Navigating Summers as a School Contractor: Tips for Financial Planning and Supplemental Income

May 14, 2024

Are you a Speech-Language Pathologist (SLP), Occupational Therapist (OT), or Physical Therapist (PT) direct school contractor—or aspiring to be one—wondering what to do during the summer months when schools are closed or operating at a summer capacity?

While having summers off can be a perk of the job, it often requires some financial planning and consideration of supplemental income opportunities, if necessary.

Here are some top tips for contractors to make the most of their summer break:

Financially Plan for Summer's Off

Taking the summer off entirely can be a rewarding choice, allowing you to recharge and enjoy the season without work-related stress. Consider setting up a separate bank account dedicated to summer savings. Deposit a portion of your earnings each month into this "summer account" to cover expenses during the break.

Explore Extended School Year (ESY) Opportunities

Many school districts contract out Extended School Year (ESY) offerings due to direct hires wanting the time off. While ESY contracts may be less consistent than regular school contracts, they can provide additional income during the summer months. Pursue short-term ESY contracts to supplement your earnings and even help you establish relationships with new districts.  

Consider Early Intervention (EI) Contracts

Early Intervention (EI) services can be another avenue to supplement your income during the summer (and school year, if desired). While it may take some time to become approved for EI contracts, planning ahead can lead to wonderful opportunities for the following summer. Connect with expert Jamie Giannino (Wordwise Speech Consulting, LLC) for insights and support navigating EI contracts: Pick Jamie's Brain.

Explore PRN (As-Needed) Positions

If you enjoy the flexibility of school-based services but also have experience in medical settings, consider pursuing PRN positions. Providing coverage for vacations or temporary staffing needs in medical facilities, such as skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), can offer additional income in the summer without compromising flexibility. I know as a former SNF SLP, I LOVED my PRN providers that covered for me during my summer vacations!!

Offer Summer Groups or Camps

Engage with your community by organizing summer groups or camps. These short-term initiatives can provide valuable services while generating supplementary income without committing to a year-round private practice. I recommend Cued Creative's Guide to Groups mini-course for insights and support on starting summer groups.


Whether you're new to contracting or seeking additional revenue streams, remember that flexibility and autonomy are key benefits of school contracting. Explore these diverse options to supplement your income while enjoying a well-deserved summer break.

Rest assured that you have options to maintain financial stability and enjoy a fulfilling contracting career. Ready to get started contracting or expanding your existing contracting business? Check out my resources to get your ball rolling!

❤️ Elise