40 Orange Street
St. Augustine, Florida 32084
Phone: (904) 547-7672
Fax: (904) 547-7687
Nick McGinnis, Senior Director for Exceptional Student Education
Lisa Bell, Senior Director for Exceptional Student Education
Tina Powell, Director for Exceptional Student Education
Dana Pupke, Executive Secretary
Sarah Rideman, Confidential Staff Secretary
Keyjah Camps, Confidential Staff Secretary
To identify and meet the unique educational needs of exceptional students and to provide support and resources to enhance educational opportunities so they may become productive citizens.
ESE Parent Involvement Website:
Studies abound about how parent involvement is a key component in a child’s successful learning experience. Yet, it is often difficult to support your child’s educational experience when you lack the knowledge you need to provide this support. In effort to better inform parents about exceptional student education in Florida, the Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System (FLDRS) has launched a new Parent Services Website.
This helpful site is designed to help parents navigate through exceptional student education (ESE), covering Pre-K through transition to college and or career. Valuable information presented on this site includes: information geared to various grade levels; contact lists for school districts, parent centers, and related agencies; a glossary of terms; and success stories.
ESE programs and services address the unique needs of students who are gifted in kindergarten through 12th grade and those with mild, moderate and severe disabilities from age three until they graduate with a regular diploma or through their 21st birthday. ESE programs and services are designed to assist students in reaching their educational goals through the use of instructional and behavioral approaches which are research-based and exemplify best practices. Technology is used in many creative ways to meet student needs as well.
ESE services are available at all district schools for students who have mild to moderate disabilities. Gifted students and students with more significant disabilities are served in cluster programs at selected sites. Program support is provided to students, parents and school personnel by program specialists based at the district office. Students with disabilities who are not eligible for services through the ESE program may be eligible for an accommodations plan under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For more information, see 504 plans.
Students who are new to the district should register at their home-zoned school. To expedite correct placement of your child, please provide the school with documentation regarding your child’s diagnosis and eligibility for special programs (i.e. IEP or EP, evaluation reports, etc.) If you do not have copies of this documentation, school personnel will request the records from your child’s previous school. Staff at the school will review this information and arrange for placement in a program that most closely matches your child’s previous program. If your child requires a program that is not available at your home-zoned school, the Assistant Principal will contact you and the school housing the cluster program to facilitate appropriate placement. Transportation is available for students assigned to a cluster program that is not available in their home-zoned school.
A student may be referred for evaluation if she/he is suspected of being gifted or having a disability and is in need of a special program or services. Referrals for evaluation should only be requested after the school has provided at least two interventions to try to meet the student’s needs in the regular education environment. Please contact the Assistant Principal at your child’s school to request a referral for evaluation. Students who live in St. Johns County but are not attending public school may also be referred for evaluation if they are between the ages of three and 21. Contact the Assistant Principal at the student’s home-zoned school for more information.