Reforming Provision of Extended School Year Services


In February 2017, the School District of Philadelphia signed a settlement agreement with parents of students with disabilities in which the District agreed to provide individualized determinations for Extended School Year Services (ESY) and to provide services beyond one-size-fits-all, “cookie-cutter” summer ESY programs for those students who need different and/or additional services.  The District also agreed to train personnel regarding individualized ESY determinations and services and committed to discussing ESY services as part of each student’s IEP.  In addition, the District agreed to improve its communications with parents about their child’s rights to individualized ESY determinations and services by offering trainings and written notifications, including an ESY Services Notice to be given during February report card conferences.

Through our monitoring efforts and communications from parents like you, we learned that the District failed to provide the requisite ESY Services Notice in several district schools. If you did not receive the ESY Services Notice please contact Darlene Hemerka 267-546-1314 or

We also learned of other violations of the settlement agreement, which we have brought to the District’s attention in a series of letters:

In response to our communications, the District informed us that parents with ESY concerns may e-mail the District directly at to report ESY-related issues. 

If you are reporting an issue to the District via and wish to assist us in tracking such issues, please copy Darlene Hemerka on your e-mail to the District by cc’ing

Note: e-mailing the District to report problems with ESY may not resolve your issue.  Parents/guardians should also consider requesting mediation, a due process hearing, and/or filing a complaint through the state’s complaint procedures.  The Public Interest Law Center does not represent individuals in such mediation, due process hearings, or filing complaints with the state but we can connect you to special education attorneys with whom you may consult and who may represent you at no cost.