Special Education

Catherine Gossett

Overview of Exceptional Education

The Decatur County School System provides special education and related services to eligible students ages three to twenty-one in twelve exceptionality categories as recognized by the Georgia Department of Education and defined in the Individual with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 2004). Special education and related services are provided to assist students at the preschool, elementary, and secondary levels. Services are identified in a student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP) as developed by an educational team that consists of parents, regular and special education teachers, related service providers, and a representative that is considered a local educational authority.  Special education and related services are offered to the greatest extent possible in the student’s least restrictive environment as determined by the IEP team.


Decatur County offers a full continuum of services to support students with special needs. Special education and regular education teachers work together in general education classes to meet the individual needs of students through differentiation and specialized instructional models that include co-teaching, collaboration, and consultation.  Paraprofessionals work with special needs students in general education classes through supported instruction. Students needing more intensive intervention receive instruction through pull-out or separate classes that offer specialized instruction by a specially trained teacher. Supplementary instructional periods are offered to provide additional instruction in content areas including reading, math, and written expression. This continuum of services applies to all eligibility categories.


Related services are provided as the IEP team deems appropriate and can include the following: psycho-educational assessment, counseling, speech/language therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, audiological examination, adaptive physical education, school nursing services, low vision evaluation, special transportation, assistive technology, and transition services. Together special education and related services offer an instructional framework to provide eligible students a free appropriate public education that addresses the unique needs of the individual student considering his or her disability.


OUR Vision

 Excellence, Engagement and Accountability…..for all.

 OUR Mission

To empower all students to 
engage and succeed in a global society 
by providing rigorous and equitable opportunities,
nurturing environments, sustained partnerships,
college and career readiness and character development.