The mission of Exceptional Student Education (ESE) is to provide quality services that support effective learning opportunities for all exceptional children. Pinellas County Schools serves approximately 13,643 students with disabilities and 6,201 students who are gifted.
Students ages 3-21 who meet eligibility requirements receive special education services, which include, but are not limited to, educational, vocational and behavioral support. Services meet the needs of eligible students while allowing access to general education instruction with non-disabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate for each student.
ESE Staff Phone Numbers
IDEA Specialist: Terry Ryan, (727) 725-7918
Area Superintendent: Ward Kennedy, (727) 588-5023
IDEA Specialist: Lisa Tucker, (727) 793-2717
Area Superintendent: Dr. Barbara Hires, (727) 588-5024
IDEA Specialist: Eileen Leili, (727) 528-5781
Area Superintendent: Bob Poth, (727) 588-5020
IDEA Specialist: Mary Beth Varner, (727) 893-2851
Area Superintendent: Patricia Wright, (727) 588-5022
Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM)
Pinellas County Schools provides AIM as a component of the provision of a free and appropriate public education under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). For more information regarding AIM, Learning Ally, Bookshare and NIMAC, please click on the following link: AIM memo
Parent Registration Process for Students with Disabilities
Parents of students with an IEP who are new to Pinellas County Schools should contact the Pinellas County Schools ESE Student Transfer Team at the Largo Administration Building, (727)-588-5128. Staff will verify IEP information to provide comparable services. Once verified, a school reservation will be confirmed. Parents will provide required documentation to the school.
The PreK Exceptional Student Education Program
offers a variety of program models and options for children ages three through five who have been identified with developmental delay. In addition, children identified as visually impaired and deaf or hard of hearing receive services from birth through age three. For registration contact the ESE PreK office at (727) 588-6023 or (727) 588-6000 X 2184.
is provided for students who are medically unable to attend school for an extended period of time. To determine appropriate program services, parents are encouraged to contact the Homebound office at (727) 669-1221.
students enrolled in public, private or home school are served by the Gifted Program. For questions regarding the Gifted Program, contact Jenny Klimis, supervisor.
The Florida Diagnostic Learning Resources System (FDLRS)
is a network of state and federally-funded centers throughout Florida. Support services are provided to exceptional student educators, children, parents, and community agencies. To contact Child Find, call (727) 793-2731. For parent services, technology, or Human Resource Development, call (727) 793-2723.
For more information, go to the FDLRS website at gulfcoast.fdlrs.org
ESE Support Professionals
are highly valued members of the school team. They play a vital role in ensuring that students with disabilities are provided access to and make progress in the general education curriculum.
Special Olympics Florida
provides sports training and Olympic-style competition to more than 15,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities throughout the state. Pinellas County is an accredited local program through Special Olympics Florida.
Students with disabilities who have left Pinellas County Schools and need to obtain copies of their records may contact Central Files at (727) 793-2701.
For more information, contact the ESE Department at (727) 588-6032.