The research is clear on parent involvement: when parents are involved in their children's education, students have higher grades/test scores/graduation rates, better school attendance, increased motivation, better self-esteem, lower rates of suspension, decreased use of drugs/alcohol, and fewer instances of violent behavior. The Exceptional Children division works diligently to collaborate with parents, provide information on parent involvement to local education agencies (LEAs), and support parent involvement in their children's education. The information within the Parent Page is available to assist you in supporting your child. In creating this page, our goal is to provide you with everything you need - information, connections, resources, and more - to help you be as fully informed and involved as possible for your child.
Parent Rights & Responsibilities in Special Education: NC Notice of Procedural Safeguards
This handbook is designed to support families with the 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 Kimberly Davis, Chief of Exceptional Children's Services.
Parent Handbook (English)
Parent Handbook (Spanish)
What is the Role of Related Services Personnel?
This video describes the role of school psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech-language pathologists working in public schools. Listen as school-based practitioners and an Exceptional Children Director describe how educationally relevant evaluations are conducted, how IEP Teams decide the need for services, and how interventions for students with disabilities occur in the least restrictive environment (LRE).
High School Diploma Pathway/Future Ready
The Future Ready Occupational Course of Study (OCS) is one of two pathways to achieve a high school diploma in North Carolina. The other pathway is the Future Ready Core. When any student successfully completes a chosen course of study, a high school diploma will be awarded at the end of the senior year. The Future Ready Occupational Course of Study is intended to meet the needs of a small group of students with disabilities who need a modified curriculum that focuses on post-school education, employment, and independent living. The vast majority of students with disabilities will complete the Future Ready Occupational Course of Study with the use of accommodations, modifications, supplemental aids, and specially designed instruction. The IEP Team, which includes parents and the student, makes recommendations as to the appropriateness of the OCS program for a particular student based on their post-school goals.
The following is a brief description of the major components of the OCS program. The OCS is a NC Standard Course of Study program consisting of 22 credits including English, Mathematics, Science, Occupational Preparation, Social Studies, Career/Technical Electives, and Healthy Living/PE. Specific course requirements are identified here.
- As part of the Occupational Preparation Education credits, each student must complete 150 hours of school-based training with work activities and experiences that align with the student's post-school goals; 225 hours of community-based training, and 225 hours of paid employment or 225 hours of unpaid vocational training, unpaid internships, paid employment at community rehabilitation facilities, and volunteer and/or community service hours. All paid employment, unpaid vocational training hours, internship hours, volunteer and/or community service hours must be conducted in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act and applicable state and federal child labor laws; and
- Each student must complete a career portfolio documenting completion of course of study requirements.
- The testing program for OCS students includes the state required End of Course examinations and NC Final Exams with or without accommodations and modifications.