Extended School Year (ESY)

  • Extended School Year (ESY) is not the same as basic skills/targeted services summer school. ESY is a mandatory extension of the special education services continuum to learners with a disability over the summer months in order to provide a free and appropriate public education. Although the specific reason for providing ESY varies from learner to learner, the need for service arises when it is suspected the learner will suffer a significant loss of a critical skill as a result of a lengthy break in instruction.

    Eligibility for ESY is not determined solely by the student’s providers; service providers will bring ESY recommendations to the IEP meeting based on data collected on goal(s). The ESY eligibility determination is based on the student’s current status of their goal(s) and eligibility will be determined through the IEP process.

    For the IEP Team to have data to make the determination for ESY services the case manager needs to collect data for the student on an ongoing basis throughout the school year in one of the following areas:


    Regression - means a significant decline in the performance of a skill or acquired knowledge specified that occurs after a break in instruction. Recoupment refers to a pupil's ability to regain the performance of a skill or acquired knowledge to approximately the same level of performance just prior to the break.

    Teams need to answer this question: Has there been a significant regression of a skill or acquired knowledge for the pupil's level of performance on an annual IEP goal that requires more than the length of the break in instruction to recoup. A guideline to consider is the measurement of regression based on a break from school for 2 or more weeks. Each fall, review and re-teaching are a common part of an educational program.

    Self-Sufficiency Attainment

    Self Sufficiency means the functional skills necessary for a pupil to achieve a reasonable degree of personal independence as typically identified in the annual IEP goals for a pupil requiring a functional curriculum.

    Teams need to answer this question: Are these services necessary for the pupil to attain and maintain self-sufficiency because of the critical nature of the skill addressed in their annual goal, the pupil's age, level of development, and timeliness for teaching the skill. Also, to attain self-sufficiency, a pupil must maintain skills consistent with the pupil's IEP goals in any of these areas listed:

    • basic self-help, including toileting, eating, feeding, and dressing;
    • muscular control; physical mobility;
    • impulse control;
    • personal hygiene;
    • development of stable relationships with peers and adults;
    • basic communication; or
    • functional academic competency, including basic reading and writing skills, concepts of time and money, numerical or temporal relationships.

    Pupil's Unique Needs

    Given the pupil's unique needs, the IEP team determines that ESY services are necessary to ensure the pupil receives a free, appropriate public education. This area may be considered only under specific circumstances that would not fall under the two previously listed criteria and requires formal approval from the special education director.