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Exceptional Children’s Department

Tanja Mathias (EC Case Manager)                           
Becky West, 8th Grade Resource Teacher              
Marisa English(AIG Teacher/Consultant)             
Aurelia McLucas(ID Mild Teacher)                         
Joenett Fields, 6th Grade Resource Teacher         
Myrna Cepeda, 7th Grade Resource Teacher         
Shirley Whitley, SED Teacher                                  

The mission of special education in Cumberland County Schools is to provide high quality educational services to students with disabilities by implementing Individualized Education Programs (IEP), utilizing research and standards-based interventions, instruction, and assessments in the least restrictive environment with the goal of preparing students to become productive, responsible members of their community. Services are provided in accordance with the federal mandates of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and North Carolina policies governing services for children with disabilities.
Program Description:
Students with disabilities in the Cumberland County School System receive Exceptional Children’s (EC) services based on the educational need for specially designed instruction when standard instruction with modification is not appropriate. The services emphasize maximized participation in typical settings for students three through twenty-one years of age. Students receive services in typical school settings from highly qualified professionals, in varying amounts of time depending on individual need. Amounts of service range from consultation and minimal modification of the North Carolina Standard Course of Study to full-time specially designed instruction with related services. All service decisions are specified in an Individualized Education Program (IEP) jointly developed by parents and school teams. Determination of the need for specially designed instruction is determined through a comprehensive, multidisciplinary evaluation process. Whenever possible, students are served in schools within their home attendance area or in schools of choice with support from special education personnel and related service providers. For those students who must have a specialized setting or more intensive services in order to benefit from their special education, programs are clustered geographically but continue to be based on school campuses that house age-appropriate peers.

Services:  Exceptional Children’s Services are provided under the following categorical designations:
Autism Spectrum
Seriously Emotionally Disabled
Traumatic Brain Injured
Visually Impaired/Hearing Impaired/Speech-Language Impaired
Intellectually Disabled (Mild, Moderate, and Severe)
Other Health Impaired
Orthopedically Impaired
Developmental Delayed
Specific Learning Disabled


If you are new to Cumberland County and have a child who has been receiving special education services, contact the school in your attendance area and provide them with documentation of your child’s special needs (i.e., a copy of the student’s Individualized Education Program). When school is not in session, you may contact the Anne Chesnutt EC office by calling 910-867-4752. If you are concerned that your child might be in need of special education and/or related services, you should contact your school principal.
Exceptional Children’s Personnel:
Exceptional Children’s Personnel are responsible for providing information and assistance to school personnel who are responsible for assuring that all procedures that apply to students with disabilities are implemented according to the intent and letter of the law. In addition, the staff provides training to school personnel on laws/policies and effective classroom practice. Exceptional Children’s Personnel also consult with parents who need information about specific disabilities, community resources, or have concerns about their child’s education.

Published by Jody Phillips on August 1, 2019