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Extended School Year (ESY): Getting Help During School Breaks

If your child needs help in learning during school breaks, talk to your IEP team.


Can my child get help in learning once school is out?
Help for your child doesn't end once school's out. Your child may need help so he doesn't forget what he learned. Or he may need help learning a skill that he's almost got. This help is called Extended School Year services (ESY).

Your child can usually get ESY help during the summer break. You can ask for help during other school vacations, like Easter and Christmas. But not many people get help then.

Who can get help
All children who get special help in school must be "considered" for extended school year help. That means that your IEP team must talk about if your child needs ESY. But that doesn't mean that your child will get this help for sure.

Does my child need ESY?
Each state decides what the rules are. Your child may need this help if:

  • He forgets what he learned at school during school breaks. This is called regression (re-GRESH-un).
  • He has trouble working as well as he did before the break. This is called recoupment (re-KOOP-ment).
  • He is just about to learn a very important skill (like reading). But he won't if he doesn't get help.
  • He has serious disabilities, like autism or cerebral palsy.

What help your child can get
ESY help could be:

  • Practicing how to take care of himself
  • Going over things he learned during the school year
  • Learning how to get along with other children
  • Practicing controlling his feelings or actions
  • Getting to the place where he can get help
  • Getting physical therapy

This help can be different
This kind of help only has to keep your child from forgetting what he learned during the year. If you're only worried about one area, your child will only get special help in that area.

Can the school district limit the help my child gets?
If your child's IEP team has decided what your child needs, your school district can't put limits on:

  • What kind of help your child gets
  • How much help your child gets
  • How long the help lasts

Where your child can get ESY services
If the IEP team decides, the school district can give your child ESY help in different places:

  • Summer school
  • Tutoring at home
  • Going away to a school where he would live
  • Summer camp
  • Private summer school programs

Next: How to get ESY for your child.

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