Welcome to the Franklin County Special Education Department
The mission of the Franklin County Special Education Department is to provide the appropriate supports and services that will prepare our students with disabilities for post secondary education, work, and independent living. According to IDEA, special education services are available to all students identified with IDEA eligibility in our school district.
It is our belief that:
· All students with disabilities should be educated with their non-disabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate and to receive a high quality education.
· All students with disabilities should be provided with authentic opportunities to learn through the use of specialized research-based instruction, related services, supplemental aids and supports, assistive technology, and ongoing training for teachers, and other service providers.
The Franklin County Public School System offers a full range of special education services for disabled and exceptional school age children. This includes programs and related services for students who are learning disabled, emotionally/behaviorally disordered, speech impaired, visually impaired, physically impaired, hearing impaired, intellectually disabled, autistic, traumatic brain injured, significantly developmentally delayed, and other health impaired. Any disabled child, age three (3), as of September 1st, through age eighteen (18), or through age twenty-one (21) dependent on completion of his/her program of study, is eligible for special education services. In addition, center based and homebound services are available for preschool disabled children from age three (3) through age five (5). These programs are provided at no cost to the parent. Services and supports are determined on an individualized basis for each student identified with eligibility, ages 3-21, through an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
IDEA Child Find
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires school systems to locate and identify disabled students attending private schools within their boundaries. Home-schooled children are considered in the same category and are also eligible for services under this provision of the law. Franklin County will spend a proportionate share of federal funds on such students for appropriate special education services. The district consults with all private schools within the district on an annual basis, or more often if requested by a private school or home-school parent. Parentally-placed disabled children in private schools or home schooled disabled students are not entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE); however, the district will provide limited services. In most instances, speech services as determined by the eligibility team, will be provided if eligibility is established. If a disabled student is designated to receive special education, a service plan is developed for the disabled private school student. Services will be offered at one of our school facilities.
If the "child find" process indicates that a student may require special education and supportive services in order to benefit from regular education, the student shall be referred to a Multidisciplinary Placement Team at a school within the district to determine the student's eligibility for special education services. Final identification of students with disabilities and programming for such students occurs only after an appropriate evaluation and a determination by a Multidisciplinary Placement Team.
Parents of any home-schooled or privately schooled disabled student between the ages of 3 and 21 may contact the Special Education Department (706-384-4554) if further information is needed. If a private/home-schooled student is suspected of having a disability, parents should also contact the Special Education Department.
Special Needs Scholarship Program
If you are interested in transferring your child to a private school in Georgia, you may be able to take advantage of a Georgia Special Needs Scholarship. These scholarships provide funding that can be used to offset tuition costs at participating private schools in the state of Georgia. For more information on the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship and the parent application process, please visit the Georgia Department of Education’s website at http://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/Policy/Pages/Special-Needs-Scholarship-Program.aspx.
More information can be downloaded from the box at the top of this page.
Records Destruction Policy
It is the policy of the Franklin County Schools Special Education Program that after a student’s 22nd birthday, the collected information for that pertains to special education of a student will be destroyed. The student/parent or guardian has the right to receive copies of all the information.
The school system will retain the permanent record of the student’s name, address and telephone number, his/her grades, attendance record, classes attended, grade level completed and year completed. This information will be maintained without time limitation.
Preschool Special Education Services
Preschool Special Education is a service designed for children ages 3-9 who exhibit a Significant Developmental Delay (SDD) in at least one of five developmental areas. The five areas are: communication, cognition, social/emotional development, physical delays, and adaptive development.
SNIP is a preschool education program offered through the Franklin County School System. It is designed to serve children ages 3-5 who have some type of special learning need. This might include developmental delays, speech and communication delays, motor delays, vision impairments or hearing impairments.
Preschool Special Education services in Franklin County School System are provided through our Special Needs Intervention Program (SNIP). Eligibility for SNIP services is determined by the IDEA guidelines. Instruction and related services like speech, physical therapy, and occupational therapy are provided for eligible children. A team of specialists including psychologists, educators, and therapists provides evaluation of a child’s communication, motor, cognitive, self-help, and social-behavioral skills. Services are provided in home-based, community-based or facility-based models.
Eligibility for this program is determined through a formal evaluation which includes parent interview, observation, standardized evaluation instruments, eligibility determination, and an Individualized Education Plan. Special Education Services are provided in the community, at our SNIP center, or in the home environment.
The earlier a special need is identified and appropriate services initiated, the greater the likelihood a child will experience a higher proficiency level with respect to more complex skills.
The very early formative years of development (ages 3-5) are absolutely critical when considering all that transpires at such an age: walking, talking, thinking, and socializing.
Active participation in intense early intervention services provides support for the entire family.
SNIP is funded by federal and state preschool special education grants, as well as receiving funds from the Franklin County School System.
If you suspect that a preschool aged child is experiencing developmental delays in any area, please contact the school system for more information. You should call Dr. Ashlee Underwood at 706-384-4554 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you represent another school or educational facility and need special education records, please contact Tami Black at 706-384-4554 or email email@example.com