August 10, 2022 -
In its 20th year, the Extended School Year Program in the Westfield Public School District 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.
The five-week, state-mandated ESY program, which ran from July 6 through August 9, helps to prepare students for the new school year.
“The ESY program provides a safe environment for students to review material from the previous year while maintaining and strengthening academic skills for the upcoming year,” says Alex Linden, ESY supervisor and a special education teacher at Edison Intermediate School. “The program also gives the students social opportunities to foster peer relationships with students from all of our schools across the district.”
Instructional specialists in reading, behavior/social skills, speech, occupational and physical therapy join special education teachers, paraprofessionals and a school nurse in administering the program. Many of the ESY staff are longtime educators and aides with Westfield Public Schools.
Twenty-seven 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 101 students who also receive instruction in reading, writing, and mathematics, along with related services. An additional 24 ESY students at Wilson receive related services only, which can include OT, PT, speech, behavioral services and reading instruction through the Wilson Reading System.
Linden adds: “We hope that our students come away from the ESY program prepared and with confidence as they enter the new school year.”