ESY services are determined by an IEP team. There are many factors that will be taken into consideration during this process. Team members must think about the student’s rate of progress, their impairment, behavioral/physical troubles, and the availability of resources in the district. What will the support at home be like during the summer months? Documents that show a history of regression and extra time to recoup skills and goals from the last academic year can be used. They need to show that IEP goals obtained during the school year will be significantly jeopardized while away from school during the summer months. Time will be spent looking at academic, behavioral, life skills, and other circumstances that may affect that individual student. If a student qualifies for ESY, this means that they would likely continue to receive related therapy services at the same time.

Extended programs are paid for by the school district and the services granted in them will vary based on needs. It may include physical therapy, behavioral support, academic instruction, small group coaching, and more. In the Wakefield Public School District, they have an ESY program for preschool to high school students for five weeks. For four hours a day, students work with teachers and therapists on goal retention. It fulfills what is required by state law, but maintains and strengthens individual skills that will be needed for the new school year. Within the program, they receive special education and related services. Thanks to their program being run by their own district, consistency of therapy providers and teachers is possible.

The key to Extended School Year success is to come up with a plan within your school district. Weigh the benefits of having your own programs versus paying out-of-district providers. They key to success for many children is to understand their regression-recoupment levels from the past and strive to lower that for more progress toward annual IEP goals.