Exceptional Children

The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction and Whiteville City Schools' mission of the Exceptional Children Program is to assure that students with disabilities develop mentally, physically, emotionally, and vocationally through the provision of an appropriate individualized education in the least restrictive environment.

Julie Graves, Director



Courtney Whichard

Compliance Specialist, EC Preschool Coordinator



Cathy Lashley

EC Data Manager



EC Division Website


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.

Child Find

Child Find Link to Department of Public Instruction Website:


Below is Whiteville City Schools' Child Find Process as located in the district's IDEA Part B (611) Grant:

E. CHILD FIND (300.111)(300.131) - Child Find posters and brochures are furnished by the NC Department of Public Instruction for display in a public entry to each campus and office. Both posters and brochures are designed for insertion of appropriate contact name, address and telephone number for public information. Posters and brochures are made available to the public throughout the school year. (300.612)(300.622)(300.625).


Give description of your LEA Child Find Process addressing the method implemented to

Locate students with disabilities:

Child Find posters and brochures, furnished by the NC Department of Public Instruction, are displayed in highly visible locations at each school and in the Central Services office. Also, the EC Department places posters and brochures at the Health Department, Social Services, at selected day care centers, at the Columbus County Smart Start facilities, and in offices of local physicians. The LEA accepts referrals from CDSA, local physicians, parents, private schools, and any others who need to make a referral to the EC program. The EC Program's Preschool Coordinator attends Local Interagency Coordinating Council meetings at which time information regarding possible referrals is discussed. The district publishes a child find notice in the local newspaper yearly. Preschool screenings are held several times annually. These screenings are conducted in conjunction with community agencies such as, Headstart, CDSA and area preschools. All children entering kindergarten are screened to identify children with suspected disabilities. This is done in the spring of the year during the month of April. The files of all children transferring to the district are screened to identify children who may have been receiving special education services in their prior district.

Identify students with disabilities:

When someone expresses a concern that a student has a disability the IEP team meets with the parents/guardians to discuss their concerns. If the team determines an evaluation is needed, written permission for testing is obtained. The team obtains any already completed test reports and conducts a comprehensive assessment that follows federal and state guidelines. During the time evaluations are being conducted, intervention data is also being collected from the students regular education teachers.

The IEP team schedules a final conference with the student’s parents to discuss the evaluation results and decides whether or not special education and support services are needed.

For further information regarding Child Find or fi you suspect your student may have a disability and need special education and/or related services, please contact:

Julie Graves, EC Director



Transfer Students

Transfers into and out of your school need to be handled swiftly; students with IEP’s must continue to receive services; delays in sending or obtaining records do not allow students to go without services.

For students moving in, call the sending school to get service information and work diligently to get records, especially the current IEP. You will have to complete replacement forms and perhaps have to do an initial or reevaluation if records cannot be obtained in a timely manner. Most importantly, Whiteville City Schools will need to provide “comparable” services for the student immediately. Students within North Carolina should have all required forms completed. Students outside North Carolina are considered initial referrals.

For students moving out, please be considerate of the receiving school and call with information. Within our county, WCS will send the folder directly to the new school (and inform Central Office). Otherwise, please get the sending information and send with the file to Central Office; Central Office will send records. However, you are welcome to FAX the IEP or otherwise help the receiving school. Remember that we may share information with public schools without permissions (but we do like to inform parents when possible that we are sending records).

Multi-Tiered System of Support for Families (MTSS)



What is MTSS?

Family engagement within an MTSS is defined as the active and meaningful partnerships that educators build and maintain with students' families for the purpose of supporting student learning. It embodies the idea that all parties are equally invested in the student's educational experience and all parties bring jnowledge and skills of equal value to the table to work together.

Parents Rights and Responsibilities in Special Education: NC Notice of Procedural Safeguards

www.dpi.nc.gov/districts-schools/classroom-resources/exceptional-children-division - Click the link for information on your rights as a parent with a child in the special education program.

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 the Local EC Department.

Dispute Resolution - Click the link for information on dispute resolution.

Disciplinary Procedures

WCS may suspend any student for certain violations of the student code of conduct. A student with a disability who is removed from their current placement for more than 10 school days must continue to receive educational services, so as to allow him/her to continue to participate in the general education curriculum in another setting; continue to progress toward meeting goals outlined in his/her IEP; AND receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment (FBA), and behavioral intervention services and modifications that are designed to address the behavior violation.

After 10 school days of suspension, the child’s IEP Team must determine whether the student’s misconduct is a manifestation of the disability. A removal from current placement is generally termed an out-of-school suspension (OSS), in-school suspension (ISS) if special education services are not provided, or a removal from the bus if transportation is a related service on your child’s IEP.

Secondary students who have been recommended for long-term suspension and no manifestation is found may have the opportunity to attend one of the following programs to receive the educational services.

HB 149

The NC Department of Public Instruction Exceptional Children Division, in collaboration with ECAC, have completed the production of two videos on dyslexia to fulfill the requirements of HB 149 to make electronic information available to parents and educators. These videos are available in both English and Spanish on the homepage of the Exceptional Children Division and on the Disability Resources page for Specific Learning Disabilities. Please click on the link https://ec.ncpublicschools.gov/ to access these videos.