Parent Center template for military family-friendly web page

This is an example of a parent center webpage for military families. It covers important state-specific information that military families need. Thank-you to the team at ECAC in North Carolina for providing the examples!

Military Families, Welcome to North Carolina!

General Education Information:

  • Our State Education Agency is the NC Department of Public Instruction
  • Most  Local Education Agencies (LEAs) are county districts (100 counties.) There are also 15 city districts. 
  • Charter schools function like a school district, with the same responsibilities to students with disabilities.
    NC Public Schools receive annual Report Cards.
  • K-12 State Standards apply statewide

Special Education Information

  • In North Carolina, students in special education are referred to as “exceptional children” and the special education departments are referred to as “Exceptional Children’s (EC) Departments”.
  • Our parent rights handbook is referred to as the Procedural Safeguards Manual
  • Policies governing special education in North Carolina can be found here.

Because military family viewers may land on this web page first, you may wish to add a similar “blurb” about your parent center on the page, with contact information

Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center (ECAC)

ECAC is North Carolina’s Parent Center, serving families with children birth to 26 with disabilities or special health care needs. ECAC helps families navigate special education, know their rights, connect with community resources and find and use their voice.

Logo of the Exceptional Children's Assistance Center, ECAC. 907 Barra Row, Suite 102 and 103, Davidson, NC 28036, www.ecac-parentcenter.org, 704-892-1321, ecac@ecacmail.org, follow us on social media, facebook, youtube, twitter (no links)

North Carolina may differ from other states in these areas:

  • Birth to 3 “Infant-Toddler” program:  This is administered by Children’s Developmental Services Agency (CDSA). Many other states call this an Early Intervention program, or may use other names.
  • Preschool: NC does not provide universal Pre-K.  Contact local school district’s Preschool Coordinator once your child turn 2.5 to explore options
  • Initial Evaluation timeline is 90 days, starting on the day of your written request for an evaluation.  By the 90th calendar day, the school must hold an IEP meeting and develop an IEP if the child is eligible.
  • There is no definite time limit for conducting reevaluations, but they are supposed to be completed in a “timely manner.”
  • North Carolina use 14 Eligibility categories: the 13 found in federal law plus developmental delay (DD). DD can be used until a child’s 8th birthday under NC
  • NC DPI offiers “Facilitated IEP meetings”  as an informal dispute resolution option
  • Principals have sole authority over grade assignment, promotion and retention decisions.
  • IEP forms can be found here
  • Eligibility Worksheets for each disability category can be found here.
  • NC has unique policy around identifying specific learning disabilities (SLD).  
  • North Carolina follows Read to Achieve, which is a law around 3rd grade reading
  • There are specific accommodations allowed for required testing by grade level (includes SAT, PreSAT, etc.)

Some questions you can ask us…

  • How can I be sure my child is receiving “comparable services” when we get to North Carolina?
  • What should I do if I think my child might need special education services? How does the process work here?
  • What are my rights if I hear my child is receiving interventions through MTSS, and I want an evaluation by the school?
  • How does reevaluation work when we move from another state?
  • What do I need to know about the roles and responsibilities at the state and local level?
  • Who should I talk to if I’m not satisfied with my child’s IEP or his/her progress in academic or functional areas?
  • How can I make sure that my high school child stays on track for graduation even though some NC requirements are different?
  • I’ve heard, “we don’t do that in North Carolina.” Is this true?

This is where you may want to post the downloadable, “brandable” resource documents provided separately by Branch-MPTAC. Add your logo and contact information, and post on your website’s version of this military family-friendly web page.

You and your family may find these resources useful: