McDowell County Schools

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Exceptional Children Programs                                              
Phone: (828) 652-6580
Fax: (828) 652-8756

 Welcome Back  Exceptional Children Teachers!

     I want to thank you for your continued professionalism, excellence and dedication. It is your teacher motivation and motivation in the classroom that will help to create a year that is bright with embraced opportunities. I feel blessed to work with people that care about and are making a difference in our future.

     This year I have no doubt that with your guidance our students will throw themselves into their education, they will make the most of the opportunities that they are offered. I have no doubt that as they remain engaged in the classroom, they will achieve their goals.  The education that you offer is sound, creative and innovative. Together with the parents and the students themselves, our goals become a reality. Welcome back to a great school year!

Teacher Appreciation Printables | Teacher Appreciation gifts can sometimes be hard to come up with.







McDowell County Schools provide special education and related services to all children with disabilities from age three through twenty-two inclusive.When children are found eligible for special services, an  Individualized Education Plan is developed stating the services to be provided. A specialized staff implements the education plans.
Services available for students with disabilities include: Mentally Disabled, Orthopedically Impaired, Learning Disabled, Hearing Impaired, Other Health Impaired, Speech Impaired, Deaf, Visually Impaired, Blind, Emotionally Disabled, Autistic, Traumatic Brain Injury, Developmentally Delayed, and Speech and/or Language Impaired. See the file below for a complete description of each area of exceptionality.

Available related services include but are not limited to: Speech and/or Language, Counseling, Physical Therapy, Adaptive Physical Education, Transportation, and Occupational Therapy.
Mrs. Glenda Starr
EC Director for McDowell County Schools
Physical Address
172 Lukin Street
Marion, NC 28752
Phone: (828) 652-6580
Fax: (828) 652-8756

Upcoming Events:

  • EC Personnel will be meeting on Wednesday, August 23 at the Pleasant Gardens Elementary School Multi-purpose Room.   Pertinent EC information will be shared regarding our new school year from 8:00-12:30.  Light breakfast snacks will be served and lunch will be on your own.  Bring your enthusiasm  ! 

  • Foundations of Math: 10/12,10/26, 11/9, 11/30,12/14
  •                               location: East McDowell Middle School
  • Mini-Refreshers for EC teachers- 3:15-4:00   172 Lukin Street- Sept-March (see teacher resource page) RSVP 

MCS Teacher of Excellence 2016-17

McDowell County Schools is proud to recognize Holly Keller as our Exceptional Children Teacher of Excellence.  Mrs. Keller has been teaching since 1998.   She has served children in the exceptional children’s program at Rohanan Primary, Clyde Elementary and North Cove Elementary as a resource teacher her first five years and has served exceptional children fourteen years at McDowell High School, where she is currently teaching as an inclusion teacher.  She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education from Western Carolina University.  Mrs. Keller’s professionalism, dedication to quality instruction, knowledge of student needs, and the ability to effectively communicate with students, peers and parents are keys to her success as a highly qualified special education teacher at McDowell High School.

Perhaps Mrs. Keller’s greatest strength is her ability to listen and build a positive rapport with her students.   She always goes the extra mile to do whatever it takes to meet their needs.  The relationships she builds with her students have made all the difference in the lives of children, encouraging them to stay in school, work hard to earn a high school diploma and supporting their post secondary endeavors, whether it be pursuing a college degree or securing a job. 


Mrs. Keller is an excellent teacher who has shown exemplary ability to meet the special needs of the children she serves.  She is a vital member of the Exceptional Children’s Department and represents McDowell County Schools extremely well as a teacher of excellence.


The Titan Greenhouse is proudly managed by students and all of the plants are grown with love by students at McDowell High School!
Titan Greenhouse is located behind the tennis courts beside the ball field at McDowell High School.
The official website for The North Carolina Improvement Project II (NCSIP II). NC SIP II works to improve the quality and effectiveness of educational programs and instruction 
for students with disabilities in North Carolina.
Transfer Students

Transfers within McDowell County Schools

  1. Students with IEPs are assigned to the school they would normally attend based on attendance zone or a parent’s school choice. However, changes to school assignment will be made when the goals, objectives, services and/or the accommodations on the IEP cannot be implemented at the attendance zone or choice school.
  2. If it is determined that a student’s IEP cannot be implemented at the student’s attendance zone or choice school, then the student will be assigned to a school that can implement the IEP within the region of the attendance zone school.
  3. If it is determined that a student’s IEP cannot be implemented at the regional school because of class size, transportation issues, accessibility and/or other factors, then Special Education and Related Service will determine the school assignment.
  4. Data Managers make electronic transfers. The Special Education case manager will send the student’s official educational record to the assigned school through school mail or hand delivery.
  5. IEP or transition meetings may be held as needed.    FOR MORE INFORMATION SEE PDF STUDENT TRANSFERS

Dispute Resolution

Any person who has a concern about the education of a student with a disability can raise the issue in one of several ways. For example, it is always appropriate to discuss the matter with the student's teacher or principal at the local school, or it is also helpful to contact the Director of Exceptional Children Program in the central office of the school system, charter school, or state operated program.

The Exceptional Children Division's consultants for dispute resolution and consultants for instructional support and related services are also able to offer consultation to assist parents, advocates, or school system, charter school, or state operated programs personnel who request help with problem-solving.

Consultants at the Department of Public Instruction are neutral and refrain from taking sides when there is a disagreement, but consistently advocate for appropriate services for children with disabilities. They are committed to the protection of rights for children with disabilities and their parents.

An informal means of problem solving is provided through the Exceptional Children Division's Facilitated IEP Program for school systems, charter schools, state operated programs, and parents.

Formal means for dispute resolution are also available through the Department of Public Instruction, Exceptional Children Division. These options are requirements of federal and state laws governing special education -Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA), and Policies Governing Services for Children with Disabilities.

When there is an unresolved disagreement over identification, evaluation or educational placement of a child with a disability or the provision of free appropriate public education, the options for dispute resolution are mediation, formal written complaint, and due process hearing. A formal complaint filed on the same issue(s) as contained in a petition for a due process hearing will not be investigated. These options are also available to the adult student who has reached the age of majority (18), unless legally deemed incompetent or unable to make educational decisions.

Teachers going beyond!!

NC Policy For Governing Services for Children with Disabilities

Child Find Project
Child Find is a component of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that requires states to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities, aged birth to 22, who are in need of early intervention or special education services.
Click here for information on Child Find in 
McDowell County.
Click here to go to the IDEA Child Find Project Website.
Our monitoring program for Exceptional Children Program in McDowell County. Find information regarding students with disabilities and their services in McDowell County.
Discipline procedures
Dwayne Moore- Custodian Tie Guy visits Exceptional Children