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Exceptional Children

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Exceptional Children – General Information

Exceptional Children’s Program Coordinator
Lori A. Tryon
Contact Information: 919-567-9955 ext 4304

Southern Wake Academy (SWA) has extensive programs to meet the needs of students with disabilities. On Dec. 1, 2016, SWA was serving 137 students ages 11-21 who were identified as having special needs. About 30% of school age students are identified. Services for students with disabilities range from minor classroom and/or therapy supports to extensive full time programs. Services are based on Individualized Education Plans (IEP) which are developed jointly by parents and school staff at least annually and outline needed services as well as any accommodations and/or modifications required in the general education class and for testing. All students are expected to progress in the general curriculum and all students must be included in any state evaluations used for student or school accountability purposes.

Services are provided by 18 staff including special education teachers, special education teacher assistants, speech pathologists, occupational therapist, psychologists, an audiologist, as well a teacher for the visually impaired and an orientation and mobility specialist.

Students receive services in a variety of settings. SWA has a model of inclusive practices. Inclusion is based on the belief that all students belong to the same system and that all students benefit from a unified, team approach to education.

Although we have many inclusion programs, we also have traditional pullout and self-contained classes.

In addition, SWA has community based instructional services for specific high school students with disabilities where they can learn job skills directly in community sites and work towards a High School Certificate or a High School Diploma through the Occupational Course of Study.

Future Ready Course of Study Occupational Course of Study
English I, II, III, IV English I, II, III, IV
Math I, II, III plus one higher level math Intro to Math, Math I, Financial Management
Earth Science, Biology, Physical Science Applied Science, Biology
World History, American History I, II, and Civics American History I and II
6 electives 4 Career and Technical Education Classes
2 Foreign Language 4 Occupational Prep Classes
600 hours work experience
School Based = 150 hours
Community Based= 225 hours
Paid Employment= 225 hours

All students in SWA who have identified disabilities receive free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. Each student who qualifies for Exceptional Children’s services receives an Individualized Education Plan that is specifically tailored to their areas of need. This provides important information for individuals who work with and teach that student. Any person who has a concern about the education of a student with a disability can raise the issue in one of several ways. For example, it is always appropriate to discuss the matter with the student’s teacher or principal at the local school, or it is also helpful to contact the Exceptional Children’s Program Coordinator.

Your child is important to us and we want to make sure that we address your concerns. Please contact the EC Coordinator, Lori Tryon at 919-567-9955 ext. 4304 if you have a concern that was not addressed at the school level. To discuss or make a complaint about services rendered, a parent may also view the NCDPI Dispute Resolution webpage ( or the Parent Right and Responsibilities In Special Education Procedural Safeguards. (

If parents suspect that their child may have a disability, they are encouraged to discuss their concerns with the child’s teacher(s). They may also request consideration for referral for evaluation from their principal or counselor or they may call the special education department at 919-567-9955 ext. 4304.


Special Education Law requires that the first consideration for placement of students is the least restrictive environment (LRE). Thus the first consideration for any student with special needs is placement in the general education classroom. SWA’s commitment to inclusive practices means that we work hard to team with general education to provide the supports and instruction needed to maintain students in the general education or natural environments as much as possible.

Inclusion means students with and without disabilities working side by side. As opposed to mainstreaming where students are placed back into general education classes without support, inclusion involves the addition of special education and related services to the general program whereby students with and without disabilities benefit from the resultant team of educators.

Eligibility For Special Services

The Public Schools of North Carolina, Exceptional Children Division provides local units with detailed procedures for the delivery of special education services. These rules and regulations are detailed Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities ( Department of Public Instruction.

Child Find Process:

North Carolina has a continuing Child Find procedure in place to locate all children with disabilities residing in the State, including children with disabilities attending private schools, regardless of the severity of their disability, and who are in need of special education and related services. This effort also includes highly mobile children with disabilities (such as migrant and homeless children) and children who are suspected of being a child with a disability and in need of special education, even though they are advancing from grade to grade. The purpose of this procedure is to enhance public understanding of exceptional children and youth with special needs, to identify and locate the children and youth, and to inform the public of available services. The collection and use of data to meet the requirements of Child Find are subject to the confidentiality requirements.

LEA Self-Assessment- EC Department Strategic Planning

The LEA Self-Assessment is a system of collecting and analyzing data concerning
outcomes for students with disabilities for the purpose of improving results. The stated
primary focus of these monitoring activities is on improving education results and
functional outcomes for all students with disabilities.
Resources for families with students with disabilities
 Special Needs Resources:
 Public Schools of North Carolina- Exceptional Children’s Division
 North Carolina Dispute Resolution Guidelines
o resolution
 Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center- ECAC
 Parent Rights & Responsibilities in Special Education: NC Notice of Procedural
o rights-handbook
 Other Resources (American speech and language association, Americans with
Disabilities {ADA}, Assistive Technology, Autism, FERPA, IDEA, Office of Civil
Rights, The Arc of NC, Wright’s Law, plus many others)
o resources

 Khan Academy
 Quizlet
 Spelling City
 Homework App(s)
o app-your- school-planner-



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