Coronavirus (COVID-19) - End of Year Services
Coronavirus (COVID-19) - End of Year Services
Coronavirus (COVID-19) End of Year Services
April 12, 2021
Requesting Extended School Year Services For Your Child Before the End of the 2020-2021 School Year
The school year will end in a couple of months. Before the school year ends, you should consider asking your child’s IEP team for Extended School Year, or ESY, services for your child. Your child may need ESY if:
- They have regressed;
- They have not made progress;
- They have difficulty relearning skills; and/or
- They have had an interruption in services because of remote learning.1
What is ESY?
School districts must provide students with IEPs with a free, appropriate public education, or FAPE. 20 U.S.C. § 1400(d); 34 C.F.R. § 300.101(a). A FAPE means special education and related services that are provided to a student without charge, meet appropriate standards, and conform with a student’s Individualized Education Program (“IEP”). 20 U.S.C. § 1401(9); 34 C.F.R. § 300.17.
A student’s IEP team will determine whether the student needs ESY. 34 C.F.R. § 300.106(a)(2); 5 C.C.R. § 3043(b). Not all students who have IEPs are eligible for ESY. ESY may be necessary for some students to receive a FAPE. Letter to Harkin, 213 IDELR 263 (1989).
ESY includes special education and related services. 34 C.F.R. § 300.106. ESY services are provided free of charge. 34 C.F.R. § 300.106(b)(1)(iii); 5 C.C.R § 3043. ESY services are documented in the student’s IEP.
ESY is provided when a school is typically not in session, such as during the summer.2 ESY services:
- are not “summer school” and must be “educationally based,” that is, related to your child’s IEP goals and services; and
- do not include child care or respite care; it is meant to help your child reach minimum levels, not to have them surpass their peers.
In California, a student with an IEP is eligible for ESY services if:
- The student’s disabilities “are likely to continue indefinitely or for a prolonged period”;
- An interruption in the student’s educational program may cause regression;
- The student with a disability has limited ability to relearn skills, known as recoupment capacity; and
- The above factors make it “impossible or unlikely” that the student with a disability will attain self-sufficiency and independence without ESY services.
5 C.C.R. § 3043. However, the “lack of clear evidence” of the above factors may not be used to deny a student ESY if the IEP team determines the need for such a program and it is written into the IEP. 5 C.C.R. § 3043.
How Can You Prepare for an IEP Meeting to Request ESY Services?
Parents/guardians are important members of the IEP team. You bring a unique perspective of your child to the IEP team. You can share your observations of your child’s behavior, comments, attitude, growth, progress, and/or regression. You can also share your thoughts on the availability of alternative supports and resources for your child.
Before the IEP meeting, you can write down your observations of your child – inside and outside of class time. You can look at progress reports on IEP goals, grades, and/or assessments of your child in the past months. Gather information that helps show the IEP team how your child’s educational programming will be interrupted without ESY, such as information that shows your child:
- Is likely to lose critical skills or regress;
- Is on the verge of a breakthrough or obtaining a “crucial skill” (such as toileting, calculating, verbalizing);
- Is likely to have their learning disrupted if there is an interruption in services;
- Has behaviors that interfere with their education;
- Has specific areas of the curriculum that need continuous attention;
- Has not made enough progress toward a goal, which will prevent them from receiving meaningful benefit over the next school year;
- Has made little or no progress; and/or
- Has any other special circumstance.
You may want to be prepared to share with the IEP team:
- Any challenges your child experienced during remote/distance learning;
- Any lack of access to other resources and supports; and/or
- Any services and supports that you are unable to provide to your child at home because you are not trained to provide those services, like speech and language.
At the IEP Meeting
At the IEP meeting, ask the IEP team to provide your child with ESY services. Share the information you have collected about your child’s need for ESY services with the IEP team.
The IEP Team may agree to provide your child with ESY services. If so, the IEP team should discuss the specific services and/or instructional program as well as the location, hours and necessary personnel. Special education and related services offered during ESY must be comparable to the special education and services the student receives during the regular school year. 5 C.C.R. § 3043(f)(2).
As examples, ESY services can include:
- Speech and language therapy a few times per week;
- One-on-one tutoring;
- Summer tutoring, summer camps, and/or summer recreation programs; and/or
- One-to-one job training, shadowing or coaching for older students.
What the District Cannot Do
Your school district cannot:
- Limit ESY services to a particular type of disability;
- Decide on its own to limit the type, amount or duration of services;
- Offer a take it-or-leave-it summer school schedule or one-size-fits-all program; or
- Require that a student fail first before offering and providing ESY services to a student.
34 C.F.R. § 300.106(a)(3).
If You and the District Disagree About Whether Your Child Should Receive ESY Services
You and the school district may disagree about whether your child should receive ESY services. If there is a disagreement, you can file a due process complaint against the school district.
Please refer to Chapter 6 of DRC’s Special Education Rights and Responsibilities Manual for more information: https://serr.disabilityrightsca.org/. You can also contact DRC’s Intake line for information and assistance at 1-800-776-5746.
- 1. This page is based on a model letter by Attorney Stephen A. Rosenbaum.
- 2. 5 C.C.R. § 3043(c) (in California, “extended year” means the time between the close of one academic year and the beginning of the succeeding academic year); 71 Fed. Reg. 46,582 (2006) (noting that federal regulations allow a school district to provide ESY services “during time other than the summer, such as before and after regular school hours or during school vacations.”).