Exceptional Children (EC) Services at DPS
The Exceptional Children’s Department is dedicated to providing quality services and support to schools to ensure all requirements of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and North Carolina Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities are implemented with fidelity. We support our students, staff, and families through direct service, allocation of resources, professional learning, consultation, and collaborative relationships and processes.
Exceptional Children’s Services are also known as special education and related services. The services are provided to students who are: 1) identified as having one or more disabilities, per NC criteria, and the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team has determined 2) there is an adverse effect on the child’s educational performance, and 3) the child requires specially designed instruction.
Students are found eligible and in need of special education and related services through a formal referral and evaluation process. The IEP team (a group of individuals consisting of an LEA representative, parent of a child with a disability, regular education teacher of the child, special education teacher of the child, and others), make decisions regarding eligibility based on NC state criteria using individual student data. If a child is found eligible for one or more of the 14 disability categories and the team determines there is a need for specially designed instruction, the IEP team develops an initial IEP for the student. The IEP is a legal document that must be implemented as written and agreed upon.
Each IEP contains specific, individualized information regarding the student’s strengths and needs. For example, the team will identify the student’s present academic and functional performance levels for each area needing specially designed instruction. From there, annual goals and objectives are developed, outlining specific skills the team would like the student to master over the span of the IEP (each IEP must be reviewed/revised at least annually). The IEP also details any supplementary aids and services (which include accommodations and modifications) the student will need during the instructional day and for any district and statewide assessments. IEP teams will also begin addressing students’ post-secondary needs once the student turns age 14.