Think Out of the Box When Creating Your Extended School Year Plan

If the “usual” ESY program offered by the school district does not address your child’s needs, you should request an ESY program that does!

Most of those ESY services look very similar to each other: 4 hours a day, 4 days a week for 4 weeks with related service minutes reduced by about half. Your school district may have told you that this cookie cutter approach to ESY is all that they offer. However, the law states otherwise. Federal regulations define extended school year services as special education and related services that are provided to a child with a disability “beyond the normal school year of the public agency; in accordance with the child’s IEP; and at no cost to the parents of the child”. 34 CFR 300.1 06(b). This same federal regulation prohibits the school district from unilaterally limiting the type, amount or duration of ESY services.

So, what does that mean for you as a parent?

Perhaps request a half a day at school to address educational and related service needs, along with a half day park district program to address social skills needs. Perhaps 4 weeks at the beginning of summer and 2 weeks in August before school starts. And do not forget – if your child needs transportation in order to attend the ESY program, the school district is obligated to provide it as a related service. If you have any questions about whether your child’s ESY services appropriately meet your child’s needs, give Cahill & Associates a call. We can help.

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