Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Special Education

Committee Chair

Ann Richards


There is growing concern about the impact of summer vacation on the academic achievement of our children, especially those with special needs. In recognition of the magnitude of this problem, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 1999, described the need for extended school year services. Additionally, IDEA, 2004, sought to clarify and further define extended school year services. This addition to IDEA provides guidance, but it does not change the previous provisions. Research suggests that effective extended school year programs include essential components: child centeredness, family involvement, community involvement and school commitment. Despite these regulations, key stakeholders including teachers, administrators, service providers, and parents do not have a clear understanding of extended school year programs and are unaware of the total range of services available. The barriers to providing appropriate extended school year services for children with special needs appear to be insurmountable, and as a result, these children continue to regress academically, behaviorally, and socially. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between what key stakeholders believe about extended school year, the practices implemented, and how they are meeting the needs of students with special needs in extended school year programming. A case study design was used to provide thick, rich, descriptions of how two school districts deliver extended school year services in West Virginia. Observation and interview data were. Theme and cross-case analysis was completed. This pattern matching examination indicated that the beliefs of both school districts are virtually the same; however, the delivery of services is vastly different. Implications and limitations are also discussed.