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Exceptional Student Education

Exceptional Student Education (ESE) provides services to over 13,000 students within Volusia County Schools. Students may be considered for ESE services if they meet the criteria of one or more of the categories of disabilities and/or meet eligibility criteria for gifted services as outlined in the Exceptional Student Education Special Policies and Procedures (SP&P).

Students may be identified with intellectual, behavioral, physical, medical, sensory and/or communication exceptionalities. The student must show a need for special education and related services as a result of his/her disability or disabilities. Students being considered for the gifted program are also required to demonstrate an educational need for services. Parents have the right to bring another adult of their choice to any ESE related meetings.

For further information about services, click on ESE Programs and Services on the left. The site will provide general information and awareness of the services and programs that ESE/SS supports.

Staff related information can be found at the following site: VCS ESE Intranet (Staff)

Please contact us if you have questions or concerns regarding your child's:

  • Evaluation for Gifted or Exceptional Student Education (ESE)
  • Individual Education Plan (IEP)
  • Gifted Educational Plan (EP)
  • Section 504 
  • McKay or Gardiner Scholarship
  • ESE services or support
  • General questions or concerns regarding students' exceptional needs

Please leave a message with your name, contact information, and a summary of your concern. If you are contacting us about a student, please include the student's name and school. We will respond to your inquiry within 2 business days.

ESE Collaborative Resolution Form


Phone: (386) 734-7190 ext. 34781

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Amanda Wiles
Executive Director

Phone: (386) 255-6475 ext. 33280

Allie Johnston
Assistant Director

Phone: (386) 255-6475 ext. 33576

Dr. Mary Ellen Speidel
ESE Coordinator
Phone: (386) 255-6475 ext. 33277

Kasey Lamb
Compliance Coordinator
Phone: (386) 255–6475 ext. 34779

Lida Grillo
Elementary Programs Coordinator

Phone: (386) 255-6475 ext. 38352

Eleeta Hopkins
Low Incidence Programs Coordinator
Phone: (386) 255-6475 ext. 38539

Sheryl Sandvoss
ASD and Secondary Programs Coordinator

Phone: (386) 255-6475 ext. 38435

Catherine Galotti
Transition Programs Coordinator

Phone: (386) 255-6475 ext. 38321

Erin Harrigan
ADA Compliance Officer

Phone: (386) 734-7190 ext. 71362

Shane Story
ESE Parent Liaison
Office: 386-734-7190 ext. 20618
Cell: 386-378-5522

The ESE Department Starts the 2022-23 School Year Soaring to New Opportunities!

 Over 150 teachers, administrators, behavior specialists, paraprofessionals, school counselors, and district staff came together the beginning of August for a dynamic two-day institute where participants learned new ways to support students with emotional and behavioral disabilities. Amanda Wiles, Executive Director of ESE, was master of ceremonies and welcomed keynote speaker Dr. Ben Springer.

Dr. Springer is a nationally certified school psychologist and author of the popular books, “Happy Kids Don’t Punch You in the Face” and “GPS: Good Parenting Strategies.” Dr. Springer is also the CEO of Totem PD, an online professional learning platform for mental health practitioners, educators, and administrators.

Julie Barrow from SEDNET also provided a keynote presentation on trauma-informed care, helping teams to understand the nature and needs of students who experienced traumatic events. Julie works closely with Volusia County Schools helping to link resources to schools, parents, and students.

District ESE Coordinators and Specialists presented sessions on social skills instruction and supporting successful reintegration of students with disabilities into inclusive settings. Resources and materials were provided to participants to enhance classroom instruction.

The venue for this event was sponsored by Stetson Baptist Church in Deland. Several other businesses and community members supported this event which include the following

• SureHands

• Jesssyca Hogan with Trilogy Home Healthcare

• Launch Credit Union

• Amanda Lang (Behavioral Independence)

• Jennifer Wellnitz (Wendy’s in NSB)

• Nancy Redmond

• O. V. Williams

• Mr. Bill’s Donuts & Sandwiches

• Gurrs & Purrs

• Trades of Hope

• Lace and Accessories

• Dunkin Donuts in Deland (Garfield Avenue)

• Curriculum Associates

• Destination Knowledge

• Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

• State Farm (Tonya Tichnell)

•   Walmart Super Center Port Orange

•   Council for Exceptional Children

The ESE Department expresses our sincere gratitude to all of those who participated in the institute or helped to make it possible. It is going to be a fabulous school year!