Accessing Special Education Services for Your Preschooler

Parents of preschoolers (children from ages three to four as well as those five-year-olds who are not yet eligible for kindergarten due to birth date) sometimes suspect delays in the development of speech-language, school readiness, motor, social-behavior, and self-help skills. Concerned parents can contact the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) Preschool Exceptional Children Program to request evaluations to be considered for Exceptional Children services.

What are the steps involved in this process?

  • Concerned parents call the CMS Exceptional Children intake telephone line at 980-343-6960. A case history is completed and the information is forwarded to the preschool evaluation team.
  • The evaluation and IEP team meet with the parents to discuss their concerns, gather data, and conduct a developmental screening.
  • The evaluation team obtains written permission for testing, gathers any already completed test reports, and conducts a comprehensive assessment.
  • The evaluation and IEP team schedules a final conference with the child’s parents to discuss the evaluation results and decide whether or not special education and support services are needed.
  • If the child is eligible for special education and support services, an Individualized Education Program (IEP) is written based on the child’s needs and parent consent for services is obtained.
  • Special education and support services can be put in place through the CMS Preschool Exceptional Children Program.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School System does not discriminate against any person on the basis of sex, national origin, race, ethnic background, color, religion, age or disability in any of its educational or employment programs or activities.

Accessing Programs

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools requires the following information when starting the evaluation and eligibility process:

  • A copy of the child's birth certificate
  • Three copies of Mecklenburg County proof of residence, domicile, or McKinney Vento status

700 East Stonewall Street
Suite 404
Charlotte, NC 28202
Phone: 980-343-6960
Fax: 980-343-5433