• Overview of Exceptional Student Education


    The mission of Exceptional Student Education is to support and promote academic achievement, citizenship, and readiness for work in the global community for all students by identifying, coordinating, and providing resources and services. The ESE Department prepares students with unique abilities to achieve the highest learning standards by engaging a high-quality staff, involved parents, and a supportive community! 


    The Exceptional Student Education (ESE) Department provides support and services to Students with Disabilities (SWD) who are eligible for special education services. Sarasota County Schools serve over 8,000 students with disabilities, ages from birth through 21, which encompasses over 40 schools. A continuum of services is provided in a variety of settings, which includes general education classrooms, resource rooms, special classes, specialized day schools, and hospital homebound. Services for many SWD can be provided at their neighborhood school. Eligible students are provided supports and/or services per their Individual Education Plan (IEP) which is based on each child’s unique needs. Supplemental services are provided in collaboration with discretionary projects such as Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System (FDLRS), ACCESS Project, Working with the Experts (WWE), Project 10, Problem-Solving and Response to Intervention (PS/RTI), and the Multiagency Network for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities (SEDNET). 

    The ESE Department comprises various professionals providing learning opportunities and instructional programming to facilitate high-quality instruction and supports for students with disabilities. The ESE Department supports the district in processes related to identification, evaluation, eligibility determination, educational placement, and the provision of a free appropriate public education for SWD.  

    The ESE Department ensures that parents have the opportunity to partner in the educational decision-making process regarding their child and that they are afforded the procedural safeguards to which they are entitled. The ESE Department collaborates with the parents of SWD to address any issues or concerns. Collaboration between school staff members, families, and students is the key to success for our students with disabilities. When families and educators work together as partners, our students can meet their maximum potential. Our vision is every student, every day!