Extended School Year (ESY)
ESY refers to special education and/or related services provided beyond the normal school year of a school division for the purpose of providing FAPE to a student with a disability.
These services, provided by a local education agency, are distinct from enrichment programs, summer school programs, and compensatory services and are not simply an extension of time. The consideration of ESY services is a part of the IEP process. Historically, some have focused on ESY services primarily as a means to address regression and recoupment issues. Recent case law developments in Florida, however, have shown that ESY should be viewed more generally as a means to address the issue of FAPE. In other words, the focus of an IEP team should be on whether the student will receive Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) if ESY services are not provided, and not merely on whether the student is entitled to ESY. The concept of regression may enter into the equation because un-recouped regression, over time, may be evidence that FAPE is not being provided. The IEP team must determine whether the benefits the child gained during the regular school year will be significantly jeopardized if the student does not receive ESY. Based on this analysis, if ESY is determined to be required, these services, at no cost to the parent, will vary in type, intensity, location, inclusion of related services, and length of time, depending on the individual needs of the student.
Santa Rosa County School District Guidelines Handbook for Extended School Year
The IEP must address the provision of ESY services, if required, in order for the student to receive FAPE.
The IEP, in accordance with the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Florida (FLDOE Regulations), must have a statement of the projected dates for initiation of services and the anticipated duration of the services. Thus, any IEP that complies with this requirement already has a built-in mechanism to address the duration of services, whether for the length of the school year or some longer or shorter time.
Factors to be considered when determining the need for ESY services:
An examination of these factors, should lead the IEP team to answer the basic question articulated by the courts: will the benefits a disabled child gains during the regular school year be significantly jeopardized if the child is not provided with the ESY program? If the answer is “yes,” then the child must receive ESY services in order to receive FAPE.