ESE Parent/Guardian Q&A
We are hopeful that you will find this site helpful as you seek to find help for your child, whether it be for academic and/or behavioral concerns, accommodations if needed, evaluating for suspected disabilities, ESE programs, or transition services for students with disabilities who are completing high school.
You will find the links on this site organized around questions parents and guardians may typically ask to get help for their child. If you have further questions, please contact the Principal or PST Chair at your child’s current school if in elementary or the PST Chair or ESE Assistant Principal if your child is currently in middle or high school for assistance. If you still need help after speaking with the school, the school will help connect you with appropriate district support as needed.
Please also feel free to access the an Parent Informational Brochure attached below. This brochure is a quick guide to student supports, suspected disabilities and services for students with disabilities.
Children ages 3-5...
My child is over 3 years of age but not yet in Kindergarten. I have concerns about his/her development. Whom do I contact for help?
Parents/guardians are encouraged to contact Child Find when they have concerns about their young child's development when the child is not yet enrolled in Kindergarten or beyond. The Child Find team will conduct a screening to determine next steps. If an evaluation is needed, a school psychologist, speech/language clinician, or other qualified evaluators trained with special skills in the development of young children will conduct the evaluation. For more information including whom to contact for a screening, please access the following link: Child Find
For access to the book "First Steps: A Guide to Your Child's Development" published by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, click here.
This guide in available in English, Spanish and audio format and can be ordered hard copy free of charge.
Kindergarten through Grade 12
My child who is not in Exceptional Student Education (ESE) is having trouble academically and/or behaviorally at school. Where do I go for help?
Each Volusia County School has a Problem Solving Team (PST) with the purpose of finding solutions to the academic and behavior challenges of students. Ideally, problems with academics or behavior are solved with interventions put in place designed to help the student. Parents/guardians are important members of Problem Solving Teams and we encourage your attendance. While educators may refer a child to the school's PST, parents/guardians are also welcome to refer their child to the school's Problem Solving Team for assistance. To get assistance for your child through the PST, contact your child's school and ask for the name and contact information for the PST chair.
My child continues to struggle despite interventions and help from the school's Problem Solving Team. What is the next step?
Schools, with the input of parents/guardians, continue to problem solve to help students be successful. If interventions are not successful, it is helpful to hold a Problem Solving Team meeting to review data and determine if interventions need to be changed and/or if a disability may be suspected under the Individuals with Disability Education Act or Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act. During this meeting, schools may ask for the parents' /guardians' consent for an evaluation. Parents/guardians also have the right to request an evaluation. If you request an evaluation, the district has 30 days to obtain your consent for an evaluation or provide you with a notice of right of refusal. Once consent is obtained, you will be provided with procedural safeguards. The district has 60 days from receipt of consent to completion of the last evaluation component, excluding specified vacation days. More information about the process can be accessed below:
The Eligibility/IEP meeting...
My child (who is not receiving Exceptional Student Education services) has been evaluated and I have been called to a meeting at the school. What can I expect?
If your child has been evaluated for a suspected disability, the school will be reaching out to you to attend a meeting about the test results and possible eligibility for Exceptional Student Exception (ESE) services. During the meeting, a team of educators, including your child's teacher and someone who can speak to services provided by the district, will review the test results and how your child responded to interventions that were put in place to help your child be successful. This team may decide that your child a) meets eligibility as a student with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or Section 504 or b) does not meet eligibility as a student with a disability under IDEA or Section 504. If the latter occurs, the school will continue to intervene as needed to ensure that your child receives the supports that they need as a general education student. If your child does meet eligibility requirements under IDEA or Section 504, you will be provided with Procedural Safeguards and an explanation of the services and/or accommodations that your child will receive. The district seeks a positive, productive and collaborative relationship with parents and guardians so if you have questions about the process or what to expect, please reach out to the school or district. You are welcome to bring anyone of your choosing to the meeting. The links provided below will provide you with more information about the meeting and your choices and rights as a parent/guardian.
ESE Programs and Support
Now that my child is eligible for ESE as a Student with a Disability (SWD) what does this mean educationally for my child?
Parents and guardians may ask "What is special about special education?" The answer is Specially Designed Instruction which means that your child will have changes in the content, delivery or methodology of instruction. The levels of services that are available to your child are referred to as a continuum of services. Within the school setting, the continuum may be as little as consultation (i.e., an ESE teacher meeting with your child's general education teacher to discuss strategies) or as intensive as a separate class ESE placement throughout the day, or a combination of supports based on your child's specific needs. In rare cases, students may receive hospital/homebound services or services in a separate setting, if the need and eligibility criteria exist. To the greatest extent possible, the district seeks to educate all children on the general education standards as found in the Florida Standards. For a small number of children with significant cognitive deficits, the Florida Standards may not be appropriate and a team determines that the Florida Standards Access Points are more appropriate. The decision of what services and instruction are best for your child is made by the IEP team based on data and needs of your child with the services provided in the least restrictive environment to meet your child's needs.
Planning for Supports Beyond High School
My child is in ESE and I'm looking for what programs and supports are available when he/she graduates from high school. Where do I find this help?
Once your child reaches the age of 14, they are included in the IEP process to address transition services. Transition refers to the services and supports that your child will receive post high school to include college and/ or career preparation and job employment. We encourage parents/guardians and students to attend the various transition activities offered by the school district throughout the school year and housed on the transition website (link below) and under "Upcoming Events" on the left of this page.
If you still need help, click on the following link: Get Help