Program for Exceptional Children
Atlanta Public Schools ensures the “life-long achievement of every child through effective and innovative teaching that meets the needs of individual learners,” including those with disabilities. In accordance with the district’s mission, the Department of Special Education envisions a school system where all students, families, schools, and community members share the motivation, knowledge, and skills to work together to ensure that all children with disabilities are learning, progressing, and meeting high expectations (IDEA Partnerships, 2000).
The Atlanta Public Schools’ Department of Special Education offers a broad continuum of services for students three (3) through twenty-one (21) years of age. Following a comprehensive assessment that may include a psychological 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. . . .
- Emotional/Behavioral Disorders
- Hearing Impaired
- Orthopedically Impaired
- Other Health Impaired
- Preschool Special Education
- Related Services
- Specific Learning Disabilities
- Speech-Language Impaired
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Visually Impaired
- Intellectual Disabilities (Mild, Moderate, Severe/Profound)
Classes serving students with disabilities are located in elementary, middle, high schools, and psycho-educational centers. Delivery models for instruction include regular classroom, resource self-contained home-based settings, 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.
At Sarah Smith, interrelated resource, speech, and Occupational Therapy are offered. Other programs will also be provided should the need be identified. Please contact the school’s Special Education Lead Teacher if more information is needed.
The Department of Special Education is required to provide free, appropriate public education to eligible children in cooperation with parents and other agencies under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act. Each eligible student must have an Individual Education Plan (IEP), which is developed by a team composed of teachers and other qualified school personnel, parents or guardians and the student, when appropriate. The IEP is revised when necessary and reviewed at least annually.
The State of Georgia requires that all students referred for Special Education Services must first go through the Student Support Team process. This means that strategies in the regular education setting must be considered and documented before referral to Special Education. Waivers are limited to very special circumstances, which require sufficient documentation about the severity of the problem to justify the exception.
Atlanta Public Schools’ Department of Special Education - (404) 802-2602