ACES - New Hanover County Schools

New Hanover County Schools
Advisory Council for
Exceptional Students
History &Purpose
Advisory councils at the State level are mandated by various federal and
state legislation to insure that the persons being served are adequately
The State Board resolution states that the responsibilities of these councils
To study the school offerings in-depth to determine how well schools
are serving children with special needs
To make recommendations for improvement to local board of
To serve as an avenue of public sentiment for improvement
In keeping with this resolution and the intended purpose for local advisory
councils, the purpose of this council is to assist in improving the quality of
education for children with special needs in the New Hanover County
School system.
The membership of the Council is comprised of 20-25 people, appointed for two-year terms. They are
selected by the Membership Committee and recommended to the Superintendent no later than July 1
of each year. The members are appointed by the Superintendent subject to the approval of the Board of
Education. A member may serve no more than two consecutive two-year terms.
2013-2014 Membership Profile:
29% - African-American
10% - Individuals with disabilities
33% - Parents of students with disabilities
24% - Male
29%- Community service agency representatives
The Special Education Executive Director, school board members and other central office staff
members are ex-officio members of the Council.
Members should represent a broad range of interests in children with special needs. At least one
third of the membership should be parents of children with special needs.
Meetings are typically:
Scheduled for the 3rd Friday of each month and are open to
the public.
Held at a school site or partnering agency/educational
facility in New Hanover County.
Posted on the NHCS ACES webpage, on the ACES Facebook
page and in the ACES brochure (found online and in schools).
Meeting agendas include items such as: school site presentation/tour,
Director’s Report on high-interest special education topics, committee work
sessions, special guest speakers.
2013-2014 ACES Initiatives
ACES Parent Survey on needs, school site programming and IEP services
in NHCS.
NHCS Advisory Council for Exceptional Students Annual Appreciation
ACES Facebook page to disseminate information to stakeholders.
Partnering with agencies for parent and professional training
opportunities (FSN-Parent/Professional Collaboration at Coming
Together & Coastal Horizons-NHCS staff training for Sexual Violence
Prevention for Individuals with Disabilities.
New ACES brochure, letterhead, logo, and user-friendly website.
Ongoing communication and correspondence to/with the Board of
Education and Superintendent (letters, meetings, School Board Member
is ACES ex-officio member).
Annual Report to the Superintendent and BOE with recommendations.
Parent Forums (Inaugural Forums: November 2014 and March 2015).
NHCS ACES Annual Report
ACES RECOMMENDATIONS to the BOE Based on 2013-2014 Findings. :
1. Share and highly encourage/reward the use of proven NHCS best practice
initiatives to improve consistency of special education service delivery from
school to school.
2. Develop and use consistent model for RtI and IEP services across schools.
3. Embed the need for fidelity in the delivery of special education services.
4. Work with general educators, specifically in secondary sites, to develop
greater understanding of the needs of students with disabilities. Encourage sitebased scheduling that does not overwhelm general educators who work well
with students with disabilities. Determine and implement research-based ratio
for teacher: class size: number of students with disabilities.
NHCS ACES Annual Report, cont.
5. Encourage site-based classroom/space allocation decision-making to
consider student/teacher comfort, noise levels, extra space needed for
assistive technology, medical equipment, etc. not just based on the number
of students using the space in a school day.
6. Actively educate and recruit families of students at-risk and/or receiving
special education services to apply for year-round schools.
7. Offer IEP and parent advocacy training at each school annually or biannually or at the district level quarterly.
8. Continue partnership with Family Support Network in hosting the annual
“Coming Together Conference”; increase publicity for event using school
system and community media outlets.
9. Continue hosting NHCS Transition Conference for parents/students with
Standing Committees
 Membership
 Awareness
 Appreciation
 Service
 Report
Find Us On…
NHCS Webpage
Brochures (Ask for one at any NHCS school).
Join us at a monthly meeting…
Next ACES Meeting
Director’s Report: “2014 NHCS Bond Referendum
for Education- Impact on Special Education”
Presenter: Dr. Markley, Superintendent
Site Visit & Meeting Location: Hoggard High School
Friday, September 19, 2014
9:00 am-11:00 am

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