Exceptional Student Education

Marion County has approximately 7,000 exceptional students enrolled in its public schools. An exceptional student is one who has special learning needs. The special assistance received in school is called Exceptional Student Education, or ESE. Our goal is to provide every exceptional student with a free appropriate public education (FAPE), help them progress in school, access the general curriculum, and prepare them for life after school.

The Marion County Public School System offers a continuum of services and programs to meet the individual needs of students requiring special education, ages 3 through 21. The degree to which services are provided is based individually on each child's Individual Education Plan (IEP) as set forth by a staffing committee. The continuum of services may be provided in a variety of settings, which include regular classrooms, resource rooms, hospital/homebound, separate day school, special class, and non-public school (contractual).

For more information, please call your child's school and speak with the School Counselor or ESE Specialist.

Disability History and Awareness Weeks

The first two weeks of October are Disability History and Awareness Weeks!

Florida Statute Section 1003.4205 is entitled Disability History and Awareness Instruction and was signed into law in 2008. It requires school districts to designate the first two weeks of October as Disability History and Awareness Weeks and also promotes providing instruction for students in all public schools to expand student knowledge, understanding, and awareness of individuals with disabilities, disability history, and the disability rights movement.

In the link below you will find a list of some well-known people who exemplify overcoming their disabilities:


The following link shares 16 children’s books which deal appropriately with the subject of disabilities:


ESE Department Contact Information:

Voice 352-671-6832

FAX 352-671-6833

FRS 800-955-8770

TTY 800-955-8771

MCPS Guidance & Testing - 352 671-6848

MCPS Home School Office - 352 671-6859

FDLRS (Florida Diagnostic and Learning Resources System) - 352 671-6051 Toll-Free: (800)533-0326

United Way's First Call for Help (For information on the services in Marion County) - 352 732-4444