Programs for Exceptional Children
The goal of the Exceptional Children Department is to support students with disabilities while they are in school and ensure that they are prepared for adulthood, including higher education, competitive employment, and independent living.
Davidson County Schools offer a variety of academic and support programs to challenge your student to be prepared for the 21st century.
All schools in the Davidson County system offer services to students identified as having special needs. As of April 2017, Davidson County Schools had a total enrollment of 18,857 students of which 2,655 students were identified with special needs. Disabled students are served in the least restrictive environment by certified professionals and paraprofessional teachers. To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities are educated in their home school. Removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
Davidson County School System is committed to providing a free appropriate education designed to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities. The Exceptional Children Programs will provide the support and related services necessary to implement the educational program and assure that students' and parents' rights are followed in this process.
The North Carolina Standard Course of Study is used throughout Davidson County Schools. Exceptional Children teachers use a variety of strategies to help students make progress in the curriculum, including co-teaching with general education teachers. At the high school level, students with disabilities may participate in the Occupational Course of Study, a pathway leading to a North Carolina diploma.
Students with significant cognitive disabilities participate in the Extended Content Standards of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. This curriculum teaches the essential elements of the traditional course of study while also emphasizing the acquisition of functional skills.
What is special about special education in Davidson County Schools?
Individualized instruction and student achievement are valued in Davidson County Schools. This is evident through the services that are available, including:
- Specially designed instruction to meet the needs of all students with disabilities
- Access to the general curriculum and intervention programs designed to provide maximum opportunities for instruction in the general education setting
- Full continuum of service, including: consultation, co-teaching, small group classes per core area, self-contained settings and public separate schools
- Curriculum-driven instruction: North Carolina Standard Course of Study and North Carolina Extended Content Standards
- Related services that include but are not limited to speech, occupational and physical therapy
- Modified materials, including but not limited to books on tape, large-print materials and specialized equipment and furniture
- Accessible space in schools to meet the needs of students with physical disabilities
- Appropriate technology to support students
Who determines what services are provided for students with disabilities?
Individual Education Program (IEP) teams consider service delivery options based on the needs of each student. Teams may consider regular, resource or separate settings which are available at every school for students participating in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. Teams may also consider self-contained classes for students with significant behavioral challenges or student with significant cognitive disabilities who participate in the North Carolina Extended Content Standards.
Where are services provided for students with disabilities?
Remember, special education was designed to be a continuum of services, not a separate place!
Whenever possible, students are served in schools within their home attendance area with support from special education personnel and related service providers. For those students who must have a specialized setting or more intensive services in order to benefit from their special education, programs are clustered geographically but continue to be based on school campuses that house age-appropriate peers.
Eligibility for Special Services
The Public Schools of North Carolina, Exceptional Children Division provides local units with detailed procedures for the delivery of special education services. These rules and regulations are detailed in Policies Governing Services For Children With Disabilities, Department of Public Instruction.
Services are provided under the following areas of identification:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Deafness/Hearing Impairment
- Developmental Delay
- Intellectual Disability
- Multiple Disabilities
- Other Health Impairment
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Serious Emotional Disability
- Specific Learning Disability
- Speech/Language Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Visual Impairment
Exceptional Children’s Program Personnel
Please know that our dedicated staff members are here to assist our children as they learn and progress. At any point in the school year if you have questions or need assistance, please don’t hesitate to contact our teachers or central office staff.
Exceptional Children Staff is responsible for providing information and assistance to school personnel who are responsible for assuring that all procedures that apply to students with disabilities are implemented according to the intent and letter of the law. Exceptional Children personnel monitor specific school practices to include maintenance of student records, special education teacher/pupil ratio, and disciplinary policies. In addition, the staff provides training to school personnel on laws and regulations and effective classroom practice. Exceptional Children consult with parents who need information about specific disabilities, community resources or have concerns about their child’s education.
Special education professionals will:
· Provide specially designed instruction to meet the needs of all students with disabilities. · Expedite referrals for special education evaluations.
· Be able to serve the behavioral, and social and emotional needs of children with disabilities in addition to their unique instructional challenges.
· Be positive role models in school, at home, and in the community.
To receive more information about exceptional children, please contact:
Director, Programs for Exceptional Children
Davidson County Schools
218-C County School Road, Lexington NC 27292