NCDPI and WS/FCS Resources for Parents
The following links provide parents and guardians with important information about the special education process in North Carolina.
NC Parents Rights & Responsibilities in Special Education: NC Notice of Procedural Safeguards (English/Spanish)
This handbook is designed to support families with an understanding of the rights and responsibilities specific to the special education process. Acronyms and terms often used in special education and resources can be found in the appendices.
If, at any time, you suspect your student may have a disability and is in need of special education and/or related services, you may request an evaluation, in writing, to your student's school principal, teacher, or WS/FCS EC Division.
Exceptional Children's Assistance Center
ECAC is North Carolina's official Parent Training and Information Center. They provide training, advocacy and other services for parents of children with disabilities at no cost to parents.
NC Department of Public Instruction Exceptional Children Division
The mission of the Exceptional Children Division is to ensure that students with disabilities develop intellectually, physically, emotionally, and vocationally through the provision of an appropriate individualized program in the least restrictive environment.
This link will connect you with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Exceptional Children Division. The US Department of Education charges DPI's EC Division with monitoring and supervising local public school units' (districts) compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and performance in serving students with disabilities.
NC Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities
Every special education student is covered by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA is the federal law that describes what all states must do to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) for identified students with disabilities. IDEA makes provision for each state to interpret the IDEA and pass laws on applying IDEA in the state. This document outlines NC state law and policy related to the education of students with disabilities in this state.
The registry is a waiting list for funding to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. There is a long waiting list for funding, so place your child's name on this list as soon as practical.
Alternate Assessments for Students with Significant Intellectual Disabilities
Most students with disabilities will participate in the same statewide and districtwide assessments as their nondisabled peers. However, some students with disabilities may be unable to participate in a general education assessment even with accommodation; these students will take an alternate assessment as defined by the IDEA and the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015. This link will connect you with North Carolina's criteria and process for determining which students are eligible to take an alternate assessment.
Multi-Tiered System of Support for Families
The term "multi-tier system of supports" means "a comprehensive continuum of evidence-based, systemic practices to support a rapid response to students' needs, with regular observation to facilitate data-based instructional decision-making." MTSS is part of a process that allows for early detection and responses to learning and behavioral difficulties, providing high-quality instruction in response to those difficulties, and conducting data-based monitoring to evaluate the effectiveness of the instruction. The data from students' responses to the interventions will help educators distinguish between children who truly have a specific learning disability from those whose learning difficulties could be resolved with evidence-based interventions.
- NCDPI Exceptional Children Information for Parents - Parent Newsletter 8/17/2022 - Service Delivery
- SLD Family Communication
How to Register for the NCDPI EC Listserv for Parents (Spanish)
Click the links below for information about virtual IEP meetings and the IEP process:
- What to Expect with a Virtual IEP Meeting
- Expectativas de la reunion virtual del Plan de Educacion Individualizada
- Using Microsoft Teams to participate in IEP meetings - English, Spanish
- Virtual Alternatives for Common Accommodations
- Guidance for Completing the Medical Statement for Students with Unique Mealtime Needs for School Meals - English, Spanish
Annual Written Notification - Accessing Public Benefits and Releasing Personally Identifiable Information to the North Carolina Division of Health Benefits (NC Medicaid)
Notificación Anual Escrita - El acceso a la beneficencia pública y la entrega de información personal identificable al programa de Medicaid de Carolina del Norte
ACCESS North Carolina - A Vacation and Travel Guide for People with Disabilities
- Victory Junction Spring 2023 and Summer 2023 Camps - Flyer (revised!)
If parents/guardians have questions and/or concerns regarding the development and implementation of your child's individualized education program (IEP), the following steps are highly recommended to be considered in order to resolve differences quickly.
Exceptional Children's Assistance Center (ECAC)
The Exceptional Children's Assistance Center (ECAC) has been serving NC families for more than 30 years.
ECAC helps parents navigate the special education system, know their rights, and use their voice. They provide information, support, training, and resources to assist families caring for children with special needs from birth to age 26. They also support young adults with disabilities in becoming self-advocates and leaders and the educators and professionals who serve them.
Please visit www.ecac-parentcenter.org for more information. Click HERE to access the ECAC Upcoming Events calendar.