RESOURCES FOR EXTENDED CLOSURE
Walker County Special Education Department is committed to supporting our students through the extended school closure for Covid-19. Please visit this site for updates on FREE resources that will support your work with your children in various areas related to special education. Should you have questions about extended learning plans and packets provided by your specific school, please consult with your child’s case manager. If you do not know how to reach our child’s case manager or need further assistance, please reach out to Angie Ingram at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parent Mentor, Michal Jones, is updating her Facebook page with many resources for families.
Walker County Special Education Services
Currently Walker County Schools serves over 1,500 students with disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorders, Blind and Visually Impaired, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Deaf/Blind, Intellectually Disabled (mild, moderate, severe, and profound), Orthopedically Impaired, Other Health Impaired, Specific Learning Disabled, Speech Language Impaired, Emotional Behavioral Disorders, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Significant Developmental Delay. Ages served range from preschool age 3 through high school age of 21.
To ensure quality services, WCS employs staff to serve our students including special education teachers, paraprofessionals, speech/language pathologists, interpreters, an assistive technology specialist, related service personnel serving occupational and physical therapy needs, school psychologists, special education nurses, and educational diagnosticians. To meet the unique needs of students with disabilities, Walker County Schools offers a variety of programs and a continuum of services including consultative, inclusion/co-teaching programs and various separate class programs. In addition, students are served in homebound, special day programs or residential placements when necessary. All students in the special education program have an Individualized Educational Program (IEP). The IEP determines the placement that best supports the student in accessing the educational setting. The students work on specific academic, behavioral, and /or functional goals. Walker County Schools currently has special education services available at every school site designed to meet the unique needs of the students in that school or area. Additionally, there are specialized programs for low incidence populations of students to meet their unique needs.
Parent Survey 2020
Every year, districts across the state of Georgia provide parents and guardians of students eligible for special education services the opportunity to participate in a survey related to their overall satisfaction associated with special education process in place at their child’s school. This year’s survey will be open from January 15, 2020 through May 31, 2020. All parents of students with disabilities are encouraged to complete the survey for this school year at your convenience at the link here.
Intent to Shred Student Records
You are hereby notified that the Walker County Department of Education, in accordance with Georgia State guidelines, will destroy all special education records of former students born on January 1 through December 31, 1996. These records are no longer needed for educational purposes. All unclaimed records will be destroyed after April 1, 2021. If you are affected by this and desire records for possible future benefits, please call 706-375-9900.
Walker County Schools is committed to the identification of children in need of special education services. Parents of children age birth to two years who may need additional support should contact Babies Can’t Wait Early Intervention program at (706) 937-6670. For children ages 3 – 21 who may need special education services, please call the Special Education Department at (706) 375-9900.
Private and Homeschool Students (Proportionate Share Services)
There will be an informational meeting for parents of home school and/or private school students with disabilities to discuss what proportionate share services will be offered by the Walker County School System during the FY 2020-2021 school year. This meeting will be held on May 6, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. and will be held virtually due to the required school closure for COVID-19. If you wish to attend, please simply email me at email@example.com at your earliest convenience to allow me to send you an invitation to the virtual meeting. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at 706- 375-9900.
Georgia Special Needs Scholarship
The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship provides eligible special education students with the opportunity to attend another public or an approved private school.
A parent can request a transfer to another public school within their school system as long as there is available space at that school and the school has a program with the services agreed to in the student’s existing Individualized Education Program (IEP). If the parent chooses this option, then the parent shall be responsible for transportation to and from the school. The deadline for requesting a school transfer within the Walker County School System for the 2020 – 2021 school year is September 15, 2020.
A parent may request a transfer to a school in another school system if there is available space and the school has a program with the services agreed to in the student’s existing IEP. The school system must agree to accept the student. If the parent chooses this option and the school system accepts the child, then the parent shall be responsible for transportation to a school in that system. The parent may also request a transfer to one of the state schools for the deaf and/or blind operated by the State Board of Education. Acceptance into a state school will depend on whether that setting is appropriate for the student’s needs. If the parent chooses this option, then the parent shall be responsible for transportation to the state school. Please contact the Georgia Department of Education for more information about transferring to a State School.
If you are interested in transferring your child to a private school in Georgia, you may be able to take advantage of a Georgia Special Needs Scholarship. These scholarships provide funding that can be used to offset tuition costs at participating private schools in the state of Georgia. For more information on the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship and the parent application process, please visit the Georgia Department of Education’s website at https://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Special-Education-Services/Pages/default.aspx
Parent Mentor Program
The parent mentor program is a parent-driven initiative by the Georgia Department of Education Division for Exceptional Students and Walker County Schools. Walker County’s parent mentor, Mrs. Michal Jones, is a parent of a child with a disability and purpose of her position is to provide education and support to families with the long term objective of giving all children a better chance to reach their potential.
The mission of a parent mentor is to develop trust, support, encouragement, and understanding between parents and educators to build effective home-school collaboration and provide our children the opportunity to reach their potential. Michal joined the Parent Mentor Partnership for Walker County in August 2006 and, regarding her role, said, “As a parent in the Walker County School System and the parent of a son with ASD, I can completely understand that navigating the Special Education System can be confusing and overwhelming.”
Michal’s role as a parent mentor is simply to help promote partnerships between parents and educators. Please contact Mrs. Michal Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 706-375-9900 ext 1852. You may also visit the Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership homepage at http://www.parentmentors.org/.
Working together as a team, WE CAN improve the lives of our children.