COVID-19 and Extended School Year Services

Schools have closed their buildings until the end of the school year. Some counties are attempting to continue to the end of the year using remote education services like Chesterfield County while others like Henrico County are ending the school year early. For the schools that are ending early, they no longer need to provide service to your child as they are no providing any education to the general population. However there comes a new question to be examined regarding the schools that are ending their school year early, what about students who receive Extended School Year (ESY) services?

The guidance we have been provided by the Department of Education answers what happens during the school year, but we are left without guidance on ESY. All well-developed IEPs have section discussing if your child should receive ESY services, so the first step should be to review your child’s IEP and see if they have already been identified as having a need for ESY services. If the IEP states that they are eligible for ESY then contact the school to determine when those services will begin and what form they will take. If the IEP does not include ESY services then consider the criteria and if you wish to request an IEP meeting to get those ESY services.

We have been provided guidance that IEP meetings can take place over videoconferencing or a conference phone call. If your child has not had their annual IEP meeting yet, or if you wish to hold an IEP meeting to discuss ESY services that meeting can still occur. If the school pushes back remind them that the annual meetings need to take place and that as a parent you can request to convene additional IEP meetings.

Given the current state of school closures, services such as summer schooling will not be available. However one on one tutoring may still be possible. Video conferencing tutoring is another possibility to explore. One option that may be considered is access to online education services such as Study Island. A combination of different options may be what your child will need to make up for the shorter school year. A video conference with a tutor/teacher while they use an online education platform could increase their focus on the education platform and enable them to receive feedback and assistance with their work.

Whether your school has officially ended its school year early due to COVID-19 or they are still going to be providing some level of services, your best practice would be to request an IEP meeting to determine what services your child will be receiving between now and the end of the school year and if they qualify for ESY.

If you have questions about special education, ESY services, or your child’s educational needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at or 804-423-1382.