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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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Jacquese Copeland
Executive Director

Phone: (386) 255-6475 ext. 33281

Allie Johnston
Assistant Director

Phone: (386) 255-6475 ext. 33270

Kasey Lamb
Compliance Coordinator
Phone:(386) 255–6475 ext. 33261
Lida Grillo
Elementary Programs Coordinator

Phone: (386) 255-6475 ext. 33260
Dr. Mary Ellen Speidel
ESE Coordinator
Phone: (386) 255-6475 ext. 33277

Eleeta Hopkins
Low Incidence Programs Coordinator
Phone: (386) 255-6475 ext. 33265

Stephanie DiGrazia
Secondary Coordinator
Phone: (386) 255-6475 ext. 33264

Catherine Galotti
Transition Programs Coordinator

Phone: (386) 255-6475 ext. 33263

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 Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Department Connecting With Our Parents!

The ESE and FDLRS Departments host an “ESE Family Event” each year.  The event is designed to help students, families and community members gather information and connect with school and agency staff to gather information and resources to enable our students obtain their postsecondary goals.  Planning for life after high school begins as soon as a student enter Volusia County Schools.

The first “ESE Family Event” was held at University High School on February 3, 2024. The second “ESE Family Event” will be held on April 27, 2024 at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.  Students, family, and community members have the opportunity to attend informational session and meet to State and local agencies.  Below is a list of some of the topics that are available at the “ESE Family Event.”

• Assistive Technology

• Autism Spectrum Disorder

• Career and Technical Education

• Child Abuse Awareness

• College Opportunities

• Diploma and Deferment Options

• Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

• Early Childhood Resources

• Financial Planning for Special Needs

• Guardianship

• Individual Education Plan (IEP)

• Project SEARCH

• Supportive Employment

• Vocational Rehabilitation

ESE Family Event 4
ESE Family Event 2
ESE Family Event 3
ESE Family Event 1