The Extended School Year Program in the Westfield Public School District focuses on maintaining and strengthening academic skills through the summer to prepare students for the new school year. In its 19th year, the five-week, state-mandated ESY program assists students in preschool through high school who have been identified as those who would benefit from additional instruction and related services during the summer.
Instructional specialists in reading, behavior/social skills, speech, occupational and physical therapy join special education teachers, paraprofessionals and a registered nurse in administering the program. Many of the ESY staff are longtime educators and aides with Westfield Public Schools.
“After experiencing a year full of unknowns, the Extended School Year program has provided a consistent and safe environment for our students to thrive,” says Alex Linden, ESY supervisor and a special education teacher at Edison Intermediate School. “It has been a true pleasure seeing first-hand the amazing quality of instruction by the teachers, therapists, and paraprofessionals. They have all worked together to retain and strengthen our students’ academic and social-emotional skills.”
Twenty-nine students in grades 6-12 attend the ESY program at Westfield High School, each with a morning homeroom and a rotation schedule of core academic classes. Enrolled in the preschool through fifth grade ESY program at Wilson Elementary School are 111 students who also receive instruction in reading, writing, and mathematics, along with related services, while learning about conflict resolution through an engaging course called Peaceful Playground.
Fifteen students receive related services only, which can include OT, PT, speech, behavioral services and reading instruction through the Wilson Reading System.
The ESY program in Westfield Public Schools runs from July 6 through August 9.