Important Information Regarding EC Services during the COVID 19 School Closure!
Watauga County Schools are closed until further notice in response to the COVID 19 outbreak.
Per federal and State guidance, please note that no services are required for special education students by law during any time period when regular education/non-disabled students are not receiving educational services.
When all students are required to receive education services, we will be providing various forms and levels of remote learning opportunities for our students with disabilities.
Below is a list of current decisions regarding services during this difficult time:1. We are suspending all evaluations and assessments due to safety issues. This involves evaluations and assessments for initial referrals and reevaluations. It is not possible to complete a valid and reliable assessment and maintain safety for students, parents and families and WCS staff. We will be holding IEP meetings to discuss these evaluation processes and determine our steps moving forward after school resumes.2. Related services and Adapted PE will be delivered in one of three ways: Video sessions for students who can receive therapy in small groups, Teletherapy for students who need one on one therapy or giving parents the option for compensatory services. Staff will be contacting parents to discuss these options in order to plan for next's week remote learning services.3. EC Resource teachers will provide remote learning via video lessons, Google Hangouts, Canvas, Google Classroom and other options. Our school day for all students is 3 hours---which is about half of what it is normally---so our EC service expectation is half of what is on their IEP. Teachers will send out packets and supplement the packets with video options.4. EC PreK teachers will provide as much remote learning as much as possible, especially with parent support, but we know this may be difficult for our PreK aged students. If we cannot provide remote learning, then we will provide compensatory services later.5. EC self-contained teachers will do as much remote learning as possible but may not be able to meet the per day needs for each child or students may not be able to participate due to their level of disability. If we cannot provide remote learning, then we will provide compensatory services later.6. Student in homebound placements will need to participate via remote learning options as all other students.7. IEP meetings will be done via phone, Facetime and or Skype in accordance with their due dates.Once normal school operations resume, we will consider necessary compensatory education for any special education student who misses services. Compensatory education services will be provide to any student who meets at least one of the below situations:a. The student does not have internet access in their home and/orb. The student does not have access to a digital device (i.e., laptop, phone, tablet)c. The EC Case Manager/therapist determines that the student's disability is such that remote learning is not appropriate or feasible.Compensatory education services will NOT be provided if a student has internet access and a digital device and is able to participate in remote learning but instead chooses not to participate in the remote learning lessons/activities.Parents/Guardians: In order for remote learning to be most effective, we need your cooperation and collaboration. It will always be best for parents to work alongside their student (especially for younger children or for children with more significant disabilities) during the video or online session provided by EC case managers and therapists and help their child with online or paper learning activities. Several EC Case Managers have discussed providing videos for parents on how to complete/provide specific reading, math or writing strategies and supports to their children during this time.REMEMBER---WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER AND WE NEED TO ALL WORK TOGETHER TO MAKE OUR REMOTE LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES AND ACTIVITIES AS BENEFICIAL AND WORTHWHILE AS POSSIBLE TO ALL OUR STUDENTS. WE LOOK FORWARD TO COLLABORATING WITH PARENTS AND GUARDIANS TO HELP OUR STUDENTS MAKE PROGRESS ON THEIR IEP GOALS AND IN THEIR GENERAL EDUCATION CLASSES (WHERE APPLICABLE)!
Welcome to the Parent Page of our WCS Exceptional Children Department Webpage !
We hope this page becomes your portal for all relevant and important information that you will need throughout the year. Our goal is help you to participate in not only your child's educational program at their school but also to be an active participant in our EC Department as whole. This page includes the following:
- Notices about upcoming EC Parent Advisory Council meetings and parent trainings;
- A section of important procedural information for parents
- A list of various parent resources covering many areas of disabilities
- A calendar of important upcoming school and district events
One of our goals is to continually to strive to develop and strengthen our relationships and our collaborative efforts with our parents and community members. Please let us know how we can help you with meeting the needs of your child and with enhancing your involvement with our program. If you have any questions, please contact the EC Department at 828-264-7190
Mike Marcela, Ed.D
Exceptional Children Program Director
Important documents for parents
If you cannot find your child's official or certified birth certificate (not the "Mother's Copy" given out at the hospital), please complete this form and work with the Register of Deeds office at Watauga County Court House to obtain a certified birth certificate for your child. Birth certificates are required for enrollment in WCS