Guide for Parents
The comprehensive Special Education Program offered by the Barrow County School System provides appropriate service for all students ages 3 through 22.
These include students who are:
- Emotionally Disturbed
- Intellectually Disabled
- Language and/or Learning Disabled
- Physical Impairment
- Speech Impairment
- Visual or Auditory Impairment
A team of specially trained teachers, support personnel, parents, and sometimes the students themselves, work together to develop personal knowledge and skills toward reaching each student's maximum ability.
Different types of special education programs are available because children have a wide range of individual needs. You may review each of our programs by expanding the areas below:
In accordance with federal regulations and Georgia State Board Rule 160-4-7-.03, the Barrow County School System (BCSS) has the responsibility to ensure that all children with disabilities, birth through age 21, and who are in need of special education and related services or early intervention services are identified, located, and evaluated. In Georgia, the Child Find Process for infants and toddlers with disabilities, birth to age 3, is coordinated through the Georgia Department of Public Health Early Intervention Program, Babies Can’t Wait. For children, ages 3 through 21, BCSS is responsible for identifying, locating, and evaluating all children within the jurisdiction of the LEA who are suspected having disabilities that may result in a need for special education and related services. This includes children who are:
- preschool children, ages 3 through 5, who may not be enrolled in a Georgia-funded prekindergarten and kindergarten, including children who are parentally placed in private preschools or daycare centers outside of Barrow County
- children who are enrolled in a public school within Barrow County, including public charter schools
- children who are parentally placed in private and home schools located within the LEA’s jurisdiction
- highly mobile children, including migrant, homeless, and children who are wards of the state
- children served in community programs, such as rehabilitation centers, daycare centers, etc.;
- any other children suspected of having disabilities, even when those children may be progressing from grade to grade.
For children transitioning from the Babies Can’t Wait program, identification/evaluation and placement for continued special education services must be completed by your child’s third birthday. The Babies Can’t Wait Services Coordinator will coordinate this transition with the Barrow County School System Pre-School Special Needs Coordinator. If you have questions about the transition from the Babies Can’t Wait program, you may call 706-369-6101. You may also contact the Barrow County School System Pre-School Coordinator, Amy Dew, or the Department Administrative Assistant Karen Bedford, at 770-867-4527.
If you have a child age 3 to 5 that you suspect may have a disability and needs special education services, please contact the Pre-School Coordinator Amy Dew, or the Department Administrative Assistant Karen Bedford at 770-867-4527.
For school-aged children (age 6-21) enrolled in a home school program or private school within Barrow County, you may contact the Director of Special Education, Dr. Brad Bowling for information regarding the referral process at 770-867-4527.
For children age 6 to 21 enrolled in the Barrow County School District, please contact your local school for more information about the referral process.
Early Childhood Education
Early childhood education is available for children ages 3 through 5 and provides instruction in the areas of speech, language, cognition, social-emotional development, daily living skills, motor skills, and perceptual development. In order to receive early childhood services a child must have an assessment that identifies a need in any of the following areas:
- Emotional Disturbance
- Intellectually Disabled
- Physical or Motor
- Speech or Language
- Other condition that may be viewed as high risk
Services for students with visual or auditory impairments are available from birth.
Referrals to the early childhood program may be made by the child's parents or guardian or other interested agencies or individuals.
In order to provide appropriate educational programs for certain physically disabled students, physical therapy services are offered to assist in providing a least restrictive environment for children with special needs. The focus of this related services is to enhance a child's ability to profit from education. Intervention stresses a team approach with physical therapist and student working closely with the teacher and/or other support personnel to maximize transition and transfer into the functional setting.
Services may include but are not limited to the following:
- Monitoring of wheelchair, braces, walkers and other mobility enhancing devices
- Exploration of adaptations and functional sequences that provide maximum independent mobility
- Functional training for environmental obstacles such as doors, ramps and stairs, if appropriate
- Training of support personnel with regards to appropriate positioning and handling techniques
- Special Problems
In an educational setting, occupational therapy uses purposeful, goal-directed activities to enhance the student's independent function and to decrease the effects of the disabling condition on the student's ability to participate in the educational process.
Specifically, a therapy program is designed to assist the development of underlying skills that are prerequisites for academic learning and vocational training. Services may include activities for improving gross/fine motor skills; organizing and using materials appropriately; improving coordination; and/or learning to fed oneself.
Adapted Physical Education
Individual Education Planning committees make every effort to incorporate disabled students into regular physical education activities. Adapted physical education is an alternative available for only those students whose disabilities are so severe that even with modifications the students could not successfully benefit from the regular physical education program.
Gross motor activities included in the adapted program are body rolling, knee walking, running and jumping, riding a scooter board, striking a balloon or ball, jumping on a mini-trampoline, throwing at a bean bag target, throwing, kicking and catching a ball. When fundamental skills are established, more of an emphasis is placed on age-appropriate recreation and leisure activities. Community-based instructors provide for bowling, roll-skating, and miniature golf as will as many other areas.
NOTE: All of the therapies require referral, assessment, and development of IEP goals.
Evaluations and Reevaluations
- Adaptive Physical Education
- Adult Service Referral
- Auditory Training
- Content Mastery
- Extended Year Services
- Occupational/Physical Therapy
- Orientation and Mobility
- Social Work
- Special Olympics
- Speech Therapy
- Vision Training
- Vocational Training
Instructional Services may include:
- Adjusted Assignments
- Adjusted Pacing
- Alternative Methods or Materials
- Community-based Instruction
- Facilitated Communication
- Functional Academics
- Project or Test Support
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