Extended School Year

student and teacher

Extended School Year (ESY) is a special education service that provides services to students beyond the standard school year in order to maintain a student's learned skills or behavior.
*ESY is not intended to be used to teach new skills or behaviors.*

Thinking about ESY services?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, you should have a conversation with your child's special education teacher.

How is the decision made whether a student requires ESY services?

The IEP team decides whether or not the student requires ESY services. Without a recommendation from the IEP team, ESY services will not be provided. The decision is based upon three criteria: regression, recoupment and critical learning.

  • Regression - All students, disabled and non-disabled, experience regression during breaks in instruction. For purposes of ESY determination, regression is defined as a significant decline in the performance of a skill or acquired knowledge as specified in the annual IEP goals, which occurs during a break in instruction.
  • Recoupment - A student's ability to recoup a skill or relearn the acquired knowledge to approximately the same level that existed prior to the break in instruction.
  • Critical Learning Stage - A student is in a critical stage of developing a skill when he/she has great potential for increasing his/her self-sufficiency in the areas of academics, related services, or social skills/behaviors.
  • Other Items to Consider:

  • ESY is not for all students with a disability. Students who struggle with transitions and/or building rapport with others may have difficulty adjusting to the new staff and/or location within the timeframe of ESY making them unavailable for learning.
  • ESY is not required for the convenience of the school or parent and therefore cannot serve as a day care or respite care service.
  • ESY is not required solely when a child fails to achieve IEP goals during the school year.
  • ESY is not necessary to continue instruction on all of the previous year's IEP goals during the ESY period. Rather, it is time to focus on the critical skills where regression has been documented.
  • ESY is not intended to help students with disabilities to advance in relation to their peers.
  • ESY is not intended to provide education beyond a student's IEP goals.

*Under the guidelines of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 300.309), all school districts must provide ESY services (34 C.F.R. § 300.106) if a student requires such services in order to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).