Exceptional Student Education Rule Development Workshops and Public Comment The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) has issued the following memorandum regarding two exceptional student education rule development workshops and opportunities for public comment. The rule development workshop for Rule 6A-6.03311, F.A.C., will be on April 19, 2021, at 10 a.m., EDT, and the rule development workshop for Rule 6A-1.0943, F.A.C., will be on April 20, 2021, at 2 p.m. EDT. To view the memorandum, go to https://info.fldoe.org/ docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-9131/dps-2021-55.pdf.
McKay Scholarship Notification
Dear Parent or Guardian:
We would like to inform you that all Florida School districts are required to notify parents of students with disabilities that their student(s) may be eligible to participate in the John M. McKay Scholarship for Students with Disabilities Program, commonly known as the McKay Scholarship Program. This program was created to provide educational options to parents of disabled students.
For more details, please visit https://www.leonschools.net/McKay for the full notice letter.
FLDOE ESE Survey
The Florida Department of Education is working with school districts to gather information on how well parents think their child's school is partnering with parents of students with disabilities, and would like to include your input. Your responses will help guide efforts to improve services and results for children and families. This survey is for parents of students with individual educational plans (IEP) receiving special education services during the 2020-21 school year. All information provided will remain confidential.
The survey window opens on February 1, 2021 and closes on May 31, 2021.
Click the following link to access the survey: https://www.esesurvey.com/altlogin.php
Register for SportsAbility at www.fdoa.org/sportsability today!!
SportsAbility 2021 will run from April 8 to the end of April!
This year’s recreation and active leisure activities for people of all ages and all abilities includes (1) a virtual conference & tradeshow, (2) a variety of in-person recreation activities, and (3) virtual reality!!! More info:
- In-Person Activities - You may participate in person with recreation opportunities following COVID protocols by reservation. Fishing, archery, SCUBA, biking and more are open for registration at www.fdoa.org/sportsability#in-person!! Please note that everyone attending must register in advance and there is limited capacity.
- Resource Expo - Virtual SportsAbility Expo will include educational presentations and access to resource providers. Attend at your convenience. Register Today! Sessions are free and will be available from April 8 to the end of the month, but you must register to get the information on how to access.
- Virtual Reality - Hang out with friends and make new friends in the SportsAbility VR Park. Shoot fireworks, play basketball or cornhole, climb a waterfall, reach the top of our aerial obstacle course, and more! This is available now. More info
The next ESE District Advisory Council Meeting is Monday, May 17th at 6:00. This meeting will be held remotely. Look for Zoom Link closer to the meeting date.
Stay connected with what is happening in the ESE world and connect with other parents of students with disabilities to share resources and engage in supportive dialogue through the LCS DAC website and Facebook page. See links below.
Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Endorsement Tuition Support Program
The ESE Endorsement Tuition Support Program provides financial assistance to ESE teachers who are teaching students identified as having autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or prekindergarten (PreK)/ESE in Florida public schools through a grant sponsored by the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services at the FDOE. Please include the announcement of the ESE Endorsements Tuition Support Program in regional notices, listservs and newsletters for teachers. For more information and to download the application, go to https://florida-ese.org/tuition-support. For questions, contact Melanie Morales at Melanie.Morales@fiu.edu.
As our students return for instruction for the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year, we are still faced with the challenges of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Due to these circumstances, Leon County Schools has planned for additional students to return to school buildings following CDC and Department of Health guidelines while also giving parents the option of having their students receive instruction remotely through the LCS Digital Academy.
Students who are eligible for exceptional student education (ESE) or 504 services and accommodations have identified academic, social emotional, and/or behavioral needs. Whether a student is identified as a student with a disability under IDEA or under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, all services and accommodations indicated on active individual student plans will be provided.
Regardless of the educational environment chosen by the parents, consideration for students’ social-emotional well-being will be a priority. When is it appropriate and feasible (i.e., when reliable and relevant data can be collected), student teams will assess what impact school closures and/or instructional format had on a student’s levels of performance, critical skills, needs, and what revisions, if any, are necessary to make the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan.
IEP teams will review all progress made towards IEP goals during the time of crisis. Additionally, students will continue to participate in the general benchmark assessments. That information will be used in combination with the progress towards goals, to ensure that there is a clear plan for individual interventions and measuring the students’ response to those interventions. The established Multitiered System of Supports (MTSS) framework is the standard for providing these interventions and measuring student progress.
During this period where classroom routines and instructional settings may be different than during a typical school year, student specific educational planning teams (for either Individual Education Plans or 504 plans) may need to convene to review proposed goals, services, and accommodations and address how to best meet student needs during this time. Student case managers may be reaching out to parents to schedule these meetings. Parents may request these meetings as well.
For more information and latest updates regarding Leon County Schools’ 2020-2021 instructional options, click here: https://www.leonschools.net/Page/48882 or visit the Leon County Schools Website, COVID19 tab.
For information on course information specific to ESE students, click this link: ESE Digital Academy Courses. *ESE specific courses are proposed and recommended through an IEP meeting and are based on student performance data review and individual student needs.
If you have questions regarding your child’s individual needs or wish to request an IEP or 504 review meeting, please contact the school your child is enrolled in. And, as always, the district ESE office is here to assist-850-487-7160.
We recognize that some of our students may not be able to tolerate wearing a mask. We also recognize that some of our students may have a difficult time adjusting to new routines related to altered instructional practices and classroom routines/settings related to COVID safety practices. The IEP team will work with students and families to assist in desensitizing students in their wearing masks and adjusting to their new routines.
Students will not be denied educational services if they cannot tolerate wearing a mask due to their disability or medical condition.
In order to assist your child in getting ready to wear a mask and in understanding changes in routine due to COVID-19, below are some tips and resources:
Wearing a mask for children:
Tim & Moby Video About the Corona Virus:
Wear A Mask Song with Dr.’s Bop & Pop
Wear A Mask & Social Distancing:
Printable Social Stories:
Wearing A Mask Social Story: (pdf)
COVID Related Stories for Students
I Can Wear A Mask Social Story:
Website with COVID Social Stories:
Social Stories are printable and in MSWord format so the stories can be personalized.
The topics include:
Understanding the Corona Virus
Wearing Masks (adult & children versions)
Change In Schedule
What Can I Do When I Am Feeling Bored
It is the mission of the Exceptional Student Education Department to ensure that schools provide opportunities and programs that encourage students to develop academic and social skills commensurate with their abilities. The commitment of the ESE Department is to assist all school personnel in the appropriate identification, placement, and programming for exceptional students. It is recognized that parent training, community awareness, and services to families are essential to student success. This website is designed to give you an overview of the Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Department of the Leon County School District in Tallahassee, Florida, and the many services available to students that qualify for ESE programs. If you are new to Leon County, information is included that will facilitate your child's entrance into our district and, if applicable, into an appropriate exceptional program. A brief description of each exceptional program and its eligibility requirements are provided as well as other valuable information regarding your child's Individual Education Plan (IEP).
The Exceptional Student Education Department is committed to giving exceptional students the means of achieving their annual goals as specified on each student's Individual Education Plan while educating them in the least restrictive environment.
If you have any questions please contact the counselor at your child's school, the ESE Program Specialist assigned to your child's school (listed in ESE District Staff to the left), or the Exceptional Student Education office at 850-487-7158.
Please click on link for the FLDOE Tuition Support Program for SLP, ASD, PreK, and Para-to-Teacher
Telephone: (850) 487-7160Fax: (850) 487-7823Address: 3955 W. Pensacola Street,Tallahassee, FL 32304Cathy Shields, Director II