IEP TEAM CONSIDERATION OF ELIGIBILITY FOR EXTENDED SCHOOL
What is Extended School Year?
Extended School Year services are required special education services and related
services that are provided beyond the limits of the traditional school term. An extended
school year may be necessary when a student is likely to experience regression in areas of
learning crucial to his or her attainment of self-sufficiency and independence during
extended breaks. If regression is likely to be so severe that the student would not be able
to recoup the losses in a reasonable period of time, or would not be able to attain the
planned educational goals, then ESY should be considered. A child’s Individual
Education Program (IEP) guides ESY services. These services may differ from the
services that are provided during the regular school term. ESY services are not, and
should not be confused with, permissive summer school programs or services.
How do you determine eligibility for ESY?
The determination of a student’s need for ESY services is the responsibility of the
IEP Team and shall not rest with any single individual. The IEP Team should
consider the need for ESY by reviewing the student’s progress toward reaching
IEP goals in the previous year and asking a number of relevant questions.
o Was the student able to meet quarterly benchmarks in all areas?
o Has there been a pattern of severe regression noted when the student did
not receive instruction in the past due to extended absence from school?
o If there is a pattern of regression, after review and re-teaching is the
student able to recoup lost skills within a reasonable amount of time so
that progress toward attainment of goals is continuing?
Attainment of goals related to the development of self-sufficiency and
independent living skills such as the following should be reviewed for
consideration of ESY:
o Motor, communication, or social skill levels that suggest a critical need for
continuity in order to maintain these levels
o Behavioral needs, particularly the need for highly structured
programming, to maintain behavioral controls established during the
previous school year
o Sensitivity to critical learning stages at certain times during development
o Areas of learning crucial to the student’s attainment of self-sufficiency and
o Skills necessary for postsecondary transition, i.e. vocational training
o Failure to meet the IEP standard of a significantly modified curriculum
NO comprehensive eligibility criteria exist in the laws – the courts have only
mentioned general standards, which indicate when ESY should be a part of the
It should be noted that providing an extended year is the exception, and not the
In order to assure that students in need of ESY services are not overlooked, it is
recommended that ESY eligibility be considered at least annually at the IEP
meeting. It is further recommended that this determination be made prior to
March 1 to allow sufficient time to arrange such services.
Program considerations should be made that result in a minimum of overlap of
services. For example, if communication skills can be maintained through other
program areas (CD, AUT, EC), additional Speech/Language ESY is not
IEP teams should use the ESY standards listed on the following page when
determining student need for ESY services.
Standard #1: No Single Criterion
A single standard should not be used as the sole criterion for the
provision of ESY services.
Standard #2: Regression/Recoupment
This is the key consideration when determining a child’s need for ESY
services. Regression refers to the loss of attained skills, which may
occur over the summer months. Recoupment refers to the ability of the
student to regain the same level of achievement that existed prior to
summer vacation. Use 9 weeks or 45 days normal recoupment time as
a guideline. Recoupment time exceeding this may indicate a need for
ESY services. The fundamental question that the IEP Team must
address is whether the child requires ESY services in order to receive
the minimum benefits of a free and appropriate public education when
he/she returns to school in the fall.
Standard #3: Emerging Skills
Emerging skills refers to a critical stage of skill development, which
has a great potential for increasing a student’s self-sufficiency. If the
interruption of service due to summer vacation would jeopardize the
continued acquisition of this skill, the child should be considered for
Standard #4: Nature and Severity of the Child’s Disability
No student can be included or excluded from consideration for ESY
based solely on disability category.
Standard #5: Notice and Timing
A student’s eligibility for ESY services should be considered at each
annual review of the IEP. Decisions need to be made early enough so
that parents have adequate time to exercise their rights.
Standard #6: Content and Duration of ESY Services
ESY services can vary greatly since they are determined on an
individual basis. Determination of hours per day, days per week, and
total weeks need to be made on an individual basis.
Standard #7: Ability of Parents to Provide an Educational Structure at Home
The IEP committee may determine that ESY services are not necessary
when parents are willing and able to provide the proper structure and/or
opportunities to reduce regression or recoupment time. The availability
of appropriate school/community resources should also be considered
in this decision.
Extended School Year Services ARE:
Based only on the individual student’s identified skills that are critical to his/her
overall educational progress as determined by the IEP committee;
Designed to maintain mastery of critical skills and objectives represented on the
IEP and achieved during the regular school year;
Designed to maintain a reasonable readiness to begin the next year;
Based on multi-criteria and not solely on regression;
Considered as a strategy for minimizing regression of skill, thus shortening the
time needed to gain back the same level of skill proficiency that existed at the
end of the school year;
Delivered in a variety of environments and structures, such as:
Home with the parents teaching and staff consulting
School based with community activities
Related services alone or in tandem with the above.
Extended School Year Services ARE NOT:
Mandated 12-month services for all students with disabilities;
Required for the convenience of the school or parents and, therefore, cannot serve as
a day care or respite care service;
Required or intended to maximize educational opportunities for any student with
Necessary to continue instruction on all of the previous year’s IEP goals during the
ESY period; rather, the focus should be on those identified skills where regression,
due to an extended vacation period, may occur;
To be considered to help students with disabilities advance in relation to their peers;
For students with disabilities who exhibit regression that is solely related to medical
problems resulting in degeneration, or transitional life situations such as divorce or
death of a family member. This type of regression is not due to the interruption
caused by summer vacation;
Subject to the same least restrictive environment (LRE) requirements as the
educational program provided during the regular school year;
Required solely when a child fails to achieve IEP goals and objectives during the
To provide a child with education beyond that which is prescribed in his/her IEP
goals and objectives;
“Credit recovery” programs for students who have failed a course during the school