Exceptional Student Education

Florida’s Mission

The mission of exceptional student education in Florida, a committed alliance for the development of the unique gifts of each exceptional person, is to ensure the achievement of each and every individual's extraordinary purpose by expanding opportunities through collaboration of families, professionals, and communities who guarantee the highest expectations and individual success.

Our Mission at FLVS Full Time

It is the goal of the Exceptional Student Education Department at FLVS Full Time to meet the needs of students with disabilities in the least restrictive environment.  The commitment of the FLVS Full Time ESE Department is to assist all school personnel in the appropriate identification, placement, and programming for exceptional students.

In accordance with the HB 7063 addition to the Florida Statute 1003.57 Exceptional Students Instruction subsection (5), each full-time virtual instruction program under s. 1002.37 or s. 1002.45 must fulfill the obligations of a school district under this section for public school exceptional students who are enrolled in a full-time virtual instruction program. A student whose individual educational plan (IEP) indicates that full-time virtual instruction is appropriate may be enrolled in a full-time virtual instruction program. Subject to final rules issuance by the Florida Department of Education concerning recently enacted legislation.

Please contact the student’s resident district to request an IEP team meeting to determine whether full-time virtual instruction is an appropriate option. Parents or the resident district representative may also contact the appropriate grade-level ESE Manager at FLVS Full Time to arrange for FLVS Full Time participation on the IEP team in order to assist with making an appropriate, informed decision.

Staff Directory

FLVS Flex K-8  ESE Specialist Manager, Jeff Jacobson – (407) 556-0009
FLVS Flex 9-12 ESE Specialist, Catherine Diletto – (941) 405-3075
FLVS Full Time K-5 ESE Manager, Jamie Worrell – (561) 420-6443
FLVS Full Time 6-12 ESE Manager, Laurie Walls – (813) 760-2537
FLVS Full Time K-12 ESE/Student Services Senior Manager, Olivia Sinski – (407) 476-1350
FLVS District ESE Support Specialist, Natalie Xenofontos – (407) 513-3354
FLVS District ESE Director, Nikki Callaghan – (813) 449-3018

Parent Resources

Welcome to our ESE parent resources. We have included a multitude resources and website links for you to access. We hope you find this information useful.

A Parent's Introduction to Exceptional Student Education in Florida book will introduce you to exceptional student education (ESE) in Florida. It explains the ESE process and key ideas in the state and federal laws about ESE.

A Guide to Understanding the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) at FLVS Full Time

Planning for Students with Disabilities - A Guide for Families

McKay Scholarship Program FAQs

Florida Diagnostic & Learning Resources System (FDLRS) provides information, training, and support to districts and families in order to promote effective parent participation in the educations of children who are exceptional and/or have special needs.

Florida Inclusion Network (FIN) provides learning opportunities, consultation, information and support to educators, families, and community members resulting in the inclusion of all students.

Preparing for Your Child’s IEP Meeting

The Notice of Procedural Safeguards for Parents of Students with Disabilities (Revised May 2010) describes the parent's rights under the IDEA. These rights, or procedural safeguards, are intended to ensure that you have the opportunity to be a partner in the educational decisions made regarding your child. Contact your child’s school or visit the below listed websites to access a copy of the procedural safeguards.


Exceptional Parent Magazine provides information, support, ideas, encouragement and outreach for parents and families of children with disabilities, and the professionals who work with them. 

NICHCY has provided a list of special education and disability related acronyms.

Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities: A Guide for Families has been revised and is now available online through the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services and Project 10: Transition Education Network. 

Financial Aid for Students with Disabilities Guide

Educator Resources

Welcome to our ESE Educator resources. We have included a multitude of resources and website links for you to access. We hope you find this information useful.

The Professional Development Portal for Educators of Students with Disabilities provides information about state and regional professional development (PD) opportunities for Florida's educators offered by the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services discretionary projects.

Florida's Multi-Tiered System of Supports website offers a variety of tools and resources to assist educators in the implementation of Florida’s RTI Plan.

What Works Clearinghouse is a central and trusted source of scientific evidence for effective educational practices. Topics include beginning reading, early childhood education, elementary school and middle school math, and dropout prevention.

NICHCY has provided a list of special education and disability related ACRONYMS.

Additional Resources

State Sites
Florida Department of Education 
Bureau of Exceptional Education And Student Services
Florida’s MTSS 

National Sites
National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities
US Department of Education - Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 2004
U.S. Department of Education - Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
US Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP)
National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities