Extended School Year

Extended School Year (ESY) Services are special education and/or related services provided beyond the school calendar.

The eligibility criteria for ESY services are different than for school-year services, so not all students with IEPs are eligible.


  • Eligibility for ESY services considers whether the student is likely to lose critical skills or fail to recover the skills within a reasonable time compared to typical students. It must be determined whether a child's regression would likely be substantial, and whether the child would require a greater than usual time to "recoup"to get back to the level the child had achieved before a break in service.

Other criteria and special circumstances:

  • The nature or severity of the student's disability

  • The student’s rate of progress

  • The student’s specific behavior and/or physical problems

  • The ability of the student to interact with non-disabled students

  • The areas of the student's curriculum that need continuous attention

  • The student’s vocational needs

  • The availability of alternative resources

ESY is discussed and determined at each child’s annual IEP meeting.

  • The Team will consider the need for an ESY program at least annually and record its determination on the Schedule Modification section of the IEP.

  • Early in the school year, a Team may not be able to make a determination for ESY services, so the Team may wish to delay this decision until later in the year so that regression/recoupment data can be collected following school vacation weeks.

ESY services are designed to meet the individual needs of each student.

  • While service delivery is determined on an individual basis, in general Needham’s ESY programming offers academic support in ELA and Math, reading instruction, and related services, as well as instruction for students in specialized programs including: ELC, Connections, LBC, Insight, Bridges and Pathways.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why does my student’s eligibility for ESY change from year to year?
Teams must consider the need for ESY services on an annual basis. Please contact your student’s special education liaison should you have questions regarding your student’s ESY eligibility.

Will my student receive all of the same services through ESY as during the school year?
No. ESY services will target the areas in which the student is at risk of substantial regression and therefore focus will be on these goal areas and services.

Can ESY services help my student “catch up” in areas where he/she has fallen behind during the school year?
No. The intended purpose of ESY services is to prevent substantial regression and to ensure maintenance of skill. ESY services are not intended to advance students in their educational or related goals and objectives.

My student has been found eligible for ESY. Does he/she have to attend?
No. It is the legal right of the parent or guardian to choose whether your student participates in ESY. The District strongly recommends that, if found eligible, your student DOES participate in ESY.

ESY Timeline:

March: Families of eligible students will be notified by their Liaison.

April: The details of a student’s ESY services – for example timing, location, and transportation – will be shared with the family as soon as finalized by the district.

May: Deadline to return consent form and health forms. It is extremely important that families return the forms promptly to enable the district to plan classes and hire the appropriate staff.

July – August: While exact dates vary from year to year, ESY services are typically offered for five to six weeks from early July through mid-August.