Supporting Students Beyond the School Year
“Some students need more time, more support…that’s the beauty of this program.”
These are the words of Sherry Zubeck, Director of Early Childhood and Special Education Services for IU13. She’s referring to the Extended School Year program at IU13 and the nearly 500 students who are being served by it this summer.
Students with disabilities may qualify for the Extended School Year (ESY) program, which provides additional educational support services over the summer months. The program is designed so that students do not struggle with significant regression when they return to school in the fall. Should a student with a disability need to play “catch up” at the beginning of the school year (in order to regain previously learned skills), significant instructional time is lost annually.
The ESY program is offered to students from the 22 public school districts in Lancaster and Lebanon counties. This year, students are receiving classroom-based supports and related services including speech and language services, physical and occupational therapy, blind/visually impaired support, and deaf/hard of hearing support.
“I am pleased that IU13 is able to provide these services on behalf of our school districts. For children with disabilities who qualify, ESY is an important part of their program. Parents are relieved to know that local supports can continue throughout the summer, per recommendations of their child’s IEP team,” commented Zubeck. “Through the ESY program, students are sustaining their growth and continuing to reach their developmental goals and milestones, which will support them for years to come.”
IU13 offers the ESY program every summer, and the need for it continues to grow. During this summer’s program, which runs from June 29 to July 31, 2015, IU13 staff will serve the largest number of students in the history of the program. “For many of our staff, this is a deeply rooted ‘calling.’ Hundreds of staff members (professional and support staff) finish out their traditional school year and then apply to work in the ESY program because they are so committed to the students and want to see them succeed,” noted Zubeck.
The IEP for each student determines if summer ESY services are needed – based on the continuation of the Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) provided for students with disabilities. Services can be delivered in a variety of settings, including classrooms, outside of the home school district, or even in the home and/or the community.
To learn more about the Extended School Year program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 717-606-1738.