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 Approved Private Schools

Children with Disabilities Placed in Private Schools by the Local Education Agency (LEA)

If the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team, including the parent, decides that the most appropriate placement for a student is in a private school, the district that places the student in the private school continues to be responsible for the provision of Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) for the student. This includes ensuring the student receives the special education and related services included in the IEP and that those services are provided at no cost to the parent. The district must ensure that the education provided in the private school meets the standards that apply to other students with disabilities. In addition, the student and parent must be provided the same rights as other students with disabilities and their parents, including receiving a full instructional day for the full academic year, instruction in the Georgia Performance Standards, and participation in state assessments. These requirements apply to residential and private day schools in which local, state, or federal funds are used to pay for the cost of the student’s educational services.

Private Residential Programs Approved by the Georgia Department of Education

The Georgia Department of Education maintains a list of approved programs residential programs. This approval documents that the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) has verified the school meets minimal requirements for serving students with disabilities. The approval is valid for three years from the date of approval. It will remain the funding LEA’s responsibility to monitor the private facility to ensure that the student funded by the district and attending the private facility receives appropriate services.

The Division for Special Education Services and Supports has approved the residential programs listed below.

Residential Program
Date Approved Through
Macon Behavioral Institute
October 2014
Murphy-Harpst Children's Center
October 2014
Anne Elizabeth Shepherd Home
August 2014
Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta
October 2012
Hillside, Inc. (Residential and Day Program)
January 2015
Laurel Heights Academy
August 2014
The Methodist Home for Children and Youth
September 2014
Ault Academy Twin Cedars - Bradfield
December 2016
Georgia Center for Youth
February 2014
Youth Villages Inner Harbour Campus
February 2014
Devereux Ackerman Academy
March 2014
Morningstar Academy, Youth Estate Center
May 2014
The Collins Academy Nelson Price Treatment Center
September 2014

Private Residential Programs may request an application for approval from the Division for Special Education Services and Supports at any time. The list of approved residential programs will be updated as approvals are granted.

Private Day Schools

For private day schools, the funding LEA is responsible for verifying that the school meets the minimal requirements for the provision of FAPE for students with disabilities. The LEA will maintain a collaborative relationship with the private day school in order to monitor the student’s progress and the implementation of the IEP.

For additional questions, you may contact Felicia Peavy, Program Specialist for Compliance at (404) 232-7893 or by email at