Carol Sadler
Special Education Consultant/Advocate
1105 Rock Pointe Look
Woodstock, GA 30188

I am a lay Parent Advocate assisting parents of children with disabilities in school IDEA, 504 and SST meetings. I am a former CHADD and LDA Coordinator, graduate of the 1st GA Advocacy Office PLSP legal training course and most importantly parent of two children with various disabilities.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

ESY - Nancy O'Hara - PEPP Chat 2004

Nancy O’Hara – GA DOE Compliance Officer


FYI – Additional information on ESY.  Also see


Advocacy & Consulting Services - IEPadvocate4you
Carol Sadler, Special Education Consultant/Advocate
GA Advocacy Office PLSP I Graduate
1105 Rock Pointe Look
Woodstock, GA 30188


"There is nothing more unequal than the equal treatment of unequal people." ---- Thomas Jefferson


Information contained in this communication is confidential and privileged. It is not meant to represent legal or medical advice, but rather advice given based on my knowledge as a trained Parent Advocate by the GA Advocacy Office, Council of Parent Advocates & Attorneys, CHADD, LDA, the GA DOE Parent Mentor program as an invited guest and the special education attorneys that I often work with on educational matters. Please do not forward without my permission.







The following is an informal summary of last Night’s Chat and is paraphrased in some instances.



By Nancy O’hara


As to receiving ESY services under a Title One school. I would tend to say that the tutoring services available through Title 1 will not be called ESY in most systems. However, with the requirement of Title 1, there are likely to be more services than at other times.


Regression is only one criteria IEP teams must consider for ESY. Others things which should be considered are the age of the child, the severity of the child, and the child’s  needs. Also consider the transition plan, the progress on the goals and objectives, the regression, all goals and objectives that include academic, behavior, social, communication, motor, vocational, and mobility.


If the child is significantly behind academically then the factors which caused this must be known. ESY is an IEP team decision. Many factors impact the decision of the team. When a child is four years behind ESY should be seriously considered and I would look at it in the light of access to the curriculum.


When a child misses a subject due to scheduling conflicts with resource is it a reasonable request this be made up in ESY?  Consider whether or not the provisional ESY gives the student access to the general curriculum with his or her peers. Certainly subjects such as Social Studies should be covered and if it was ignored during the school year it seems a reasonable request for the instruction to occur.


When considering whether ESY is necessary and appropriate, is the IEP team required to take parent observations into consideration as far as how the child did when on much shorter breaks?  For example, if a child really had a hard time during a two week break from school and lost some skills can this be partially evidenced by parent's observations and comments?


The IEP team is always to consider parent input and information when making decisions.  When considering regression, you also have to consider recoupment and the impact on education.


What happens when a county sets the duration for ESY? A county should consider the individual needs for ESY not a set program. The decision for 4 weeks or one week or every week during summer for ESY should be based on individual student decision.


It is important to have facts and evidence to document why ESY is needed and the frequency you feel is critical and why. Often the system does not have evidence to dispute your preparation. It is important to remember that ESY is a consideration for all students, but it only provided when FAPE cannot be achieved without ESY.


ESY is also extended year which can be summer but it can be to other times when there is a break or even, extended day. Many times when I speak to parents, they are looking for summer programming rather than necessary ESY services and that becomes a different issue.


If the IEP team requires ESY during a month the county’s teachers do not work then it is up to the county to provide. Depending on  what was going to be provided, they could contract with someone else , contract with another agency, if the school is not open during the month of July.


the key is what the IEP discussion calls for, how much ESY and how often, these are  all IEP decisions, not administrative decisions. The IEP should dictate ESY services.


How do you convince the LEA that they cannot limit ESY to June only.  Documentation is important, many times you can be more prepared than the system and then it is hard to disagree. The reason that the you, as the team, determined ESY was necessary could impact how frequently and consistently it is provided.  Only providing specific times does not meet GA DOE guideline if that the way for all students who need ESY.


If the school says no for the month of July than you could suggest contracting out with someone else?  Yes, if the system cannot provide from their staff, but the IEP says it is needed, they can contract it out at the schools expense but the IEP has to require it.


No category of disability is a guarantee for ESY. The need and the documentation of impact on education are the keys when discussing ESY.


If a child is receiving speech/OT/resource during the regular school year is the school required to give these services during ESY?  Not necessarily, it is all dependent on what is needed to provide FAPE. Consideration must be given to the question- Without these services would the child receive FAPE.


More often than not, ESY is only for specific goals or services and not a daily or all day service. Lack of proper data is often part of the problem. A parent should speak to the IEP team on facts rather than emotion.


My LEA is always given a list by the resource teacher about what they think should be worked on, shouldn't the parents have input? The parents should have input about which goals/objectives are the ESY service.


So in presenting parental concerns for ESY a parent should show evidence of each break such as negative impact of readjustment after a break, length of recoupment, significant transition issues, severity of the disability ,  and other criteria?  You also would want to consider how critical the skill is,  the need of a skill for the next projected environment, the sudden emergence of skill that has been a long time coming. Documentation example is having a parent-teacher conference after holiday break and noting difficulties returning to school. Emergence of skills- you would consider if the skill that is just emerging is so critical that we need to maintain it through ESY so as not to allow that skill to go away. Several examples of emerging..speech in child who has not talked or learning to lift the spoon to the mouth for a student who has been working on that for several years.


You can also consider the transition plan and is it critical to that plan, what delay or interruption there has been in the school year.


What if a child has missed a lot of days because of illness, could this be important in the decision,. of ESY? Absence is something to be considered, but is not a guarantee of ESY.


If a child has a high IQ but is failing math due to LD can a tutor be requested under ESY services to the IEP team for consideration. I think Extended Services would be appropriate to consider in this situation because the student is not learning the curriculum due to his or her disability. 


If LD high school student fails academic subjects but makes “adequate progress” according to school, should ESY be looked at?


ESY could certainly be looked at if a course is failed, and progress is made on goals. However, you also have to look at how or why the student failed, due to his or her disability, due to other factors, failing is not automatic ESY guarantee.


Our son’s new neuropsych, his IQ is going down. He is not retaining what he learns due to his disability. I am hope to continue ESY services. We are not sure he is learning a whole lot according to the test results. What should we do?


Not retaining what is being taught is a cause for concern and should not wait until ESY. If a student is failing to learn, the IEP team should meet to consider further instructional strategies, one of which may be ESY.


If a child is failing a grade because no supplemental aids or services have been provided and IEP is in place but the child is only now being considered for supplementary aids is ESY reasonable to request?


It is hard for me to say definitely because I don’t know all the circumstances why no supplementary aids or services were provided but in general, just because something was recently added to the IEP (like near the end of the year) is not a reason for ESY.


How are supplemental services different from ESY and which fund is used?


It probably all comes out of state funds. Supplemental services are the things needed to assist in the education of students with their nondisabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate. Funds: Systems get federal funds dollars to cover the excess costs of special education, but they also have basic state dollars and local funds.  So access to aids and services should not be driven by school budgetary concerns. Funds should not drive services as with the rest of the IEP.


What if it takes until March to get an IEP and your child is determined to be dyslexic during the testing process, would ESY to remediate this be reasonable to request?


Depending on why it took until March to get the services, if the system delayed, then you may want compensatory services more than ESY.


My child was found to have decoding problems and I asked for reading remediation last year in the spring. It has taken this long and still it has not begun due to their need to train a teacher in the method that will be used. So it looks as though his remediation will start late but he needs it and needs intense remediation to catch up as he is 5 grades behind in reading level. Can I ask for ESY for this or is the terminology that should be used in my case “compensatory services”?  Can they take place in the summer?


I think it is reasonable to ask based on what you have said. Without knowing all the details, I cannot tell you what the IEP decision will be.  Compensatory services come into play when the system has erred rather than the student having needs that are unmet even with the implementation of the IEP.


Terminology may not be as important as understanding that any service can be provided at any time if it is needed to provide the student access to his or her education and FAPE.  The important thing is that your child receive the services they need.


When should parents start talking about ESY? ESY is not a summer service but can be at other times. ESY can be brought up at any time during the year, but is required at least once during the year. Often when we wait until late May to talk about ESY and then there is a disagreement with the family and the school it is hard to get the disagreement worked out to provide ESY in the summer. I recommend meeting about ESY earlier and it can be done anytime.


What is your suggestion when systems don’t have the data to deny ESY and the only thing they talk about is regression and never look at other areas yet we know they have to?


One thing you can do is show them the state rule, 160-4-7-09 that lists multiple factors to consider. This rule is the state rule for IEP’s but has information about ESY embedded in it.


This rule can be found on the GA DOE website, the PEPP website