Educational Support Departments » Student Support » Exceptional Children's Program

Exceptional Children's Program

ArtSpace Charter School provides Exceptional Children’s services to qualifying children with disabilities who require assistance to access the regular school program. The Exceptional Children’s program at ArtSpace strives to serve each child with a disability in the regular classroom using an inclusion model to the greatest extent possible. ArtSpace develops and implements Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and 504 plans including related services such as occupational and speech therapy when deemed necessary by the child’s IEP team. Referral, evaluation, identification, and Exceptional Children services are provided as required by the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) and the North Carolina Procedures Governing Programs and Services for Children with Disabilities. ArtSpace also provides a full continuum of services for students who need more intensive support to access the curriculum. 

Please contact the EC Program Coordinator, Tina Sneed, for additional information on the following: 

•    Transition from Infant-Toddler Program to School-Age Program
•    Preschool/Elementary/Middle/High Program Specialists
•    New to ArtSpace
•    Parentally Placed Private School Students
•    Related Services (OT/PT/Speech/School Psychologists, etc.)
•    Parent Liaison
•    Dispute Resolution
•    Suspected Disability


New Students

In order to make your student’s transition into ArtSpace to smoothly, it is very important to provide your student’s new school copies of the following information during registration: 

•    Most recent psychoeducational report, eligibility, evaluation, and/or reevaluation report
•    Current Individualized Education Program (IEP)
•    Contact information for your student’s previous school and school district 


Child Find

Project Child Find is an effort coordinated by ArtSpace Charter School and the State Department of Public Instruction’s Exceptional Children’s Division to: 

•    Locate and identify children and youth ages birth through 21 with disabilities who are in need of special education and related services. 
•    Inform parents and/or guardians of the services available from their local school system and other state and community agencies. 

Project Child Find seeks to support children and youth who have been diagnosed or are suspected to have intellectual, physical, or emotional disabilities and are unable to benefit from a regular school program without special assistance. This program provides a complete evaluation, and if appropriate, an Individualized Education Program for children with a disability beginning at age three, an Individual Family Service Plan for each child with a disability birth through two, or, a referral to other agencies when needed. 

NC Departments of Public Instruction Child Find Posters are posted on the Community Board in the main lobby and brochures are available in the main office.

Project Child Find Website


Parent Rights & Responsibilities in Special Education

The Parent Rights & Responsibilities in Special Education: NC Notice of Procedural Safeguards 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, teacher, or EC Program Coordinator. 

Parent Rights Handbook (English)

Parent Rights Handbook (Spanish)


Dispute Resolution

It is recommended that concerns for the education of students with a disability can be addressed by communicating first with their classroom or EC teacher. If concerns are not addressed, please reach out to the EC Program Coordinator. If concerns still exist, contact the executive director. Further dispute resolution strategies are available on the DPI parent resources website. 

First talk to classroom teacher, next talk to EC coordinator, last talk to Executive Director


Additional Family Resources

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. 

Parent Resources from the Department of Public Instruction (DPI)

This is a link to the DPI website of resources for parents of students with disabilities.

Family Support Network

“Family Support” helps families with a child who has special needs access services and supports. Family support is a community-based approach that increases the strength and resilience of families, supports parents as they help their children with special needs achieve their full potential, and improves community providers’ capacity to serve families with children who have special needs.

Exceptional Children’s Assistance Center

ECAC is dedicated to empowering families and improving lives, particularly for North Carolina families raising children ages 0 to 26 with disabilities. As a non-profit organization operated by and staffed primarily with parents of children with disabilities, we understand the needs of families as they navigate the special education process. We are here to assist all children in accessing a free and appropriate education.

Autism Society of NC

The Autism Society of North Carolina improves the lives of individuals with autism, supports their families, and educates communities.

Academic Websites


Online guided reading program with interactive ebooks, downloadable books, and reading quizzes.

Kahn Academy

You can learn anything. Expert-created content and resources for every course and level. Always free.


About Ms. Tina
About Ms. Terri
Ms.Terri earned a B.A. in psychology and communicative disorders from San Diego State.  She earned an M.A. in education with a focus in special education from UC Riverside.  Ms. Teri has worked with children for over 6 years and has experience working with adults with traumatic brain injury. She joined the ArtSpace staff in the 2016-17 school year. In her free time Ms. Teri enjoys spending time with her family hiking, biking and playing games. She also enjoys reading, going to concerts and gardening.
About Mr. Eric
Eric taught in Exceptional Children’s programs for 9 years in McDowell County and for 3 years at Owen High School before coming to ArtSpace in 2015. He has worked in a variety of outdoor recreation and therapeutic programs for people with special needs over the decades. He has a BA in Biology from Albion College in Michigan and has taken graduate classes in Special Education from Western Kentucky and Western Carolina University. He is licensed in Special Education and Biology. He has earned National Board certification in Exceptional Needs Specialist; Early Childhood through Young Adulthood. He enjoys playing with his boys, doing just about anything outdoors, reading, and playing chess.
About Ms. Misty

Misty earned a B.A. in Communications from Mars Hill College, an M.S. in Human Service specializing in Counseling Studies from Capella University, and received her Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification in Special Education from East Carolina University. Misty previously taught through Buncombe County schools as an exceptional children’s teacher. Prior to teaching Misty worked as a behavioral specialist at a day treatment school for six years. She also has ten years of work experience in the social work, human service, and mental health field working with children and families.


In her spare time, Misty enjoys spending time with her son, family, friends, and dogs. When it is time to relax, she can be found doing yoga, taking walks, reading a book, doing puzzle games, and learning to paint.


About Mr. Clay

Clay holds a degree in Fine Art from Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design in Drawing and Painting and before arriving at ArtSpace was represented by Ron Judish Fine Art in Denver, Colorado. Clay moved to Asheville in 2003 and became associated with The Asheville Arts Council where he volunteered as well as participated in group exhibits in the gallery. In 2009 Clay began working at ArtSpace as a Teacher Assistant in the Special Needs Program, two years later moved to fifth grade as an Assistant, and currently works in the Intensive Intervention Classroom in a Student Support role. Clay, along with his wife Tami, founded ArtSpace ArtCamp and continues to be involved in extracurricular programs as both a painting and pottery instructor.


About Ms. Amy

Amy joined the ArtSpace staff for the 2014-2015 school year as the second grade teaching Assistant. In the 2015 -2016 school year, she changed roles and is working with students with behavioral needs. Amy holds a BA in Psychology and an M.Ed. in Special Education. She has taught in residential treatment facilities as well as 2 other charter schools. She is very excited to be a part of a community that fosters creativity. She loves painting, hiking, and spending time with her husband and two children.


About Ms. Michelle

Michelle earned a BA in Theatre and spent her younger years on stage before she was called to teach. She earned her MA in Special Education 14 years ago in Arizona. She has taught in Abu Dhabi, Bali, and at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. She has enjoyed being part of a variety of school communities, including bilingual, Native American reservation, deaf and hard-of-hearing, outdoor, Waldorf, and Montessori. Michelle has served as an adjunct professor for special education courses. She is currently working on a bilingual picture book. For fun, she enjoys ecstatic freestyle dance, argentine tango, hiking, stand up paddleboarding. She understands the importance of creativity to a whole and happy life, and is excited to share this with the ArtSpace community.


About Mr. Ryan
Ryan obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education from Georgia College & State University, with a Minor in Spanish.  During his time there, he spent over a year teaching math in an 8th-grade inclusion/resource setting.  He recently moved to North Carolina from Atlanta, where he worked for three years at a therapy center for students with a wide range of physical and intellectual exceptionalities.  In his free time, he enjoys hiking, paddleboarding, and playing bass guitar and banjo.

About Ms. Tara

Tara studied Early Childhood Development at McDowell Technical Community College.  She has been involved in ArtSpace since its inception: while her husband served on the original Board, she was a co-founder of the ArtSpace parent organization.  Tara has worked at ArtSpace for eleven years.  A coach in local soccer and baseball associations, she enjoys cooking, her church, and time with family.


About Mr. Hal

Hal holds a B.A. in History and English Wofford College. He joined the staff in 2003.  Hal also coaches the middle school Odyssey of the Mind team each year as well as coaches flag football and soccer for the hospitality league. When not at school Hal enjoys reading, tennis, camping, and photography.


About Ms. Beth

Ms. Beth earned her degree from Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, IL.  Ms. Beth just recently moved to WNC from the Chicago area.  She is enjoying the natural beauty and mild winters of the area. She has worked for 37 years with children 3 years -14 years in ages.  She also has 13 years experience with children birth to 3 years old. moved here from Chicago about one year ago.  She loves this area for the natural beauty and mild winters.  She enjoys hiking, jogging, cooking and playing golf.


About Ms. Lucy