KGK reminds you that as your children return to school, ask the special ed teacher what data is going to be collected before and after school breaks to determine if your child qualifies for ESY. If you have an IEP at the beginning of the school year, ask the IEP team how ESY decisions will be made; ask what data will be collected. And ask for that the discussion of data be written in the notes of the IEP meeting, although preferably in the IEP itself.
If the IEP team discusses any decision ESY before the spring, and says your child does not qualify for ESY, ask what data was collected, and ask to see the data. It is virtually impossible to make an informed decision during the first half of the school year that a child will not need ESY the following summer.
The date should be be related to all goals in your child's IEP -- not just academic, but functional, social, and behavioral as well, and the goals for related services.