by Diana Parafiniuk
After a year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, school leadership are still navigating the aftermath. Special education administrators across the country are working to identify students with disabilities who have regressed and/or missed extensive amounts of related services. They know students have had difficulty recouping skills from school closures, so are considering an extended school year.
An Extended School Year for special education students
Eligible students with disabilities who receive special education services may get offered an “Extended School Year” (ESY). During the 4-5 weeks off this summer, districts will deliver individualized instructional services beyond the regular 180-day school year, if the Individual Educational Plan (IEP) team determines ESY is needed. ESY services are not the same as summer school or enrichment programs, and generally they are not limited to just summer break.
ESY eligibility determinations and services are being readied to provide services for students with IEPs services, keeping in line with FAPE (free and appropriate public education). IEP teams determine initiation, duration, and frequency of needed services, including compensatory services, to help students receive critical instruction and/or services for mastery of goals. Regression of skills is a major factor in the IEP team’s decision, but each state has different standards, so check your state’s DOE for more information or the U.S. Department of Education for state standards.
Schools may choose to provide ESY services in the ways we are now all accustomed to:
- In-person classes or one-on-one instruction
- Hybrid mix of in-person and virtual
- Virtual classes
Staffing challenges during ESY
The Extended School Year extends after the school year ends to make sure all students are up to date with their IEPs. Given that summer break is the longest break in the school year, that is when many ESY services take place. Because services are held over summer break, staff may have limited ability to provide services.
The challenge for schools is that with low staffing, staff burnout, and higher than normal makeup cases, educators and therapists won’t be able to keep up with the demands they are facing.
This is where E-Therapy can lend a hand to your special education department.
E-Therapy provides teletherapy to schools during ESY
When your school needs teletherapy experts to deliver online services, we are here to help. E-Therapy is not a one-size-fits-all program or approach to school related services. We partner closely with your special education team to fulfil the needs of your school and program.
E-Therapy can shape a program to help your district/school complete Extended School Year services for students in need. We also support your in house school-based therapists by licensing our award-winning platform and training your therapists. Our platform is a great way to get your program running successfully over the 4-5 weeks that ESY is provided.
Let’s talk about your school’s ESY needs
It is important to plan ahead for ESY services and use the 4-5 week time frame to focus on the students who need extra services to make sure regression does not continue. We are here to help your special education team in any way possible.
Contact our Sales team to learn more.
About the author
Co-Founder/Chief Marketing Officer
Diana founded E-Therapy in 2009 after finding herself driving hundreds of miles per week. She knew there must be a better way to deliver speech therapy to students and schools. Today, E-Therapy is an established market leader in teletherapy. We provide the highest quality services and reach students and schools across the United States. Read more about Diana.