a D for geometry. Pls share your thoughts. Thanks"
04/17/2008:
"I am very interested in finding out more about this. My eighth grader has been struggling since 6th grade, and I am convinced she has a learning disability, but I can't find the right people in our school district to help her. Do you know attention span problems would deem her eligible for ESY Services through Schwab Learning?"
04/16/2008:
"All you need for a 504 plan is a recommendation from your child's pediatrician. He/she will give you the paperwork needed to submit to the school and from there a meeting will (should) be scheduled to discuss the plan. Start with your child's doctor. Good luck."
04/16/2008:
"Thank you, for the information I like to see if someone can tell me I recently moved to another state Orlando-Florida. In my son's current school I was told they will not have the extended program for the summer that they wont know till the end of the school year. Is it possible to go to onother school and request for my child to be placed just for the summer. I assume I have to find out the laws and regulations. THis is what I do miss form New York where I come from kids of special needs get all the help and specially through the summer. My son has an IEP he's delay is Speech makes it diffucult for him to communicate and to process. Making his learning a bit difficult but hes coming along. I would like to tell all those parents of special children not to loose hope and unfortunate for us we have to be the voices for our children, let us not get discourage even though is difficult at times. God gives us the courage to continue for them....."
04/15/2008:
"MY CHILDREN WERE JUST TAKEN OFF OF THIER IEP'S AND ARE BEING MAINSTREAMED TO A REGULAR CLASSROOM. I FEEL THAT THEY AT LEAST NEED A 504. WHAT DOES THIS REQUIRE AND HOW DO I GO ABOUT OBTAINING A 504 AND WHAT AGE CAN I GET ONE. THEY ARE IN KINDERGAREN. "
04/14/2008:
"Thank you for this great information. Our son has central auditory processing delay. It's differcult for him to understand what he has read and put in into words. However, he is very smart and once coached he understands. As to the degree of his understanding is not easy to determine, he gives it his best. I will look into the extended school year."
04/11/2008:
"I am having trouble with the school board agreeing to how I want my sons IEP written. My son is autistic, mainstreamed into reguar ed class with a para. This works really well. He needs to have ESY for the summer. I have requested that he have his ESY at his school with his para. The school does not agree, due to the ESY program that is offered is at another school for all kids in this district. We have it written in my sons IEP that the consistancy is a must for him. The school board says having hm at his own school for ESY is not an option. Part of the reason is due to the fact they don't have a certified teacher at the school during this time and they also need my sons para to work at the ESY program at the other school. They want to mak other arangment with me. Like private ESY at my home. I want my son to continue to go to his home school fo the esy over the summer. Can anyone help me out, please? Thanks"
04/10/2008:
"Thank you for this informative article. I will look into these programs. I have three children who have IEPS and I would love for them to still go to school. "
04/9/2008:
"Thank you for printing this article on ESY. It will be beneficial to me for my ARD next month.Correct me if I am wrong, but if a child is reading on a 4th grade level and is in the 9th grade shouldn't that warrant a need for ESY services in reading?"
04/8/2008:
"Thanks for the article, why is it so hard to get the schools to understand these kids. I am a grandmother raising my 9 year old granddaughter with autism. It is not easy, I just wish the school would come home and stay with her for 24 hrs. and then tell me what she is really like. Te help is hard to come by. Thank You, "
04/7/2008:
"thank you so much for this kind of article. I have a son on the autism spectrum and it is so hard to get his needs met and it makes such a difference in his growth. We are spending a lot to send him to a small private school and I am going to meet with the school district to try and get some help from them. In the past (not wtih the current district) I have met with brick walls I am just not equipped to fight with and it takes all my sanity to just take care of my family day to day. Warmly,"
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