Extended School Year:  What’s It All About?

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Extended School Year:  What’s It All About?

Extended School Year:  What’s It All About?

Have you heard of extended school year services, but aren’t sure what they are or what qualifies a student with special needs for them? We’ve got answers for you.

If you have a child with an IEP and you’re curious about extended school year services, here’s the deal: You might be able to get Extended School Year services for your child, or you might not. The term extended school year services (ESY) is a part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, specifically, Sec.300.106. This section was added to ensure that students who forget a great deal of what they learn over the long summer break are provided with continuing instruction. The legal definition of extended school year services states that the term refers to special education and related services that are provided to a child with a disability, beyond the normal school year.

ESY services are not provided all summer long. Usually, such services are made available four to five weeks of the summer, meeting four to five hours per day; often, they’re provided Monday through Thursday.

With summer upon us, this is the time to gain ESY services for this year. Start by contacting your child’s special education teacher or the case manager of your IEP team. They will let you know what steps to take.


ESY is set up to minimize the loss of skills that could occur during a break. The continued program is necessary to ensure that there is no lapse in the support needed to build upon and help the student meet the goals in their IEP. Summer services can maximize a window of opportunity for learning that would be missed if the student had to wait for a new school year in September.


ESY includes interacting and socializing together with peers with the intention of building on the IEP goals.  Curricula here at iCan Dream Center includes fun, theme and project-based instruction, adaptive PE, music, art, and the continuation of job skills. We love to have fun during the summer too and take plenty of offsite, organized excursions where we can practice our skills and work toward reaching our goals!