The Department of Exceptional Student Education

Welcome to ESE!


Kevin McCormick
Director, Exceptional Student Education
 Telephone: 561-434-8626
Fax: 561-434-8276


Parent Survey

Each year, the Florida Department of Education (FDOE) surveys parents of children with an individual educational plan (IEP) to determine how well your child’s school is partnering with you and promoting your involvement in your child’s education. All states must collect this data as part of their State Performance Plan, as required under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Click the link below - it has English, Spanish and Haitian Creole versions

parent survey

Your feedback is important in helping the state and local school systems continue improving educational programs for children with special needs. Thank you!



Senate Bill 1108: Information on Renewal Credit in Teaching Students with Disabilites

The following information will be periodically updated to include all pertinent information regarding the new requirements adopted to the Educator Certification Rule, Rule 6A-4.0051, Florida Administrative Code, Renewal and Reinstatement of a Professional Certificate that requires any applicant for renewal or reinstatement of a Florida professional certificate must earn at least (1) semester hour of college credit or the equivalent of 20 in-service points of training in the instruction of students with disabilities (SWD).

Specific in-service course information will be available through the District's professional development course registration in order assist those impacted by this newly adopted legislation satisfy the requirements. A list of courses will be uploaded to this site by the ESE Department in the near future.

Bulletin and TAP will provide answers to many questions concerning new information on renewal of teaching certificate

School District Bulletin with a link to the TAP  (.pdf)

Memo from DOE

FDOE Memo Renewal of Credit in Teaching SWDs dps 2014_12  (.pdf)

Information on implementation of Senate Bill 1108

SB1108 Implementation Memo dps 2013_105  (.pdf)


Virtual Learning Opportunities Which Meet SB 1108:

20 In-service Points for Instruction of Students with Disabilities

Virtual Learning Opportunities Which Meet SB1108 (.pdf)

FDLRS Human Resources


PDA Online Modules starting August 2014!  

Available in eLearning

PDA Offering

PDA Catalog

Teaching Students with Disabilities Q & A


Additional ESE professional development opportunities for meeting

ESE 20 hour requirement contact person is listed in the document

Professional development offerings for ESE 20 requirement  (.pdf)

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      Children       Teenagers       students       Student and Parent        graduates



Important Information for Parents and School Staff:

On January 30, 2009, The School District of Palm Beach County entered into an agreement to improve services to students who are emotionally/behaviorally disabled (E/BD) and/or having behavioral issues that have resulted in repeated disciplinary removals (suspensions from school).

The School District of Palm Beach County, Department of ESE, is committed to the use of positive behavior interventions and support to assist school staff, students and their families to improve both student behavior and achievement.







Multimedia Presentation 



Explanation of the Settlement Agreement

click here to view multimedia presentation



(Video on Demand)


  Settlement Agreement Extension



Settlement Agreement Extension in Creole

Settlement Agreement Extension in Spanish

A Non-legal, general summary of the Agreement







For more information please contact:

Joanne Thornton
Procedural Compliance Coordinator, Department of ESE
Telephone: 561-434-7322




Did You Know?

The School District of Palm Beach County serves approximately 37,058 Exceptional Student Education (ESE) students which include 9,279 gifted students. Eligible ESE students are provided services from birth through age 22. ESE services are available at all public school sites throughout the district.


The School District of Palm Beach County is committed to providing exceptional students a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in accordance with federal, state, and local mandates. In keeping with this philosophy, the School District:


    • Provides every exceptional student with an appropriate individualized education program (IEP)
    • Offers exceptional students services that are available to every other student
    • Provides placement alternatives that enable students to be educated in the least restrictive environment.
    • Encourages the participation of parents in the educational process
    • Ensures the right to due process and equal protection under the law

In Florida, students may be determined eligible for the following programs: 


    • Intellectual Disabilities (InD)
    • Speech Impaired (SI)
    • Language Impaired (LI)
    • Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH)
    • Visually Impaired (VI)
    • Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities (EBD)
    • Specific Learning Disabled (SLD)
    • Gifted (GIFT)
    • Hospital/Homebound (HH)
    • Dual Sensory Impaired (DSI)
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
    • Developmental Delay (DD)
    • Established Condition (EC)
    • Physically Impaired (PI)

              • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

              • Other Health Impaired (OHI)

              • Orthopedically Impaired (OI)

small childStudent
The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) law requires all teachers be highly qualified. ESE teachers must have core content area verification in addition to having ESE certification to become highly qualified. Contact Ernesto Lontoc at 434-8799 for further information or visit this web link:


pie chart of ESE Students as of April 2014