5 Steps to a Successful ESY for Your Child with Special Needs

Summer break is almost here, but for many special needs students, the end of the school year brings anxiety about losing hard-won skills.  Extended School Year (ESY) programs can bridge that gap, but navigating the process can feel overwhelming.  Here are five steps to ensuring a successful ESY for your child along with tips on how Let’s Go Learn can help.

1.  Understand Eligibility:  ESY isn’t for every student.  Work with your child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) team to determine if ESY is necessary to prevent regression of critical skills.  The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) outlines guidelines, but eligibility can vary by state.

2.  Develop a Plan:  If your child qualifies, collaborate with the IEP team to create a customized ESY plan. This plan should detail the specific goals your child will work on, the types of services offered (speech therapy, occupational therapy, etc.), and the service frequency.

Successful ESY

Let’s Go Learn can help by: Providing data that is invaluable during IEP meetings when discussing the need for ESY and creating a targeted plan.

3. Focus on Maintaining, Not Introducing: The primary goal of ESY is to prevent regression, not introduce new skills.  The ESY plan should focus on reinforcing the academic, social, and functional skills your child has already mastered.

Let’s Go Learn can help by: Offering creative gamified activities that target your child’s specific IEP goals. This keeps learning engaging and reinforces skills in a fun way.

4. Make It Fun and Engaging: ESY should be a positive experience for children.  Incorporate activities they enjoy and tailor the learning environment to their needs.  Consider shorter sessions with frequent breaks, or incorporate movement and sensory activities.

Let’s Go Learn can help by: Presenting a library of engaging interactive activities that cater to different learning styles. You can find games and other resources that make learning enjoyable and effective.

5. Communication Is Key: Maintain open communication with the ESY teachers and therapists.  Discuss your child’s progress regularly and share any concerns you may have.  Also, keep the regular education teachers informed about the ESY plan.

Let’s Go Learn can help by: Providing a platform to share information and updates with teachers and therapists. This streamlines communication and keeps everyone on the same page regarding the child’s progress.

By following these steps and leveraging the strengths of Let’s Go Learn, you can ensure a successful ESY experience for your child. Remember, summer learning can be fun and enriching, and ESY can be a valuable tool to keep your child on track toward achieving their full potential.