CCSA Exceptional Children Division Charter School Q & A



Exceptional Children Division Charter School Q & A March 22, 2016

1. What are the implications of ESSA on Charter schools?

The Department just posted on its website guidance related to transitioning from the ESEA, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB) to the ESEA, as amended by ESSA. These FAQs are designed to support States and LEAs in understanding expectations during the transition to full implementation of the ESSA. The Department will update this document on a rolling basis.


2. In charter schools, can students receive services from EC and Title I?

Title I is based on poverty. Students with disabilities can't be excluded from those services. Sometimes, a child qualifies for special education and Title I services. Services must be based on what is best for the student. Think of EC and Title as layers of support. You need to build a schedule (instructional day) that best meets the needs of the child. The students that are struggling the most will need two or three times more reading instruction than typical students if you want them to catch up. 3

3. What are EC Compliance and regional supports for charter school?

Charter School are under the same EC Division general supervision as traditional LEAs. Some on-going supports include: • Regional EC Directors’/Coordinators’ Meetings • DPI Sponsored trainings • State Level Conferences • Targeted Technical Assistance • • LEA-specific support based on LEA self-assessment Website/Wikispaces 4

4. How can I be in the classroom and be EC Director?

• The mission for your school should be for all students to be successful. • All faculty have a shared responsibility to ensure success for all students. • All students are part of regular (general) education. • Special education is one layer of support for ensuring success for all students. • Be careful on how you prioritize – special education services must be delivered by a licensed special education teacher. 5

5. How do we manage EC programs: separate setting vs. immersion/regular setting?

Each LEA shall make available a continuum of programs, services and placements for each child with a disability in accordance with the provisions of 34 CFR 300.550 through 300.556. 16 NCAC 6H.0007 As a charter school, you are the LEA. 6

6. For OCS students entering a charter without an OCS track - how can we insure they all graduate with the needed skills? What are the best practice in a non-OCS track school?

• • • • OCS is a curriculum pathway to a NC diploma and must be available to all students - Charter or Traditional. All charter schools should be capable of preparing students for the OCS diploma.

Your charter must ensure that each student with a disability receives a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) Services must be based upon the unique needs of the individual student If you need assistance in setting up an OCS program, please contact the appropriate DPI consultant. 7

7. What can a charter school do academically for students with disabilities?

• • • • Charter schools must … Ensure that each student with a disability receives a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) In the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) that is appropriate for that student

Services must be based upon the unique needs of the individual student

Provide a full continuum of services (regular classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction, instruction in hospitals and institutions). 8

TIPS for Compliance

Continuum of Services and the IEP Team Meeting

• All decisions about an IEP are made by a legally comprised IEP team —support opportunities for staff and parental participation • Support efforts to ensure parental participation • Decisions about services and assessments are based on the individual, unique needs of the child, – Not based on administrative convenience, schedules, personnel, or monetary resources • BE PREPARED to provide all required services and meet the needs of the student 9

TIPS for Compliance

Be sure that your staff fully understand and have procedures for : • Meeting Child Find requirements • Monitoring days of removal and following the discipline/behavior support requirements for EC students • Providing comparable services and following the transfer procedures for students with IEPs • Obtaining and updating/correcting EC records from previous LEAs —sending records to other LEAs as students leave your school 10

Please DON’T Say

“We don’t do…” “We don’t have…” “We only have…” “There are no funds available for…” “For students with (disability), we always…” 11

8. What are the updates on requirements for EC, NCEES, & licensure? Employ licensed, highly qualified EC teachers. While charter schools have some discretion regarding the employment of non-certified regular education teachers, this does not apply to special education teachers. These teachers must be licensed by North Carolina in the area of Special Education. For updates on NCEES and licensure, please see your HR department. 12


EC Division has a team designated for supporting charter schools: Rob McOuat

Regional Consultant Piedmont-Triad, Southwest, Northwest, Western [email protected]


Teresa Peterson

Monitoring Consultant Piedmont-Triad & Southwest [email protected]


Heidi Carico

Consultant for Autism, [email protected]


Kevin Allen

Regional Consultant Northeast, Southeast, North Central, Sandhills [email protected]


Karen Little

Monitoring Consultant North Central Region [email protected]


Ginger Cash

Consultant for Intervention (Statewide) [email protected]

919-807-4024 14

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