Emotional Disability

Emotional Disability means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child's educational performance:

Students in a classroom sitting in front of a teacher who is speaking

  • An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
  • An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
  • Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
  • A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
  • A tendency to develop symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems. Emotional Disability includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disability as defined above.

Overview of Services

Students with emotional disabilities have programs available in all middle and high schools. A full continuum of services from consultative to self-contained is offered in the general education setting. Teacher assistants provide instructional and behavioral support.

Some students with an emotional disability require a more restrictive placement than can be offered in the general education environment. To meet this need, Prince William County has two school sites which house a public day program. A high degree of supervision and counseling support are provided at Independence Nontraditional School and PACE West in Gainesville.

Prince William County Public Schools has adapted the Skillstreaming/Prepare Social Skills curriculum from which teachers develop lesson plans to teach and re-teach the social skills necessary in the school environment. At the high school level, students have the opportunity to take two classes for credit that address social and emotional needs.

Social / Emotional Materials Available Through the Special Education Department

  • Why Try.
  • Zones of Regulation.
  • Teach Town Social Skills.
  • Unstuck and On Target.
  • Coping Cats.
  • Camp - Cope - A - Lot.

Extensive professional development opportunities are provided to PWCS educators as well as teacher resources. Please visit the PWCS Launchpad for a complete listing.

Related Links & Downloads

Administrative Contact

Jessica Tra, Supervisor
[email protected]

Sonia Cate, Administrative Assistant II
[email protected]