What is ESY?

  • Extended School Year (ESY) IS additional special education services needed for a child with a disability that is  “necessary [for] the child to benefit from his or her education…so that the child can make progress toward the goals specified on the child’s IEP and to prevent regression.”
  • Extended School Year (ESY) IS NOT summer school.  ALL children, especially those with disabilities, would benefit from extra instruction during the summer months; ESY is not for that purpose.


How do they even figure out who needs that?

Some guiding questions from the SC Office of Special Education Services:

  • Does the IEP team think the child will regress (or lose skills) during the school break(s) so that he or she would not be able to pick up where he or she left off?
  • If the child is without special education services during the school break, would that “significantly affect his or her maintenance of skills and behaviors”?  Sometimes we call this a “critical learning period.”  One example is that the child has FINALLY caught on to language acquisition and if she were without special instruction for 10 weeks, next year’s teacher might have to start over.
  • Are there “instructional areas or related services needed that are crucial in moving toward self- sufficiency and independence?”  One example would be a child that maintains good behavior during the school-year because of the super structured nature of the classroom, and 10 weeks without that might send the child back months and months.

From the Office of Special Education Process Guide for South Carolina, Rev. 3/20/2013. http://ed.sc.gov/scdoe/assets/File/districts-schools/special-ed-services/Special%20Ed%20Process%20Guide%20SEPG-2013.pdf