Students With Disabilities

An exceptional student is defined in Rules 6A-6.3011 – 6A03031, FAC, means any child or youth who requires special instruction or related servicers and is enrolled in or eligible for enrollment in public schools of a district.

An exceptional student as defined in Rules 6A-6.03011-6A6.03031, FAC, includes any exceptional child or youth enrolled in or eligible for enrollment in and education program of the Department either directly or through grants or contractual agreements, pursuant to Section 230.23(4)(n), Florida Statutes. 

The Department, grantee or contractor shall operate special programs for exceptional students consistent with all State Board of Education rules for special programs for exceptional students contained in Chapter4 6A-6, FAC.

If your child lives in Union County, has a disability, is between the ages of three and twenty-one and has not graduated from high school, then he /she is entitled to receive educational services beginning in pre-kindergarten.

Every child is unique and has his or her own needs.  The services offered by the school will be varied to the needs of the individual child.  You, as a parent, are an integral part in developing the best program for your child.  You will be asked to partner with the school by sharing information, making suggestions, asking questions and decision making.

Your child’s progress is monitored through the Multi Tiered System of Support System (MTSS).  This is a process that provides intervention and supports to students and increasing levels of intensity based on individual student needs.  The goal is to prevent problems and intervene early so students can be successful.  MTSS has three levels of supports, each level provides intensive levels that build upon one another.

Tier 1 includes high quality instruction

Tier 2 includes additional targeted, supplemental instruction and intervention

Tier 3 includes intensive interventions


Data is collected throughout the MTSS process. Checklists, observations, standardized tests and collaboration is ongoing.  Persons with whom information is gathered includes counselors, physicians, teachers, parents, therapists, psychologist, and any other professional personnel as well as the child.

This data is used to help in the development of appropriate educational interventions and programs for all students and for state and federal agencies.  School wide screenings are provided to determine which students need additional interventions and monitoring.  If school personnel determine that further evaluation is necessary, the child’s parent/guardian will be contacted for further proceedings.  A parent may request an evaluation to determine eligibility for Exceptional Education Service (ESE) at any time, however, data must be made available from the MTSS process to be able to determine if a student is eligible for ESE services.

An evaluation consists of gathering the MTSS data, in addition to conducting further testing if needed.  A report will be written, and the parent/guardian will be invited to attend an Eligibility Staffing meeting.  The Staffing Committee recommends whether the student is eligible for ESE.  A child is eligible when he/she meets the requirements listed in the State Board of Education Rules for ESE. If it is determined the student is eligible and needs an ESE service, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) will be written. The IEP could be developed the same day of the eligibility determination or a mutually agreed upon time within 30 days of the staffing date.  The IEP is a plan that explains the teachers, and other school staff, if any, what special programs and/or related services will be provided to your child.  These services are designed to meet your child’s learning needs. 

The IEP is written for one year, and will begin promptly on the initiation date of the IEP and upon your consent.  A student cannot receive ESE services without an IEP.