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Collecting ESY Data, What’s the Point?

Students who have disabilities that are being delivered support and services through the provisions of IDEA, who have Individual Education Plans (IEPs), MUST be considered for Extended School Year (ESY), every school year. This article explains more about ESY and appropriate data collection.


What is Extended School Year?

In some cases, interruptions in the school schedule, such as summer break, weekends, and holidays, will result in children with disabilities losing their basic skills and taking a long time to get those skills back once school begins again. ESY services are provided during breaks in the educational schedule to prevent this loss.

Extended School Year (ESY) services are special education and related services provided to students with disabilities beyond the regular 180-day school year. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal special education law, requires school districts and charter schools to provide ESY services if a student needs these services to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE).


What ESY is NOT:

Extended School Year services are not day care or respite services. They are not summer recreation programs or other programs or services that are not required to ensure the provision of a free, appropriate public education (FAPE) to a student — even if they provide some educational benefit.


Collecting ESY data is critical for many reasons. In order for IEP teams to determine if ESY is necessary for the student, data must be collected. In addition to progress monitoring information and general education data the IEP team benefits from additional information such as:

Data helps educators and school teams make informed decisions. We collect data all the time, to be sure the students are making progress towards goals.
  • parent input
  • behavioral information
  • medical or outside agency reports
  • information that indicates difficulties which increase or become more extreme during breaks in educational services
  • observations and opinions by the student’s teachers, parents and others
  • results of testing including criterion-referenced tests, curriculum-based assessments, ecological life skills assessments and other equivalent measures.


Students with an IEP receive focused instruction throughout the school year that helps them make progress on their IEP goals. When there is an extended lapse in instruction, like summer, winter and spring breaks, students may regress in IEP and academic skill development. Students may not be able to recoup those skills until instruction has resumed. In order to make informed and defensible decisions whether a student with disabilities requires (ESY) services teachers should:

  • Document data occurring before and after the break to prepare the IEP Team for Extended School Year (ESY) discussions.
  • IEP teams should collect data throughout the school year, then compare the results to what was obtained after the break.
  • Data collection should focus on determining:
    • whether the student regresses when there is a break in instruction;
    • identify IEP skills or behaviors that have a significant loss if educational services are interrupted;
    • length of time for the student to recoup skills; and/or
    • whether the student received private services over the break, and if so, what type of services and for what frequency/duration.


Per IDEA: § 300.106 Extended school year services. (a) General. (1) Each public agency must ensure that extended school year services are available as necessary to provide FAPE, consistent with paragraph (a)(2) of this section. (2) Extended school year services must be provided only if a child’s IEP Team determines, on an individual basis, in accordance with §§ 300.320 through 300.324, that the services are necessary for the provision of FAPE to the child. (3) In implementing the requirements of this section, a public agency may not— (i) Limit extended school year services to particular categories of disability; or

(ii) Unilaterally limit the type, amount, or duration of those services. (a) Definition. As used in this section, the term extended school year services means special education and related services that— (1) Are provided to a child with a disability— (i) Beyond the normal school year of the public agency; (ii) In accordance with the child’s IEP; and (iii) At no cost to the parents of the child; and (2) Meet the standards of the SEA.

Did you Know?

ESY services are not limited to just summer breaks. While this is generally the longest break from the normal school year, ESY services may be needed during shorter breaks (such as winter and spring holiday breaks) of one or two weeks in length. ESY services can even be an extension of the student’s normal school day.


Regression and Recoupment: We say it all the time, but what does it ACTUALLY mean?

According to the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (CLICK HERE) regression and recoupment are:

  • Regression — whether the student reverts to a lower level of functioning as evidenced by a measurable decrease in skills or behaviors that occurs as a result of an interruption in educational programming
  • Recoupment — whether the student has the capacity to recover the skills or behavior patterns in which regression occurred to a level demonstrated prior to the interruption of educational programming


For example, if Sammy was scoring a 70% average on progress monitoring data collection before the extended break, and gets back to 70% with 2 weeks of resumed instruction, that is important information for the IEP TEAM to know when determining if ESY services should be rendered.

After a lapse in instruction, if it is determined that a student reverts to a lower level of functioning as evidenced by a measurable decrease in skills or behaviors which occurs as a result of an interruption in educational programming, then regression of skills has occurred. Be specific and determine what areas of learning regressed. Regression doesn’t need to occur on ALL IEP goals. It is important to determine if the student can recoup the skills that were lost over the lapse of instruction, then document how long it took the student to get back to where they were BEFORE the break in instruction occurred.


Considerations for IEP Teams pertaining to ESY according to, Federal Regulations Part 300.106 State Regulations Chapter 14.132 State Regulations Chapter 711.44 3 REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS states teams should consider:

  • The extent to which a skill or behavior is particularly crucial for the student to meet the IEP goals of self-sufficiency and independence from caretakers.
  • The extent to which successive interruptions in educational programming result in a student’s withdrawal from the learning process.
  • Whether the student’s disability is severe, such as autism/pervasive developmental disorder, serious emotional disturbance, severe intellectual disability, degenerative impairments with mental involvement and severe multiple disabilities.


For more in depth information on ESY service, download Pennsylvania’s (PaTTAN) Technical Assistance Documents/ Extended School Year Programs: A Guide for IEP Teams



  • Federal Statutes 20 S.C. Section 1400 et. seq., (IDEA)
  • Federal Regulations 34 CFR. Part 300

A GUIDE FOR IEP TEAMS https://www.pattan.net/assets/PaTTAN/d9/d9bff18d-b7f2- 4b7a-b33e-430ced8a8fc4.pdf