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  • Pepi M. Silverman

Extended School Year Is Not Merely A Summer Band Aid

As the school year comes to an end, the IEP offers a service that can connect time away from school to ensure that student progress continues.

The definition of “extended school year” states that special education and related services can be provided to a student with an IEP, beyond the normal school year term. For some students, extended school year can provide assistance after holiday breaks, like winter or spring break; for others, extended school year or ESY can be a bridge over the summer between the end of one school year and the start of another in order to support student skill attainment.

School districts tend to provide ESY services that align with that district’s summer school program. For many students, a summer-school-like service can provide sufficient support, but there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” when it relates to an individual education plan.

Many school districts operate from a misconception that ESY is only intended for students with severe disabilities, but that is an incorrect assumption. A component of ESY is the consideration of “regression and recoupment”, which relates to the time period that a student’s skills might regress and the time period it would take to recoup or regain those same skills. School teams should be gathering data throughout the year to measure a student’s regression and recoupment needs. While data collection is critical, it is equally important to measure the necessity for continued services for a student’s educational progress to be achieved.

Make sure that ESY is given appropriate consideration at every IEP meeting.

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