With the summer months quickly approaching, we have been receiving a lot of questions about the learning opportunities that will be available during the school break. This year, because of COVID-19 and the legislation that passed during the Special Session called by the Governor to address learning loss, there are a few different options you should know about. We will try to lay out what each option is, and which students may qualify. If you have any questions, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ESY (Extended School Year)
This is the option that students with disabilities may be the most familiar with because it has always been available to students with disabilities who show regression over long school breaks. ESY eligibility is determined by the IEP Team for students who have shown that they have regression in their IEP goals when they are out of school for a longer period of time.
If you feel that your child should be considered, now is the time to call an IEP Team meeting to see if they are a candidate. You should put the request in writing to your child’s file holder. You can say something like, “Hi, my name is ______ and I am ________’s parent. I would like to hold an IEP meeting to determine if my child is eligible for ESY this summer. I have noticed that s/he has shown regression over breaks and I think s/he would greatly benefit from ESY. Thanks!”
Compensatory Education (Comp Ed)
Compensatory Education, sometimes referred to as Comp Ed, is time that is owed to a student who was not receiving a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) while schools were open and other students were receiving FAPE. So, for example, in the spring of 2020 when schools across the state closed due to COVID-19, no student was receiving FAPE, so that time does not need to be made up for students with disabilities. But, during this school year, if your child’s school was providing an education to the general population of students, whether it was in-person, virtual, or hybrid, and your child was unable to access that education or the services that are in their IEP, then you should document the missed time/services and you can ask the school to make up that time as Compensatory Education.
The Arc of the United States created a handy tracking sheet to help you document which services your child did or did not receive. You can find a printable version here in both English and Spanish:
Summer Learning Opportunities
This is about the Learning Loss Bill that passed during the Governor’s Special Session to address learning loss that happened because of school closures due to COVID-19. You can read more about this bill here: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/education/2020-21-leg-session/Learning%20Loss%20Parents%20and%20Families%20Summary%20of%20Legislation%20-%20508.pdf
Your district may have its own name for this summer program, but basically it will be a summer learning program that will be offered to certain students, including students with disabilities, based on prioritization factors that were written in the bill. Your district will notify you if your child qualifies for this summer learning program. If there are spots open after the prioritized students are registered, your district may allow other students to attend if they still have spots open based on staffing. These programs will be curriculum-based and will be a full day of learning content to try and get students back up to grade level. Students with disabilities can attend if this program is the right fit for them, and they should receive any modifications and accommodations listed in their IEP, but they will not be working toward the same IEP goals over the summer. If you think your child should qualify for this program and did not receive an invite, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com and we can help.
Things to Know:
Your experience with these options may vary by district, and some districts may find ways to combine or overlap some of these opportunities during the summer. It is important for families to know that the summer learning opportunities do not take the place of ESY or Comp Ed if your child qualifies for one, two, or all three. If you still have questions about any of these opportunities, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help!