General Information SPED
Our department serves over 3500 students with disabilities district-wide and includes over 450 staff members district-wide including teachers, paraprofessionals, speech therapists, occupational therapists, and physical therapists. Hall County Schools offers special education programs for students identified with disabilities ages 3 – 21 including but not limited to:
· Deaf/Hard of Hearing
· Emotional/Behavioral Disorder
· Intellectual Disability
· Orthopedic Impairment
· Other Health Impairment
· Significant Developmental Delay
· Specific Learning Disability
· Speech/Language Impairment
· Traumatic Brain Injury
· Visual Impairment and Blindness
The purpose of Child Find is to identify, locate, and evaluate all children, in the district, birth through 21, who are suspected of, or have a disability or developmental delay that may result in a need for special education and related services. Hall County Schools serves children ages 3 through 21 with identified special education needs. Screening to determine appropriate educational strategies is not to be considered evaluation. Exceptions are allowed only when evaluation and/or placement is required due to a significant disability.
Hall County has Child Find responsibility for all children suspected of having disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disabilities. This includes
- children, birth through 3, who may or may not be referred to and served by the state’s early intervention program, Babies Can’t Wait
- preschool children, ages 3 through 5, who may not be enrolled in a Georgia funded pre-kindergarten and kindergarten, including children who are parentally placed in private preschools or daycare centers outside the district
- children who are enrolled in a public school within the district, including public charter schools
- children who are parentally placed in private and home schools, 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.
- children, ages 18 through 21, who are incarcerated in facilities operated by the local sheriff’s office or other municipalities
- any other children suspected of having disabilities
Disability categories are as follows: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Deafblind, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Emotional and Behavioral Disorder, Intellectual Disabilities, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Significant Developmental Delay, Specific Learning Disability, Speech/language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, Visual Impairment.
Hall County Schools completes Child Find responsibilities in a variety of ways annually. Hall County Schools includes public announcements through local media via public notice (ex. annual public notice on the system website), meetings with private and homeschool representatives, collaboration with other public agencies, and screenings of preschool children.
Preschool Children Procedures
If you are aware of a preschooler, from 3 to 5 years old, who has or may have a disability and is in need of special education services, call the Special Education Department at 770-534-1080.
School Age Children Procedures
If a child is already enrolled in Hall County schools, is suspected of having a disability, and is in need of special education services, please contact the school and express the concerns to the child’s teacher and/or school administrator.
Private and Home School Child Find Procedures
Child Find applies to children with disabilities parentally-placed in private schools or home schools. They are not entitled to a free appropriate public education (FAPE), but the district will provide services based on a proportionate share of federal funds. If a child is suspected of having a disability and is parentally placed in a private school or home school and needs evaluation for special education and eligibility consideration, please contact the Special Education Department at 770-534-1080 for additional information.
Parent Requests Procedures
If you suspect your child has a disability and is need of special education services, please contact the school and express your concerns to the child’s teacher and/or school administrator. A referral may be made by anyone who has a concern about a child’s development. All referrals are considered confidential. The parent retains the right to refuse services. Children may be referred by any of the following:
- Parents/legal guardians/foster parents
- Other family members
- Physicians/health care providers
- Preschool programs
- School system personnel
- Community agencies
- Private school personnel
- Others who are concerned about a child’s development
Prior to referring a student for consideration for eligibility for special education and related services, a student must have received scientific, research or evidence based interventions selected to correct or reduce the academic, social or behavioral problem(s) the student is having. Student referrals must be accompanied by documentation of scientific, research or evidence based academic and/or behavioral interventions that have been implemented as designed for the appropriate period of time to show effect or lack of effect that demonstrates the child is not making sufficient rate of progress to meet age or State approved grade-level standards within a reasonable time frame. Exceptions may be made in circumstances where immediate evaluation and/or placement is required due to a significant disability that precludes access to instruction. The exception noted above should be an infrequent and rare occurrence, and the circumstances evidencing the need for the LEA’s use of the exception must be clearly documented in the eligibility decision.