Exceptional Student Services

Applications Open for Families of Children with Special Needs Reimbursement

Atlanta, GA - Governor Brian P. Kemp and the Georgia Department of Education have opened the applications for the Families of Children with Special Needs Reimbursement through May 14.

“In my State of the State Address this year, I announced that Georgia would set aside $10 million in Governor's Emergency Education Relief funds to offset costs that parents of students with special needs faced due to COVID-19. As we launch these applications, we are taking the first step in fulfilling that promise," said Governor Kemp. "I am proud of the partnership between my office, State School Superintendent Richard Woods, the Georgia Department of Education, and state leaders for working to improve the lives of Georgia’s most vulnerable students. These reimbursements will help families overcome financial challenges faced during an unprecedented school year as we begin returning to normal in Georgia.”

The Governor’s Office, the Governor's Office of Planning and Budget, and the Georgia Department of Education have worked in recent months to determine the best way to help those most severely impacted in a population of over 222,000 students with special needs throughout the state. Ten million dollars has been designated to assist these students with the highest needs for expenses incurred due to school closings during the pandemic.

Expenses that have been identified as eligible for reimbursement are those that are necessary to meet the challenges these students face regarding educational achievement, personal development, and emotional wellbeing. The link to applications is available here through May 14.




The Exceptional Student Services Division  addresses the unique needs of a student eligible to receive special education services. Special education is provided at no cost to parents and includes the related services a student needs to access her/his educational program.

Students with disabilities who are determined eligible for special education and related services are entitled to a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). Services are provided to eligible students according to an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in preschools, elementary, and secondary schools, or other appropriate settings.

The Exceptional Student Services Division will:

  • Promote and participate in collaboration with all stakeholders to provide support for students, schools, and the district; 

  • Facilitate identification, evaluation and placement of students utilizing Federal and State guidelines;

  • Provide specialized instructional support to all schools; 

  • Provide direction and support for resources that support classroom instruction and meet students' unique needs; 

  • Facilitate and ensure that a Free Appropriate Public Education is provided to eligible students.

Programs and Services: 

Services are currently provided for approximately 400 students, 3-21 years of age. A continuum of services is offered for students identified as eligible under the State of Georgia Regulations for special education. Disability areas served are Autism, Deafblind, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Emotional and Behavioral Disorder, Intellectual Disabilities (Mild, Moderate, Severe, Profound), Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Significant Developmental Delay, Specific Learning Disability, Speech-Language Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Visual Impairment and Blindness.  

Services are provided in a variety of settings, including regular education classes, co-taught classes, separate classrooms, and self-contained classrooms. Community-based instruction, hospital/homebound, online and work-study programs are examples of instruction provided in alternative settings. To ensure all students reach their full potential, goals and objectives are developed with instruction taking place in an appropriate classroom setting.


Georgia Special Needs Scholarship 
Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency
CHADD- The National Resource on ADHD 
Autism Speaks 
Individuals With Disabilities Education Act 
Georgia Department of Education Special Education Services and Supports
Parent 2 Parent of Georgia 


Susan Smith 
Exceptional Student Services and Student Information Admin Asst. 
334 South Wall Street
Calhoun, GA 30701
Email: smithsusan @calhounschools.org 

Mrs. Hayley Gilreath
Director of Exceptional Student Services
334 South Wall Street
Calhoun, GA 30701
Phone: 706-602-6610
Fax: 706-629-3235