Special Education

 Hershel Bennett - Director of Special Education
 Dr. Angie Delaney - Instruction Support and Compliance
 Beth Jarrett - Program Specialist
 Betty Ann Bearden - Special Education Administrative Assistant 

Dawson County Schools Special Education department presently serves students ranging in ages 3-22.

Special Education is a specialized service designed to meet individual needs of children with disabilities.  It is the belief of the Dawson County School System that all students with disabilities have the right to receive a high quality education that encourages them to reach their maximum potential.

Students with disabilities are provided with an array of opportunities to learn through the use of specialized research-based instruction, supportive services, supplemental aids and supports, including ongoing training for teachers, paraprofessionals, and other service providers.

Dawson County participates in Georgia's Continuous Improvement Monitoring Process (GCIMP), targeting performance goals for Students with Disabilities.  Data is collected and analyzed throughout the year to measure progress towards meeting Georgia's Performance goals.  A stakeholder committee, comprised of educators, parents, community members and students, utilizes the data to determine system strengths and weaknesses, then develops or revises their Improvement Plan as needed.

Delivery Models in the Dawson County School System may include:
Consultation – The special education teacher consults with the general education teacher and student on a scheduled basis to meet the needs of the student. The student typically remains in the general education classroom environment during the instructional day.

Co-Teaching - Special education personnel and general education personnel work together in the regular classroom to meet the needs of all students in the classroom whether they are considered disabled or non-disabled.

Small Group Placement (Resource) - Students with disabilities receive instruction in a special education resource room for individualized assistance during a portion of the academic day. Students will typically spend parts of their instructional day in the general education environment.

Alternative Placement (Self-Contained) - Students with disabilities receive the majority of the instructional day in the special education setting, typically having some social interaction opportunities with their peers without disabilities.

Separate Facility - Students with disabilities are provided special education instruction in a separate building / facility.

Homebound Special Education Instruction – a certified special education teacher provides instruction at home for those special education students who are unable to attend school because of severe medical reasons. A licensed physician must verify that their medical condition prohibits them from attending school.

The amount of time that a student spends in special education/related services is determined by the student’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP). Typically, a team, including school personnel and the parents, develops the IEP.

In addition to special education program and related services, there are numerous activities available for Dawson County Special Education students, which may include:

Special Olympics– Offers students with intellectual and physical disabilities opportunities to compete at local, area, state, and international levels in a variety of individual and team events.

Community Based Instruction (CBI) Programs – Offers students with disabilities the opportunity to transition into higher education and/or work force training.

The Dawson County School System offers special education programs for students identified with disabilities ages 3 – 22 including but not limited to:
-Developmental Delay
-Deaf/Hard of Hearing
-Emotional/Behavioral Disorder
-Intellectual Disability
-Orthopedic Impairment
-Other Health Impairment
-Specific Learning Disability
-Speech/Language Impairment
-Traumatic Brain Injury
-Visual Impairment

Our school system provides services to students with disabilities an array of educational opportunities in the least restrictive environment. Students receive evaluations in the suspected areas of disability through a multi-disciplinary team evaluation. Once a students meets Georgia eligibility, an Individual Education Program is developed. This IEP is based upon the student’s individual needs as deemed appropriate by the IEP team. Services are provided by the most highly qualified professionals available. Students and parents are assured of all due process procedural safeguards as described in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Related Support Services are additional services required for a student to maximally benefit from special education. Services may include , but are not limited to: occupational therapy, physical therapy, adapted physical education, nursing services, assistive technology, and special transportation.

The District complies with state requirements related to restraint and seclusion as set out in Georgia SBOE Rule 160-5-1-.35.  Consistent with that rule, physical restraint will be used only in situations in which the student is in immediate danger to himself/herself or others and the student is not responsive to verbal directives or other less intensive de-escalation techniques. A parent or guardian will be notified in writing each time their student has been restrained. The District maintains written policies and procedures governing the use of restraint.

Web Links

Attention Deficit(s) - www.add.about.com
Council for Exceptional Children - www.cec.sped.org
Dropout Prevention - www.dropoutprevention.org
Georgia Department of Education - www.gadoe.org
Health Issues - www.nih.gov
Hearing Impairment - www.seriweb.com/hearing.htm
Interventions - www.interventioncentral.org
Learning Disabilities - www.ldonline.org
NASP - www.nasponline.org
Special Education Guide - www.specialeducationguide.com


Parent Information

Child Find

Parents' Rights 

SB 10