As noted earlier, ESY services are not necessarily a continuation of the same instructional program and related services the student receives during the normal school year as prescribed by his IEP. IEP teams have flexibility in determining what ESY services might be needed. For example, ESY services may take the form of teachers and parents working together by providing materials for home use with progress monitored by the teacher. Independent service providers or agencies – such as those used by the school district to provide supplemental educational services (SES) under Title I of No Child Left Behind — might be used to deliver ESY services, such as individualized reading instruction.
Once the IEP team agrees upon ESY services, specifics about those services, where the student will receive the services, and how his progress will be measured and reported should be included in the student’s IEP.
Action Tips for Parents
- Obtain a copy of any ESY determination guidelines issued by your school district and/or state. Most states have policies or guidelines regarding ESY. These should be made available to you upon request. Familiarize yourself with the guidelines and ask questions. Contact your state’s Parent Training and Information (PTI) Center for additional assistance.
- Don’t wait until late in the normal school year to discuss your child’s potential need for ESY services during the summer break. If necessary, request an IEP meeting specifically for the purpose of determining ESY eligibility for your child. Be sure to put this request in writing to the school principal or school district special education director and specify the purpose of the meeting. Make certain that important school personnel – those who know your child best – will attend the IEP team meeting.
- List all of the factors you think should be taken into consideration when determining your child’s need for ESY services. Refer to the types of information listed earlier to help compile your list. Take your list to the IEP team meeting. Remember that the determination should be based on a broad range of factors and an array of information.
Ensuring Accommodations in Non-ESY Programs
Many parents take advantage of school offerings outside of the regular school year, such as summer school and enrichment programs. Parents may be required to pay an additional fee for such programs. While such programs aren’t ESY, schools are required by non-discrimination laws such as Section 504 to provide any accommodations a student with an IEP may need to fully participate in them. The student may need a Section 504 Plan to ensure that needed accommodations are provided.