Exceptional Children
Parent Rights

The special education process is a collaboration between families and CMS. It is important for parents of children with disabilities to understand their rights throughout this process.

Procedural Safeguards: 

Handbook on Parents' Rights

As stated in the Public Schools of North Carolina, Exceptional Children Division Parent Rights and Responsibilities in Special Education: Notice of Procedural Safeguards, "The IDEA requires schools to provide parents of a child with a disability a notice containing full explanation of the procedural safeguards (legal rights) available under the IDEA and the federal regulations." Additional information can be found at the US Department of Education's searchable website at http://idea.ed.gov/. You can view the Rights and Responsibilities in Special Education: Notice of Procedural Safeguards at these links:


This handbook is designed to support families with the understanding of the rights and responsibilities specific to the special education process. Acronyms and terms often used in special education and resources can be found in the appendices. If, at any time, you suspect your student may have a disability and is in need of special education and/or related services, you may request an evaluation, in writing, to your student’s school principal, teacher, or the CMS EC Department on our Contact Information page.

Advocates and Attorneys

Programs for Exceptional Children believes that collaboration between district staff and parents is the best way to make decisions related to the development of a student's IEP. From time to time, parents may wish to bring a representative to an IEP meeting, such as an advocate or attorney. Please notify the school or Exceptional Children Department in advance if you will be bringing an attorney to the meeting, as a school district attorney would also be required to be present at the meeting. 

Dispute Resolution Options

Please use the following link to access information from the North Carolina Exceptional Children Division regarding dispute resolution options. Please contact Corrine Turner at 980-343-6960 if you have any questions. Dispute Resolution Options.

From time to time, disagreements between families and schools may occur regarding the development and implementation a student’s individualized education program (IEP). It is highly recommended that the following steps be considered in order to resolve differences quickly.

Step 1- Address at the Classroom Level. Talk to your child's teacher about your concerns.

Step 2- Address at the School Level. Talk with the administration at your child's school.

Step 3- Address with Assistance from CMS Programs for Exceptional Children.  Please contact Elaine Jones, EC Parent Liaison, via email at elaine.jones@cms.k12.nc.us or via phone at 980-343-6960. Elaine will ensure that your concern is addressed in a timely manner by the person in the department who will best be able to support you. 

NC Policies Governing Services for 

Children with Disabilities

Learn more about the NC Policies related to Special Education Services.
P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website (www.cms.k12.nc.us) is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any website accessibility concerns may be brought via the following, Email the Web Accessibility Team at WebAccessibility or Call: 980.343.0115. In compliance with Federal Law, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administers all education programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities, may be referred to the District's Title IX Coordinator at titleixcoordinator or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.