EC Department Re-Opening Plans
We are currently developing our EC Department Re-opening Plan. Although the plan is still in draft form, we are looking at re-opening our services in three phases:
Phase 1: The following students will begin face to face instruction in schools on August 17th: a.) Students in self-contained special education classes at Hardin Park, Cove Creek and Watauga High School along with the Day Treatment program at Blowing Rock; b.) Student who will need face to face Physical, Occupational or Speech Therapy and Adapted PE services; c.) Students in NC PreK classes, the Developmental Day PreK at Mabel and Itinerant EC PreK services and; d.) Students in need of a face to face evaluations/assessments as part of the initial referral or reevaluation process.
Phase 2: Students whose medical conditions do not allow them to attend schools, classes or sessions in groups but cannot benefit from remote learning and who can benefit from one to one services in a "safe space" setting. We currently have two "safe spaces"---one at the CDSA building on Route 105 (across from the Jeep/Ram dealership) and at Boone United Methodist Church. The need for these services will be determined by the student's IEP team.
Phase 3: Students currently served in the Standard Course of Study in less restrictive settings whose disability(ies) makes remote learning difficult and may need direct face to face services. The need for these services will be determined by the student's IEP team.
We will be working with EC teachers to ensure that all possibly safety precautions will be in place and appropriate PPE equipment (face masks or shields), gloves, changing gowns, hand sanitizer, plexiglass partitions) and materials to teach/encourage mask wearing and social distancing are in place in each classroom and setting. The safety of our students and staff is of utmost importance in our re-opening planning.
If you have any questions, please contact the EC Department at 828-264-7190
Welcome to the WCS Exceptional Children Department
Welcome to the Watauga County Schools EC Department! Thank you for visiting our Watauga County Schools Exceptional Children (EC) Department webpage. It is our hope that you will explore and learn about all the wonderful programs and exciting things in place to support our students with disabilities. We have many helpful resources for both teachers and parents here as well.
The WCS EC Department will advocate for and support all students with disabilities to foster independence, self-advocacy and enable students to become contributing and productive citizens.
The WCS EC Department creates an inclusive, positive learning environment to develop productive citizens and life long learners.
To provide high quality educational services and opportunities for students with disabilities to build upon their strengths and improve in areas they find challenging.
We strive to have the best teachers, the best resources and best programs for our students. We continually reach out to our community partners and parents to strategically improve and expand our services for our students. Remember we are all in this together!
Watauga County Schools offers the full continuum of services in the least restrictive environment for all students with disabilities from PreK through high school.
- Our EC PreK program serves children in child care centers and NC PreK classes. We evaluate many children through our Transdisciplinary Play Based Assessment Center.
- Each of our K-8 schools provides services for students with mild disabilities in the regular classroom and/or through resource support.
- Hardin Park Elementary School has self-contained programs for students with moderate and severe disabilities and for children with Autism.
- The SOAR class at Blowing Rock Elementary School is a Day Treatment program provided through a cooperative agreement between WCS and Day Mark Recovery Services.
- Watauga High School provides co-taught classes, curriculum assistance, the Occupational Course of Study and a self-contained program for students with moderate/severe disabilities.
- Related services such as speech language, occupational and physical therapy are provided to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.
We welcome your participation and support for our programs for students with disabilities. If you have any questions or would like more information about our program, please contact your child’s school or the EC Department at 828-264- 7190.