How to Get Extended School Year for your Child in Special Education

By: JoAnn Collins

This article will discuss 4 tips that parents of children with disabilities can use to help their child receive extended school year services (ESY). Many children with disabilities require ESY to benefit from their education, these tips will help you in a

Are you the parent of a child with a autism or a learning disability,
who thinks that your child needs an educational program, during the
summer? Do long summer breaks cause your child with emotional
disabilities to regress in behavior? Do you think that your child
needs before or after school, educational services? This article will
give you tips on getting extended school year (ESY), for your child
with a disability.

Definition of extended school year (ESY):

Extended school year is a term, to describe any special education and
related services, which are given outside of the regular school year.
This includes before and after school, special education services.
School districts are required under the Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act (IDEA), to offer extended school year services, if the
child needs it to receive a free appropriate public education.

Tips on getting services:

Tip 1: Use the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), to
help you get ESY for your child. A child qualifies for ESY, if the
services are needed, to help the child receive a free appropriate
public education (FAPE).

Tip 2: Use court cases to bolster your case.There have been quite a
few court cases about ESY, as well as policy letters from state board
of educations, and the Office of Special Education Programs.

Tip 3: Use state and federal policy letters to help you advocate for
ESY. Check your state board of education for any policy letters on
this subject. On February 4, 2003 OSEP released a policy letter that
states "A public agency may not limit extended school year services to
particular categories of disability, or unilaterally limit the type,
amount, or duration of these services." These services must be
provided to the child, at no cost to the parent.

These services may be given before or after school, if your child
needs it, not just during the summer.

Tip 4: ESY must be discussed at your child's annual review meeting.
There is a box that needs to be checked--either yes or no for ESY.
Make sure that you are involved in this discussion, and that any
services offered are listed on your child's IEP.

Children with disabilities can receive a lot of different services
during ESY. They can receive educational services (reading, Math,
written language), self help skills, functional skills to help them
become independent, critical life skills, behavioral interventions,
related services (occupational therapy, speech therapy, physical
therapy). The list can go on and on. You must keep in mind that, your
child must need ESY, in order to receive a free appropriate public
education (FAPE).

Use these 4 tips to advocate for extended school year services for
your child with a disability. Check out http://www.wrightslaw for more
information on ESY, and caselaw.

JoAnn Collins is the mother of two adults with disabilities, and has
been an advocate for over 15 years. Her book "Disability Deception; Lies Disability Educators Tell and How Parents Can Beat Them at Their Own Game" has a lot of resources and information, to help
parents fight for their child. For a free E newsletter entitled send an E mail to: For a link to more free articles go to:

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