Special Education is a specifically designed service with federal and state legal requirements to meet the individual needs of children with disabilities. It is the belief of Montgomery County School System that all students with disabilities have the right to be educated in their least restrictive environment with their non-disabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate to their level of ability. Through engaging work each student is allowed and encouraged to reach his/her maximum potential. The Special Education program is designed to meet the specific needs of students with disabilities, ages 3 through 21, as specified in the student's Individual Education Plan (IEP). This plan and the identified services in the IEP are designed to address and meet each individual's unique needs and help prepare them for gainful employment and independent living as productive citizens in the future.
It is the belief that students with disabilities shall be provided with real and valid opportunities to learn through the use of specialized research-based instruction, supportive services, supplemental aids and supports, including ongoing training for teachers, in order to ensure that all students have an opportunity to learn and demonstrate what they know. If you suspect that your child may have a disability, please contact the Montgomery County Schools Special Education Department.
The Special Education Department currently serves over 120 students with 9 Teachers, 13 Paraprofessionals, 1 School Psychologist, 1.5 Speech Language Pathologists, 1 Physical Therapist, and 1 Occupational Therapist.
A special education stakeholder committee, comprised of educators, parents, and community leaders, utilizes current available data to better highlight system strengths and remediate identified weaknesses. Using this data, the local stakeholder committee develops or revises the system's plan for Special Education improvement and possible strategies for implementation.
Montgomery Schools' Special Education Department continues collaborative efforts with the GNET-Heartland Academy for serving students with autism or behavior disorder disabilities. This collaboration, along with Treutlen and Wheeler counties, enables multiple opportunities for engaging learning experiences in serving students with these unique challenges.
Individual Education Plan (IEP)
Once a student has been evaluated by the school psychologist, the school system is required to conduct an IEP meeting within 30 calendar days. The purpose of the IEP meeting is for the team/committee to determine eligibility and, if eligible, to draft an IEP and develop the educational plan designed to meet the needs of the student. The IEP team/committee usually consists of the parent/guardian, the child's regular curriculum teacher(s), a special education teacher, a system representative or a staff member qualified/designated to commit identified/team sanctioned needed resources, school administrator(s), other necessary personnel to develop an educational plan designed to meet the needs of the student, and the student when age appropriate. If the child is being evaluated for the first time, the school psychologist should also present testing results as a member of the IEP team.
IEP meetings are conducted at least annually to review and, if necessary, revise a current IEP. An overall determination will be made by the committee members as to whether the student is or is not making progress within the parameters of the existing IEP. An IEP meeting may be requested by the parent/guardian, the child's school teacher, or school/ system administrator. The parent/guardian will be provided sufficient advance notice of a needed IEP meeting. A parent notification letter will include the purpose, date, time, location, and invitees to attend the IEP meeting.
The following points should be addressed during an IEP meeting:
-A statement of present levels of performance or how the child is performing in areas such as cognitive or classroom achievement, communication, adaptive behavior or daily living, social/emotional skills and motor skills to include both strengths and weaknesses; -The impact of the disability on the student's performance in the regular curriculum classroom and the extent to which the child is able to participate in the regular education programs; -A statement of any parental/guardianship concerns; -Consideration of any special factors such as the impact of behavior on the student's ability to learn or the learning of others, limited English proficiency, if the student is blind or visually impaired, if the student is deaf or hearing impaired, if the student has communication needs or if the student needs assistive technology devices or services; -Annual goals and short term objectives in measurable terms for each deficit area as noted in the present levels of performance with criteria for mastery, methods of evaluation, and projected dates to be reviewed; -A statement as to how and how often the parent/guardian will be notified of progress toward the annual goals and short term objectives; -A statement addressing any curricular modifications, testing modifications or behavior interventions needed in implementing the annual goals and short term objectives; -A statement of specific educational services to be provided to the student including any related services such as transportation, adaptive physical education, vocational services, counseling services, assistive technology, occupational and/or physical therapy in order to make progress toward the goals and objectives; -A statement of transition services, beginning at age 14; -A statement of the need for possible extended school year services; -A statement to address the educational setting in which the student's needs can best be met; -A statement as to whether the student will participate in district or statewide assessments and if not, why not and what type of assessment will be used to measure progress toward the goals and objectives; -A statement to the student regarding the transfer of rights at the age of majority to be addressed prior to the student's 18th birthday; -Parent/guardian receipt of and any questions related to Parent Rights in Special Education; -Parent/guardian signature and date indicating his/her agreement with the IEP developed and Consent for Placement indicating agreement with their child to receive special education program services.
For further information or questions on the IEP, visit the Georgia Department of Education Website at: http://public.doe.k12.ga.us/ci_exceptional.aspx?PageReq=CIEXCIEPS