Special Education/504

Department of Special Education/504

Charlette Green, Executive Director, Department of Special Education

Charlette Green, Executive Director, Department of Special Education

Renee Bernhardt, Supervisor, Department of Special Education

Renee Bernhardt, Supervisor, Department of Special Education

Melissa Sneed, Supervisor, Special Education

Melissa Sneed, Supervisor, Special Education







Cherokee County School District offers comprehensive Special Education services to eligible students ages three through 21 years. Children from birth to age three with disabilities will be referred to appropriate agencies for services. All referrals are considered confidential, and services are provided at no cost. The parent, legal guardian, or surrogate parent retains the right to refuse services and is provided other procedural safeguards under federal and state law.

Special Education Records Requests

Requests for a copy of the special education records of a student who attends or has attended school in Cherokee County must be made in writing by contacting the Special Education Records Office.

Requests can be faxed or sent via the US Mail and must include parental consent or the consent of the student, if the student is aged 18 or older, to release confidential records, if the requester is not the parent or student.

Requests should be directed to:

Special Education Records Clerk 
P.O. Box 769

Canton, GA 30169

Phone: 770.721.8500

FAX: 770.479.6697


Special Education Records Request Form

Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
Related Services
Assistive Technology
Preschool Special Needs Program
Information for Parents

Helpful Documents for Parents (new, see attachments)

Making Sure Your Preschooler Starts on a Path Towards Graduation

Making Sure Your Elementary School Child Starts On A Path Towards High School Graduation

Making Sure Your Middle School Child Starts On A Path Towards High School Graduation

Making Sure Your High School Student Starts On A Path Towards High School Graduation


Helpful External Links:

For special education information in Georgia:

Georgia Department of Education Special Education Manual:
Implementation Manual

Support, information services and training, and leadership opportunities for families who have children and youth with disabilities:
Parent to Parent Georgia

Education news from around the country:
US Department of Education

Office of Special Education and Rehabilitation Services (OSERS):
US Department of Education OSERS

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or the gifted.
Council for Exceptional Children

Georgia Association of School Psychologists:

Preschool Special Needs Program

The Preschool Special Needs Program is a federally-mandated service. An amendment to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) makes a range of educational opportunities available to children with moderate to severe disabilities who are aged three to five years old. The program is operated by the Cherokee County School District. Children are served at one of several school sites in the county, through home-based, and/or community-based programs.

Any Cherokee County child age three to five who is experiencing significant difficulties or delays in development, whether physical, mental, or emotional, can be referred for service. Areas of concern can include difficulties in developing speech and language skills, thinking skills, adaptive skills, motor skills or even social skills. A play based assessment will be conducted to determine if your child qualifies for the Preschool Special Needs Program.

What services are available?

  • Assessment: A developmental evaluation of your child’s language skills, fine and gross motor skills, cognitive ability, social/emotional skills and adaptive skills is conducted. Parents are involved in the evaluation process. The preschool assessment will identify your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Services and programs will be determined at a team meeting in which you will be a participant.
  • Home-Based Services: A certified preschool special educator or paraprofessional works with your child in the home setting.
  • Community-Based Service: A certified special educator or paraprofessional may travel to childcare centers, Head Start centers, or other community settings to provide services to the child, consult with the staff, and/or modify curriculum or materials.
  • Classroom-Based Services: The child’s program is provided in a special education preschool class. Classes are located at selected locations in Cherokee County.
  • Transition Services: Program staff work to ensure a smooth transition from Babies Can’t Wait to the CCSD Preschool Special Needs Program and from the Preschool Special Needs Program into kindergarten.

Who are the staff members?

Our staff consists of psychologists, preschool assessment team members, special education preschool teachers, speech pathologists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. Each child’s assessment will determine which services are appropriate for his developmental needs, and the corresponding professionals will be working with him or her. Consultation from other disciplines is also available.

What is the cost for eligible preschool aged students to participate?

All services provided through the Preschool Special Needs Program are offered at no charge. Funding is provided through federal, state, and local sources.

How do I know that my child might need to be assessed?
If you answer yes to more than one of these questions below, your child could benefit from an assessment.

  • Is my child’s learning delayed, or does he seem to learn more slowly than other children?
  • Does my child have trouble walking or using his arms?
  • Does my child have trouble seeing?
  • Does my child not talk or talk very little?
  • Is my child difficult to understand when he speaks?
  • Does my child often not respond when you talk to him, or do I have to repeat things frequently?
  • Does my child get upset easily, cry a lot, have temper tantrums, have sleeping problems, or have other behaviors that concern me?

How do I request an evaluation and/or services for my child?

Please complete the Preschool Special Needs Referral Packet (below) and fax it to 770-720-4791.

If you would like a referral packet mailed to your home address, please contact the Preschool Special Needs Office at 770.721.8562. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Preschool Special Needs Referral Packet – Spanish (PDF)

Preschool Brochure (PDF)


The Georgia Department of Education and the Parent-to-Parent of Georgia organization provide many helpful fact sheets for parents regarding special education:

More information from Parent-to-Parent of Georgia:

Cherokee County School District information:

Parent Mentor Program:

Cherokee County School District participates in the Georgia Department of Education’s Parent Mentor Program. This parent driven statewide initiative has the goal of helping with communication between parents and educators. All Parent Mentors have a child with a disability and are well versed in the special education system. Parent Mentors encourage collaborative partnerships between parents, educators and agencies in the community to work together to support families of children with disabilities, and any child who is struggling, to help ensure a more successful education for our children.

Cherokee County Parent Mentors can help answer questions you may have and provide support for you and your child so that he or she may have a better opportunity to succeed in their education.

Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership Brochure (PDF)

Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership Brochure – Spanish (PDF)

Parent Mentors:

Sharon Jones is the mother of a high school-aged son with autism. She has a Bachelor of Science in Education from Georgia State University and has served on the Regional Planning Board for Mental Health Developmental Disabilities and Addictive Diseases.

770.721.8503 -or- 678.221.7440

Jo Ellen Hancock is the mother of three special needs high school-aged children, which include twins. Their disabilities include Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Tourette’s syndrome and Bi-Polar Disorder.

770.721.8503 -or- 678.310.6198

Parent Rights (PDF)

Parent Rights – Spanish (PDF)

Medicaid and Medicaid Waiver Programs (PDF)

List of Acronyms and Definitions for Parents of Students with Disabilities