Welcome to Cobb County Special Education

Welcome to the Cobb County School District Special Education website.  It is our hope, on this page, you will find the information you are looking for concerning students with disabilities. If you are a parent of a student with a disability, please see the link below to our Parent Mentors’ page for additional information and resources.

Please use these helpful FAQs to find the information you are looking for:

Who is my local school Special Education contact person?

Each school is assigned a special education Support and Services Administrator also known as the SSA.  This person is your special education contact at your local school. See below for a list of SSAs for each school.

SSA Assignments by School

How can I learn more about preschool services for students with disabilities?

To learn more about preschool services, click below to visit our website.

Preschool Website

Where can I find information about special education eligibility categories?

The Georgia Department of Education, Special Education Services and Supports, recognizes 12 categories of eligibility for students with disabilities.  Click below for categories and information pertaining to them.

Ga. DOE Eligibility Categories

Where can I find more information about special education rules?

You can find information from the GA DOE here.

Who are the parent mentors and what is their role?

Cobb’s Special Education Parent Mentors enhance communication between parents and educators, ultimately leading to greater success for students with disabilities.  The goal of the Parent Mentors is to help parents understand their role in their children’s education and to provide guidance and resources to help them navigate the Special Education process.

As parents of students with disabilities, Cobb’s Special Education Parent Mentors provide resources to families of children with special needs while helping them navigate Special Education.  As mentors, they are part of the broader Georgia Parent Mentor Partnership, whose mission is:   “Building collaboration and communication between families and educators ultimately leads to greater success for children with disabilities.”

Our Parent Mentors are Stacy Greene and Antoinette Nichols.  To find out more information about our Parent Mentors,  click below to visit their website.

Parent Mentors Website

What is Corporate Classroom?

The Corporate Classroom is a program through the Cobb County School District (CCSD) that has been developed to give young men and women ages 18 to 22 the opportunity to develop marketable vocational skills through job immersion.

These young adults go through an application and interview process to be accepted into the program. The program operates as a supervised and unpaid internship where the goal is for the intern to learn important job skills as he/she builds a resume of work experience that will eventually lead to successful employment.

Corporate Classroom website

What are Cobb County's Transition Services?

How do I find out about funds for special needs scholarships?

The state of Georgia has a Georgia’s Special Needs Scholarship Program which is also referred to as SNSP or Senate Bill 10 funds (SB 10). For information about the Special Needs Scholarship Program, click here.

What is a 504 plan?

A Section 504 Plan is an educational plan describing what accommodations or related aids and services will be provided to meet the individual educational needs of the eligible student as adequately as the needs of non-disabled students are met.

What services are provided for in a 504 plan?

Students eligible under Section 504 may require a documented plan. “Appropriate Education” means comparable to the one provided to general education students. If the 504 Team determines that a plan is required then Section 504 requires that reasonable
accommodations be made for the child with a disability. Section 504 requires that the school provide reasonable accommodations, supports and auxiliary aides for the student. The school will also afford the opportunity to access the same as non-disabled peers allow the child to participate in the general curriculum.

Services under Section 504 require schools to eliminate barriers that would prevent the student from participating fully in the programs and services offered in the general curriculum.

How can I obtain a 504 plan for my child?

The local school will evaluate a student to determine eligibility based on a parent referral or under child find.

The evaluation information needed is determined by the multi-disciplinary committee gathered to evaluate the student. The committee should include persons knowledgeable about the student, and should review the evaluation data to determine if they have enough information to make a knowledgeable decision as to whether or not the student has a disability. The Section 504 regulatory provision at 34 C.F.R. 104.35(c) requires that school districts draw from a variety of sources in the evaluation process so that the possibility of error is minimized.

The determination of substantial limitation must be made on a case-by-case basis with respect to each individual student.

An impairment in and of itself is not a disability. The impairment must substantially limit one or more major life activities in order to be considered a disability under Section 504. A physician’s medical diagnosis may be considered among other sources in evaluating a student with an impairment or believed to have an impairment which substantially limits a major life activity. Other sources to be considered, along with the medical diagnosis, include aptitude and achievement tests, teacher recommendations, physical condition, social and cultural background, and adaptive behavior.

Who is my local school 504 coordinator?

The 504 Coordinator varies at each school.  It may be the  Assistant Principal or the Professional School Counselor at the school.  Please contact your school directly to identify the 504 Coordinator.

Susan Christensen
Director of Special Education
Email

Susan Christensen is the Director of Special Education for the Cobb County School District.  She started her career as a speech-language pathologist earning a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree at the University of Georgia and later an Educational Specialist’s degree in educational leadership at the University of West Georgia.  Having worked in the special education department in Cobb County for over 35 years, Susan is passionate about providing quality educational services for students with disabilities.

Evelyn Klepper
Secretary
P: 770-426-3309
F: 678-594-8630
Email

VickiCarter_ProfMEDIUM

Vicky Carter
Asst. Director Elementary School Programs
Email

Vicky Carter has over 30 years’ experience in special education. Trained as a speech-language pathologist (SLP), she provided therapy for students from preschool through high school for more than 25 years, taught small group special education classes for students with severe language impairments, and worked as a Lead SLP, Supervisor of the Speech Language Disorders Program and currently is serving as Assistant Director, supporting elementary schools. Vicky also supervises Special Needs Preschool, Related Services and Specialized Instruction.

Specialized Teaching & Learning, Assistive Technology, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Nurses, ADA Compliance, Preschool, Parent Mentors

Gail Dease
Secretary
770-426-3328 | Email

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Cathy Jordan
Asst. Director Middle/High School Programs
Email

Cathy Jordan is the Assistant Director of Special Education who collaborates with Middle School and High School academic levels and supports the Supervisors of the following programs; Autism, Emotional Behavioral Disorder, Intellectual Disabilities, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Vision Impaired, Orthopedically Impaired, Adapted PE, and Transition Services.  She has 37 years of experience in the field of education. Mrs. Jordan holds a M.S. in Special Education and Ed.S. in Leadership and Administration.

Autism, Emotional Behavioral Disorder, Adapted PE., Hearing, Vision,  & Orthopedic Impairments, Intellectual Disability, Transition Services, Corporate Classroom

Gail Dease
Secretary
770-426-3328 | Email

JessicaColeman_ProfMEDIUM

Jessica Coleman
Asst. Director Support and Services
Email

Coming Soon!

Speech & Language, 504

Laura Hickey
Secretary
770-426-3417 | Email

Records Room Clerk Assignments
514 Glover Street Marietta, Georgia 30060
Fax: 678.594.8570

Click on a Records Room Clerk to find your school:

Acworth ES
Addison ES
Allatoona HS
Argyle ES
Austell ES
Awtrey MS
Baker ES
Barber MS
Bells Ferry ES
Belmont Hills ES
Big Shanty ES
Birney ES
Blackwell ES
Brumby ES
Bryant ES
Bullard ES
Campbell MS
Campbell HS
Chalker ES
Cheatham Hill ES
Clarkdale ES
Clay ES
Compton ES
Cooper MS
Daniell ES
Davis ES
Devereaux
Dickerson MS
Dodgen MS
Dowell ES
Due West ES
Durham MS
East Cobb MS
East Side ES
East Valley ES
Fair Oaks ES
Floyd MS
Ford ES
Frey ES
Garrett MS
Garrison Mill ES
Green Acres ES
Griffin MS
Harmony Leland ES
Harrison HS
HAVEN (PreK-8)
Hayes ES
Hendricks ES
Hightower Trail MS
Hillgrove HS
Hollydale ES
Keheley ES
Kell HS
Kemp ES
Kennesaw Mt. HS
Lassiter HS
McEachern HS

HAVEN 9-12
Kennesaw ES
Kennesaw Charter
Kincaid ES
King Springs ES (K-1)
King Springs ES (2-5)
Labelle ES
Lewis ES
Lindley 6th Grade Academy
Lindley (7-8)
Lost Mountain NS
Lovinggood MS
Mableton ES
Mabry MS
McCall ES
McCleskey MS
McClure MS
Milford ES
Mountain View ES
Murdock ES
Nicholson ES
Nickajack ES
North Cobb HS
Norton Park ES
Osborne HS
Palmer MS
Pebblebrook HS
Pickett’s Mill ES
Pine Mt MS
Pitner ES
Pope HS
Powder Springs ES
Powers Ferry ES
Riverside Primary
Riverside Intermediate
Rocky Mount ES
Russell ES
Sanders ES
Sedalia Park ES
Shallowford Falls ES
Simpson MS
Smitha MS
Smyrna ES
Sope Creek ES
South Cobb HS
Sprayberry HS
Still ES
Tapp MS
Teasley ES
Timber Ridge ES
Tritt ES
Varner ES
Vaughan ES
Walton HS
Wheeler HS

PROGRAM STAFF

Dr. Nakia Cotton
Coordinator
770.426.3571 . |  Email

Nakia is an educator that values diverse learners and their unique needs.  She has been in education for over 20 years, where she has served as a teacher as well as a school and district administrator.  Nakia is passionate about providing services for students with special needs under special education and Section 504.  As the Coordinator for Support and Services for the district, she brings a unique perspective on Section 504, Homebased Instruction and Special Education Compliance procedures which can be used to enhance student learning. She attended Florida A&M University where she obtained her Bachelors in Elementary Education and Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Nakia has her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Clark Atlanta University.

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Dr. Bobbie Ealy
Supervisor
Email

Karen Mitchell
Secretary
770-426-3497 | Email

HelenUpshaw_ProfMEDIUM

Helen Upshaw
Coordinator
678.581.6821 | Email

Helen is entering her 10th year as the Coordinator for Assistive Technology in the Special Education Department.  Prior to accepting her current leadership role, Helen served the Cobb County School District as a Speech-Language Pathologist.  Helen is committed to collaborating with leaders, teachers, staff, parents and students in our goal to support student success.  She is passionate and contagious with her belief that ALL students can be independent, lifelong learners when provided with the right tools for their tool belt.  During her 28 years serving in the CCSD, she has facilitated many professional learning sessions at the local and state level on the use of assistive technology in the classroom.

Steven Benson
Supervisor
770-426-3497 | Email

Steven Benson is the Special Education Supervisor who supports the Autism Program. He has 10 years’ experience as a teacher for students with special needs, 6 years as an Autism Trainer, and 5 years of leadership experience in the district. His certifications are in Educational Leadership, Special Education Adapted Curriculum, Special Education Behavior Disorders, Special Education General Curriculum,   Special Education Physical and Health Disabilities, Special Education Learning Disabilities, Math/Science/Social Studies and Language Arts Cognitive Level P-12.  Mr. Benson holds an Ed.S. in Special Education and is currently completing his doctorate degree.

Karen Mitchell
Secretary
770-426-3497 | Email

Kristin Pewitt
Coordinator
678.581.6810  |  Email

Kristin Pewitt is the Transition Coordinator for the Cobb County School District.  She coordinates the Transition Services Programs for students with disabilities who are 18-22 years old.  Kristin also works with the Transition Services staff that support classroom teachers, students, and families.  She has 10 years of classroom experience as a teacher for students with disabilities and an additional 10 years of experience working with students with disabilities who are transitioning from school to the post-secondary world.  Ms. Pewitt is dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities achieve their post-secondary goals and become valued members of the community.

Debbi Hall
Secretary
678.581.6801  |  Email

Dr. Bobbie Ealy
Supervisor
Email

Karen Mitchell
Secretary
770-426-3497 | Email

Stephanie Smith
Supervisor
Email

Stephanie Smith is the Special Education Supervisor that supports the Emotional Behavioral Disorder program.  She has served as an educator in the classroom for 14 years. She has also supported the behavioral needs for students throughout the district as a behavior trainer. Stephanie Smith is dedicated to supporting teachers in meeting the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of students.

Karen Mitchell
Secretary
770-426-3497 | Email

Dr. Nakia Cotton
Coordinator
770.426.3571 . |  Email

Nakia is an educator that values diverse learners and their unique needs.  She has been in education for over 20 years, where she has served as a teacher as well as a school and district administrator.  Nakia is passionate about providing services for students with special needs under special education and Section 504.  As the Coordinator for Support and Services for the district, she brings a unique perspective on Section 504, Homebased Instruction and Special Education Compliance procedures which can be used to enhance student learning. She attended Florida A&M University where she obtained her Bachelors in Elementary Education and Master’s degree in Educational Leadership. Nakia has her Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Clark Atlanta University.

Dr. Shari McCrary
Supervisor
Email

Dr. Shari McCrary is the Special Education Supervisor that supports the Intellectual Disabilities Program, Transition Program, and FOCUS classrooms. She has 29 years experience in Special Education, with 23 years as a classroom teacher in Cherokee and Cobb counties, 2 years as an Intellectual Disabilities Trainer and 4 years of leadership experience in the district. Dr. McCrary is dedicated to the mission of providing education, life skills, values and a caring environment that will empower students to successfully move toward independence.

Michelle Jarvis
Secretary
678.581.6801  |  Email

Dr. Doris Osborne
Supervisor
Email

Dr. Doris Osborne is the Special Education Supervisor who supports the occupational therapy department, physical therapy department and the special education nursing department. She is also the special education contact for ADA projects at schools. She has 32 years’ experience as an occupational therapist with 22 of those years in the Cobb County School District. Dr. Osborne is dedicated to the mission to provide support to students, parents, and schools to foster achievement of meaningful outcomes for students with disabilities.

Debbi Hall
Secretary
678.581.6802  |  Email

Dr. Doris Osborne
Supervisor
Email

Dr. Doris Osborne is the Special Education Supervisor who supports the occupational therapy department, physical therapy department and the special education nursing department. She is also the special education contact for ADA projects at schools. She has 32 years’ experience as an occupational therapist with 22 of those years in the Cobb County School District. Dr. Osborne is dedicated to the mission to provide support to students, parents, and schools to foster achievement of meaningful outcomes for students with disabilities.

Debbi Hall
Secretary
678.581.6802  |  Email

Dr. Bobbie Ealy
Supervisor
Email

Karen Mitchell
Secretary
770-426-3497 | Email

Stacy Greene
Special Education Parent Mentor
770.529.0046   |   Email

Stacy Greene is the parent of an ASD student who began his education in Cobb’s Special Needs Preschool Program and graduated in May 2017 from North Cobb High School. She saw him through several transitions within Cobb schools and looks forward to assisting other parents with their student’s journey through Special Education. She is excited to serve as a resource for families of special needs children.

Antionette Nichols
Special Education Parent Mentor
770.529.0046  |  Email

Antoinette Nichols is the parent of a son with ASD who began his journey in education with the Cobb Special Needs Preschool Program in January 2010. Currently, her son is a student at Dowell Elementary in the EBD classroom. Antoinette has been a stay-at-home mom who has been involved heavily with her school’s PTA board for both the local school unit and the council level. She’s been the Room Mom for her son’s classroom for the past two years. She is looking forward to helping to navigate the process and provide resources for families with special needs children.

Dr. Doris Osborne
Supervisor
Email

Dr. Doris Osborne is the Special Education Supervisor who supports the occupational therapy department, physical therapy department and the special education nursing department. She is also the special education contact for ADA projects at schools. She has 32 years’ experience as an occupational therapist with 22 of those years in the Cobb County School District. Dr. Osborne is dedicated to the mission to provide support to students, parents, and schools to foster achievement of meaningful outcomes for students with disabilities.

Debbi Hall
Secretary
678.581.6802  |  Email

Jeannie Watson
Supervisor
Email

Jeannie Watson is the Special Education Supervisor supporting the Special Needs Preschool program for the Cobb County School District. Ms. Watson has an educational background in both Speech Pathology and Special Education and has 25 years of experience as a Speech Pathologist, Special Education Teacher, Lead Teacher and Special Education Supervisor. Ms. Watson and her team seek to provide focused, positive, and engaging preschool learning environments, quality differentiated instruction, and innovative instructional practices that will promote an early start for school success for our preschool students.

Patricia Brown
Secretary
770.426.3331  |  Email

Kathy Arnold_Prof

Kathy Arnold
Supervisor
Email

Ms. Arnold Johnson has worked in education for 27 years. She has taught general education, special education, and various adult education classes. Ms. Johnson has presented workshops and trainings on specialized instruction at the local district, university, state and national levels. Ms. Johnson is currently a supervisor of Specialized Teaching and Learning in Cobb County School District.  Ms. Johnson is working toward completing her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership.

Karen Mitchell
Secretary
770.426.3497  |  Email

JaniceBarnard_ProfMEDIUM

Janice Barnard
Supervisor
770-426-3497 | Email

Janice is a lifelong learner and speech-language pathologist who is passionate about providing high quality speech and language services to students who have speech and language disorders.  As speech-language pathologist she has been practicing for over 25 years.   Additionally, as the program supervisor for speech pathology and educational diagnosticians, she is excited about providing top quality evaluations and services to students of the Cobb County School District.

Karen Mitchell
Secretary
770.426.3497  |  Email

KelliCox_ProfMEDIUM

Kelli Cox
Supervisor, Support & Services
Email

Kelli Cox is a Special Education Supervisor for Support and Services.  As an educator, she has over 15 years of classroom experience as a teacher for students with disabilities of all ages and grade levels.  In addition, she has leadership experience with Cobb County School District at the school level as well as experience in leadership positions in other school systems.  As a member of the Support and Services team, she supports teachers and schools in the Cobb County School District in their implementation of Special Education programs.  She is passionate about working as a team in order to ensure success of all learners.  Her philosophy as an educator follows a quote from Margaret Mead, “Children must be taught how to think, not what to think.”

Laura Hickey
Secretary
770-426-3417 | Email

Shari McCrary
Supervisor
Email

Kristin Pewitt
Coordinator
678.581.6810  |  Email

Kristin Pewitt is the Transition Coordinator for the Cobb County School District.  She coordinates the Transition Services Programs for students with disabilities who are 18-22 years old.  Kristin also works with the Transition Services staff that support classroom teachers, students, and families.  She has 10 years of classroom experience as a teacher for students with disabilities and an additional 10 years of experience working with students with disabilities who are transitioning from school to the post-secondary world.  Ms. Pewitt is dedicated to helping individuals with disabilities achieve their post-secondary goals and become valued members of the community.

Debbi Hall
Secretary
678.581.6801  |  Email

Dr. Bobbie Ealy
Supervisor
Email

Karen Mitchell
Secretary
770-426-3497 | Email

©2018 Cobb County School District, Academic Division

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