Exceptional Children and Federal Programs

Parent Rights & Responsibilities in Special Education: NC Notice of Procedural Safeguards

Parent Rights & Responsibilities in Special Education: NC Notice of Procedural Safeguards

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, coach, or Carolyn Walton carolynwalton@northeastacademy.org.

EC Division Website

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Exceptional Children Division

The mission of the Exceptional Children Division is to ensure that students with disabilities develop intellectually, physically, emotionally, and vocationally through the provision of an appropriate individualized program in the least restrictive environment.


Multi-Tiered System of Support for Families


What is NC MTSS?
Family engagement within an MTSS is defined as the active and meaningful partnerships that educators build and maintain with students’ families for the purpose of supporting student learning. It embodies the idea that all parties are equally invested in the student’s educational experience and all parties bring knowledge and skills of equal value to the table to work together.
This linked infographic is intended to support NC families in understanding what NC educators are referring to when they are talking about an MTSS.

What is “support”?
NC schools that are implementing an MTSS may talk about support for students. To further define that support, NC organizes these supports around the instruction, the curriculum, and the environment. This linked infographic is intended to promote understanding and conversations around how school teams are providing these supports to all, some, and a few students based on needs.

Child Find

The Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies’ coaches and staff are responsible for and committed to ensuring that our school identifies, locates, and evaluates students with disabilities enrolled in and attending NEAAAT who may be in need of special education and related services.  NEAAAT will continue these efforts in all learning environments including when engaged in remote learning.  Child Find activities at NEAAAT include, but are not limited to, educating and training coaches and staff, teaming with parents, providing MTSS interventions, and completing screenings. If a parent of a child with a suspected disability has concerns, they should contact their child’s coach or Carolyn Walton, Director of Exceptional Children’s and Federal Programs, at (252) 562-0653 or carolynwalton@northeastacademy.org.

Foster Care

The Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies’ Foster Care Liason is Carolyn Walton, Director of Exceptional Children and Federal Programs.  She can be reached at carolynwalton@northeastacademy.org or 252-562-0653 ext 108.


The McKinney-Vento Homeless Act ensures that homeless children and youth enrolled in and attending the Northeast Academy for Aerospace and Advanced Technologies have equal access to an appropriate, public education.  Our McKinney-Vento Homeless Coordinator is Carolyn Walton. Carolyn can be reached by email at carolynwalton@northeastacademy.org or by phone at (252) 562-0653 ext 108.  Information about North Carolina’s Homeless Education Program can be found on the NCHEP website at https://hepnc.uncg.edu/, and specific data pertaining to homeless education in North Carolina can be found by navigating to the “About” page (https://hepnc.uncg.edu/about). 

McKinney-Vento Act:

42 USC § 11431 – STATEMENT OF POLICY the following is the policy of the Congress:

(1) Each State educational agency shall ensure that each child of a homeless individual and each homeless youth has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, including a public preschool education, as provided to other children and youths.

(2) In any State that has a compulsory residency requirement as a component of the State’s compulsory school attendance laws or other laws, regulations, practices, or policies that may act as a barrier to the enrollment, attendance, or success in school of homeless children and youths, the State will review and undertake steps to revise such laws, regulations, practices, or policies to ensure that homeless children and youths are afforded the same free, appropriate public education as provided to other children and youths.

(3) Homelessness alone is not sufficient reason to separate students from the mainstream school environment.

(4) Homeless children and youths should have access to the education and other services that such children and youths need to ensure that such children and youths have an opportunity to meet the same challenging State student academic achievement standards to which all students are held.

Under the McKinney-Vento Act, individuals are identified as Homeless if they lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including individuals who are:

  • Sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason
  • Living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations
  • Living in emergency or transitional shelters
  • Awaiting foster care placement
  • Have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings
  • Living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings
  • Migratory children living in the circumstances described above
  • Unaccompanied youth living in the circumstances described above

Parent/Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Rights:

Unaccompanied homeless youth are ensured the same educational rights that the McKinney-Vento Act provides for other homeless students, which include the right to:

  • Enroll, even if they do not currently have paperwork normally required for enrollment
  • Attend either the local attendance area school or the school of origin, with the placement decision based on the student’s best interest
  • Remain in the school of origin for the duration of the homelessness or until the end of the school year in which the student becomes permanently housed
  • Receive transportation to and from the school of origin
  • Receive educational services, such as free school meals, Title I services; and participate in gifted and talented programs, vocational education, alternative education, and any other services comparable to what housed students receive
  • Not be stigmatized or segregated on the basis of their status as homeless

In addition to the provisions that apply to all homeless students, the McKinney-Vento Act includes the following provisions specifically for unaccompanied homeless youth:

  • Unaccompanied homeless youth shall be enrolled without proof of guardianship.
  • During a dispute over school selection or enrollment, unaccompanied homeless youth shall receive a written statement explaining the school’s decision, the youth’s right to appeal the decision, and a referral to the local liaison.

Local Liaisons shall assist unaccompanied homeless youth in:

  • Selecting a school of attendance and enrolling in school.
  • Requesting transportation to and from the school of origin.
  • Enrolling in school while disputes are resolved.

If you feel that you or someone you know meets these criteria, please contact Carolyn Walton for information regarding:

  • McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act
  • Homeless Identification Form
  • Free and Reduced Lunch Application
  • Emergency food and shelter resources

Alternatively, we invite you to visit our main office at 1413 West Ehringhaus Street, Elizabeth City, NC 27909.  

Additional McKinney-Vento information may be obtained from:

Federal Programs

What All Parents Should Know About Federal Programs at NEAAAT

  • NEAAAT is a Title I School-Wide Program.
  • The Title I Plan is shared bi-annually and a print copy is available upon request.
  • The Student-Parent-School Compact is located in the NEAAAT Student Handbook.
  • Parents, Students, and NEAAAT staff agree to participate fully in the Compact for the best interest of the student.
  • NEAAAT employs educators who meet high-quality workforce standards.
  • Educator credentials are posted outside of classroom doors for easy viewing.
  • Parents may request a copy of the professional qualifications of their child’s teachers and paraprofessionals at any time.
  • NEAAAT’s yearly State Report Card (2020: English, Spanish) can be located on the school website.
  • NEAAAT provides supplements for free and reduced meals. The application is available year-round
  • NEAAAT can provide assistance in locating resources should your student become homeless.
  • NEAAAT participates in Project Child Find and has information available at school.
  • NEAAAT reports the academic growth of students every three weeks through progress reports and report cards. Parent Conferences are held throughout the year. Please contact your student’s coach to schedule a time.
  • NEAAAT participates in the NC Testing and Accountability Program and reports state testing results to parents with the final report card of the school year. More information can be found at the NCDPI Testing Website.

If you have any questions, you can contact NEAAAT at 252-562-0653 ext 108 or email Carolyn Walton, Director of Exceptional Children And Federal Programs, at carolynwalton@northeastacademy.org