Welcome to the Office of Special Services!

special education

Williamsburg County School District's Office of Special Services ensures the life-long achievement of every child through effective and innovative teaching that meets the needs of individual students who learn differently. In accordance with the district's mission, the Office of Special Services, in partnership with all stakeholders, strives to ensure a high-quality education for all students by utilizing an innovative curriculum, relevant resources, and energetic, highly-qualified staff. Through various programs and curriculum, the Office of Special Services is committed to the education of our students to assist them in growing into 21st Century graduates. Our Office of Special Services ensures that students of all abilities have the resources and instruction needed to reach their full potential.
                                                                                 Our Vision

Together: Educating Every Student 

Our Mission

The mission of the Office of Special Services in WCSD is committed to providing the highest quality, innovative, educational services to students with disabilities in order to prepare them to become productive, contributing members of their community.


Special Services Staff

Additional Special Services Information

covid logo

The Williamsburg County  School District's Office of Special Services (WCSD) recognizes that protecting the safety, health, and welfare of our students and staff is the primary concern as we face the COVID-19 crisis.  Although these safety measures have prevented students from receiving instruction and services in the same manner they are typically provided, we have ensured and will continue to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to the same opportunities as all other students during this extended closure. Through guidance provided by the United States Department of Education and the South Carolina Department of Education, the WCSD Office of Special Services  has been working in collaboration with schools and parents to demonstrate good faith efforts in order to meet the individual needs of students with disabilities during this very difficult time.  This includes working in partnership with families to determine appropriate and reasonable means of educating students with disabilities through eLearning instruction, activities, and work packets  sent home for students to continue the educational process. Teachers are available to provide support and feedback and can be reached by email to schedule conference calls.

If you need to get in contact with your child’s special education teacher, you can find their email address on the school’s website or contact Mrs. Thelvane’sa A. Murphy, Director of Special Services, at tamurphy@wcsd.k12.sc.us.

As always, we welcome parent input in order to collaborate with families and effectively demonstrate good faith efforts as we move forward in serving and supporting students with disabilities.

The Williamsburg County School District - Office of Special Services offers a broad continuum of services for students three (3) to twenty-one (21) years of age. Following a comprehensive assessment that may include a psychoeducational evaluation, educational testing, speech-language assessment, audiological testing and other assessments, a student may be eligible to receive services in one or more of the following categories...

  •     Autism
  •     Deaf/Blind
  •     Emotional/Behavioral Disability
  •     Hearing Impairment
  •     Orthopedic Impairment
  •     Other Health Impairment
  •     Developmental Delay
  •     Specific Learning Disability
  •     Speech-Language Impairment
  •     Traumatic Brain Injury
  •     Visual Impairment
  •     Intellectual Disability (Mild, Moderate, Severe/Profound)

Classes serving students with disabilities are located in primary, elementary, middle, and high schools. Delivery models for instruction include the regular classroom, resource, self-contained, home-based, and residential settings. All programs are not represented in every school. In these instances, students are assigned to a program nearest the home school and transportation is provided.

The Office of Special Services is required to provide a free, appropriate, public education to eligible children in cooperation with parents and other agencies under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Each eligible student must have an Individual Education Plan (IEP), which is developed by a team of teachers and other qualified personnel, parents or guardians, and the student, when appropriate. The IEP is revised when necessary and reviewed at least annually.

The State of South Carolina requires that all students referred for Special Education Services must first go through the Student Intervention Team (SIT) process. Strategies in the regular education setting must be considered and documented before referral to Special Education can be made. SIT waivers are limited to very special circumstances, which require sufficient documentation about the severity of the problem to justify the exception. Parents and guardians are encouraged to contact their child's home school or the Office of Special Services at (843) 355-5533 for more information if they suspect that their child has a disability.

The focus of speech-language pathologists in our schools is to facilitate the development of effective and efficient communication skills so that students may participate as fully as possible in educational, social, and vocational interactions. Working as members of school-based teams, the speech-language pathologist participates in the identification, intervention, assessment, eligibility determination, treatment plan development, and treatment management of those students with delays/disorders in the areas of speech and/or language.

Speech-language services are designed and delivered in a variety of ways across multiple settings to best meet the individual student’s needs. Speech-Language Pathologists provide a wide range of services on an individual or group basis within Williamsburg County School District. Speech-language services begin with an initial screening for communication delays/disorders and continue with assessment when warranted. Once a student is deemed eligible by a multi-disciplinary team, speech-language pathologists provide intervention and treatment.

What is a School Psychologist?

School Psychologists help children and youth succeed academically, socially, behaviorally, and emotionally. They collaborate with educators, parents, and other professionals to create safe, healthy, and supportive learning environments that strengthen connections between home, school, and the community for all students.

School Psychologists are highly trained in both psychology and education, completing a minimum of a specialist-level degree program that includes a year-long supervised internship. This training emphasizes preparation in mental health and educational interventions, child development, learning, behavior, motivation, curriculum and instruction, assessment, consultation, collaboration, school law, and systems. School Psychologists must be certified and/or licensed by the state in which they work.

In Williamsburg County School District, School Psychologists often:

  •     Conduct psychological evaluation to assess abilities, academic skills, adaptive behavior, and emotional/social functioning
  •     Participate in the special education eligibility process and student intervention teams
  •     Conduct behavioral assessments and aids in creating behavior interventions
  •     Assist in the development and implementation of academic intervention and strategies
  •     Provide support to teachers regarding students’ accommodations/instructional modifications and learning styles

Related services are defined by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 as supportive services that are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.

In order to receive related services a student must have an identified disability and need special education services due to that disability. Related services are generally addressed within a child's Individual Education Plan.

  • Occupational Therapy (OT)
    Occupational Therapy is a related service under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Edication Act and is provided to help a student with a disability to benefit from special education. School-based occuptional therapy is designed to enhance the student's ability to fully access and be successful in the learning environment. This may include working on handwriting or fine motor skills so the student can complete written assignments, helping the child organize himself or herself in the classroom environment, working with the teacher to modify the classroom, and/or adapting learning materials to facilitate successful participation.
  • Physical Therapy (PT)
    Physical Therapy is a related service that is provided to help a student with a disability to benefit from special education. School physical therapy focuses on a child's ability to move as independently as possible in the school environment. Physical therapy interventions are designed to enable the student to travel throughout the school environment, to participate in classroom activities, to maintain and change positions in the classroom, and to manage stairs, the restroom, and the cafeteria.
  • Social Workers
    Overall, School Social Workers help parents, students, and school staff identify needs that interfere with learning and work with students to get the services they need. School Social Workers help to bridge school, home, and community to help students be as successful as possible. Social Workers also work with individual students and families to support good school attendance.
  • Records
    If you would like to request special education records (psychoeducational reports, IEP's, etc.) please a release of information and a request stating what records to the Office of Special Services at 843-355-5533.

What are Transition Services ?
Transition services are a coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that is designed to be within a results-oriented process, that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child’s movement from school to post-school activities, including postsecondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation. Transition services are based on the individual child’s needs, taking into account the child’s strengths, preferences, and interests; and include instruction; community services; community experiences; the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives; and, if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and provision of a functional vocational evaluation.

What is a Transition Plan?

A transition plan is a section of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) that outlines transition goals and services for the student. The transition plan is based on a high school student’s individual needs, strengths, skills, and interests. Transition planning is used to identify and develop goals that need to be accomplished during the current school year to assist the student in meeting his post-high school goals.

When Should Transition Planning Begin?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA 04) requires that in the first IEP that will be in effect when the student turns 16 years of age, his annual IEP must include a discussion about transition service needs. In South Carolina, transition begins at age 13.
What Transition Services Are Available for a High School Student with Learning Disabilities (LD) and an IEP?

At the high school level, transition services for students who have LD and an IEP are available through their special education programs and general education programs. Special education staff provides assistance with counseling, identifying vocational interests, educational and vocational planning, goal-setting, pre-vocational skills training, academic support, and linkages to specific programs and services.

Who Should Participate in IEP Meetings where Transition Planning is Discussed?

All transition planning meetings should include the students, family members, teachers, and other school staff. According to IDEA, anyone else involved in the student’s transition plan must also be invited. This might include representatives from school-to-work transition programs, local social service agencies, counseling programs, medical care providers, and advocates.

What is the Role of a High School Student in Transition Planning?

A student needs to begin thinking about what he wants to do as an adult before his first transition planning meeting takes place. This is his chance to take an active role in planning his education and make school relevant to his future.

Transition Coach

As the district's Transition Services Specialist in conjunction with South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation, I provide pre-employment transition services to all students with disabilities who are eligible or potentially eligible for Vocational Rehabilitation Services on an ongoing basis, ensuring that each student participates at a minimum in an activity each month that includes:

  •     Job exploration counseling
  •     Work-based learning experiences, which may include in-school or after-school opportunities
  •     Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or postsecondary educational programs at institutions of higher education
  •     Workplace readiness training to develop social skills and independent living  
  •     Instruction in self-advocacy, which may include peer mentoring
  •     Arrange school-based and community-based work experiences that are done through our established school-based enterprises operated by students with disabilities.


The 504 plan is a plan developed to ensure that a child who has an identified disability under the law and who is attending an elementary or secondary educational institution, receives accommodations that will ensure their academic success and access to the learning environment.

For students who have disabilities who do not require specialized instruction but need the assurance that they will receive equal access to public education and services, a document is created to outline their specific accessibility requirements. Students with 504 plans do not require specialized instruction, but, like an IEP, a 504 plan should be updated annually to ensure that the student is receiving the most effective accommodations for his/her specific circumstances.

Child Find is a component of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) that requires school districts to locate, identify, and evaluate children ages three to twenty-one who have a suspected disability and may be in need of special education services. It is a continuous process of public awareness activities, screenings and evaluations to locate, identify, and refer children as early as possible.
Contact to schedule an appointment:
Patricia Sabb, Child Find Specialist
843-355-5533 Ext. 6165