What Parents Need to Know
The Georgia Department of Education knows that students learn at various rates and in diverse ways. To assure that all students have every opportunity to reach their full potential, various educational programs designed to meet the unique needs of students in a wide variety of settings are offered. This section provides information regarding support services and programs, scholarship information, school options, and other programs. If you have specific questions about any of the services or programs listed below contact AskDOE at 1-800-311-3627 or ask your student’s teacher.
Support Services and Programs
- School Guidance and Counseling Services
Click above to find out information about school counselors and the school counseling program in Georgia. Counselors can provide students with a variety of information and support. This covers everything from helping students select classes and identify possible careers to obtaining personal and psychological counseling. If you are a parent, and think your child would benefit from the services of a school counselor, please contact your local school. If you believe that your child is not getting the type of counseling he or she needs, please contact your local school district central office.
- Graduation Coaches
Graduation Coaches identify at-risk students and help them succeed in school by keeping them on track academically before they consider dropping out. The coaches identify, recruit and engage parents and concerned adults, organizations and government agencies to serve in a variety of ancillary roles. To find out more about the role of Graduation Coaches click on the link above or view the brochure below. To find out if your school has a graduation coach, contact your school’s principal.
- School Social Work
Click above to find out information about school social workers in Georgia. School social workers serve as the vital link between home, school and community. They help address non-academic issues in the lives of students and their families to ensure academic success in the classroom. If you are a parent, and think your child would benefit from the services of a school social worker, please contact your local school.
- Student Support Teams
Student Support Teams (SST) exist in every Georgia school and function as problem-solving groups. Students are referred to the SST for the purpose of finding ways around the roadblocks that impede the student’s success. Any unresolved problem that is impeding the learning process may be referred to the SST, by a teacher, administrator, parent or even a student. Click above to learn more about this program.
- Georgia Positive Behavior Supports
Positive Behavior Support is an approach for changing a child’s behavior that is based on humanistic values and research. It offers an approach for developing an understanding of why the child has challenging behavior and teaching the child new skills to replace challenging behavior. Positive Behavior Support considers all of the factors that impact a child and the child’s behavior. It can be used to address simple, challenging, and dangerous behaviors. To learn more about Positive Behavior Supports click above.
- Gifted Education
Click above to find information about how students are identified for Gifted Education programs as well as information about other programs and opportunities for gifted students.
- Special Education Services and Support
Click above to find resources for parents of students with disabilities. Here you will find a guide to your rights and responsibilities, information about dispute resolution, and special education legal aid providers, as well as links to major family organizations that can provide additional supports.
- Credit Recovery Program (GA Virtual School)
The Georgia Department of Education Credit Recovery Program provides the opportunity for a student to “recover” credit for a course that he or she was previously unsuccessful in earning academic credit for graduation. Credit Recovery programs, in general, have a primary focus of helping students stay in school and graduate on time by allowing them to retake a course at their own pace. Credit Recovery courses are on-line courses and are not facilitated by a teacher. To see a list of Credit Recovery courses or to learn more about the program click above.
- ExPreSS Programs
The purpose of ExPreSS (Exam Preparation for Science and Social Studies) is to provide free tutorial support for high school students in preparation for retaking the Science or Social Studies Georgia High School Graduation Tests (GHSGT). There are two ways students can participate in ExPreSS: Online or face-to-face. The Online ExPreSS offers students the opportunity to participate in learning modules that are self-paced and based on the instructional plans created for the face-to-face program. The face-to-face program, called Project ExPreSS and is a target, statewide, two week summer program. To learn more about Online ExPreSS or Project ExPreSS click on the link above.
- Supplemental Educational Services (SES)
Supplemental Educational Services (SES) are free tutoring and academic enrichment services offered to eligible students in Title I schools to increase academic achievement. SES are high quality research-based educational programs. These services provide additional academic instruction, and are offered outside of the regular school day. To determine if your student is eligible or to find a list of SES providers in your area click above or contact your local school.
- Remedial Education Program
The Remedial Education Program is an instructional program designed for students in grades 6-12 who have identified deficiencies in reading, writing, and math. This program provides individualized basic skills instruction as mandated by Georgia Law in the areas of reading, mathematics, and writing. Click above to learn more.
- Even Start Family Literacy Program
The Even Start Family Literacy Program provides funds to help break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy by improving educational opportunities of low income families by integrating early childhood education, adult literacy and parenting education into a unified family literacy program. Click above for more information.
- Early Intervention Program
The Early Intervention Program (EIP) is designed to serve students who are at risk of not reaching or maintaining academic grade level. The purpose of the Early Intervention Program is to provide additional instructional resources to help students who are performing below grade level obtain the necessary academic skills to reach grade level performance in the shortest possible time. To learn more click above.
- 21st Century Community Learning Centers
The 21st Century Community Learning Centers program provides federal funds to establish or expand before school, after school, or summer school learning opportunities for eligible students. To learn more about 21st Century Community Learning Centers or to locate a center in your area click above.
- Homeless Children and Youth Education Program
The McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth program is designed to address the problems that homeless children and youth face in enrolling, attending, and succeeding in school. To learn more about this program and the services it offers click on the link above.
- Migrant Education Program
The Migrant Education Program (MEP) is a federally funded program designed to support comprehensive educational programs for migrant children to help reduce the educational disruption and other problems that result from repeated moves. To learn more about this program and to see if your child qualifies for services click on the link above.
- Neglected and Delinquent Children Education Program
The Neglected and Delinquent Children Education Program is designed to improve educational services in local and State institutions, as well as in residential facilities. In addition, it provides these children with services needed to ensure graduation from high school and to make a successful transition from institutionalization to completing school, continuing education or employment. To learn more about this program and the services it offers click on the link above.
- School Psychological Services
School psychologists are employed in Georgia schools in order to prevent or deal with the most severe learning and behavior problems. They consult on academic and behavioral interventions with teachers, parents and Student Support Teams (SST). They advise on every level of the Response to Intervention (RTI), from the most basic approaches up to the level of highly specialized program interventions. To learn more about school psychologists click on the link above or contact your local school to see how your child can benefit from these services.
- Response to Intervention
Response to Intervention (RTI ) is a learning process that matches general education classroom instruction to each student’s learning needs. In other words, educators respond to a student’s academic and/or behavior challenge with the right amount of intensity in classroom learning supports. These instructional techniques are called interventions. In Georgia, educators respond with instructional interventions, through a four-tier instructional-support process called the Georgia Student Achievement Pyramid of Interventions. Delivery of interventions at each tier is based on the student’s success in meeting the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS). Interventions intensify at each escalating tier. To learn more click on the link above.
- English Language Learners
English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) is a state funded instructional program for eligible English Language Learners (ELLs) in grades K-12. Title III is a federally funded program which provides eligible Local Education Agencies (LEAs) with subgrants to provide supplemental services for ELLs. Both ESOL and Title III hold students accountable for progress and attainment in English language proficiency. The ESOL Program is a standards-based curriculum emphasizing social and academic language proficiency which enables (ELLs) to use English to communicate and demonstrate academic, social, and cultural proficiency. To learn more about this program click on the link above.
Scholarship and Enrichment Programs
- HOPE Scholarship
Georgia's HOPE (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally) Scholarship is available to Georgia residents who have demonstrated academic achievement. The scholarship provides money to assist students with the educational costs of attending college in Georgia. To find eligibility requirements, award amounts, and other information click above.
- Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship
This program, which is federally funded and state-administered, is designed to recognize exceptionally able high school seniors who show promise of continued excellence in postsecondary education. Students receive scholarship awards in the amount of $1,500, renewable for up to three additional years. They are meant to help with college expenses. To learn more about this program and eligibility requirements click above.
- United States Senate Youth Program
The United States Senate Youth Program was created to help outstanding high school students broaden their knowledge and understanding of Congress and the legislative process in our nation's capital; to demonstrate the importance of a freely elected legislature in the perpetuation of an effective democratic system of government; and to dramatize, in particular, the crucial role the Senate performs in the maintenance of our government. Each year two elected high school student body officers from each state are selected to attend a week long internship program in Washington D.C. To learn more about this program and eligibility criteria click above.
- Governor's Honors Program
The Governor's Honors Program (GHP) is a six-week summer residential instructional program designed to provide intellectually gifted and artistically talented Georgia high school students challenging and enriching educational opportunities not usually available during the regular school year. Activities are designed to provide each participant with opportunities to acquire the skills, knowledge and attitudes to become independent, life-long learners. Rising juniors and seniors in Georgia's public, private, and home schools may be nominated by their teachers to attend. To learn more about the program and other guidelines click above.
- ACCEL Program
The Accel program is for students at eligible high schools who wish to take college level coursework for credit towards both high school and college graduation requirements. Eligible students must meet certain criteria explained below. The program is offered during the fall, winter, and spring terms of the school year. To learn more about this program click above.
- Georgia Scholar Program
The Georgia Scholar Program identifies and recognizes high school seniors who have achieved excellence in school and community life. Applications are distributed to local school system Georgia Scholar Program Coordinators annually in November. To learn more about this program speak to your local school system or click above.
- Youth Apprenticeship Program
The Youth Apprenticeship Program is a structured combination of school-based and work-based learning. Through a coordinated effort involving business and industry, a Youth Apprenticeship addresses the dual task of preparing students for the world of work and providing Georgia with a highly skilled, technologically competitive workforce. The Youth Apprenticeship program enables a student to receive a high school diploma, a post-secondary certificate or degree, and certification of industry-recognized competencies applicable to employment in a high-skilled occupation. To learn more click above.
- Superintendent's Student Advisory Council
The State Superintendent of School’s Student Advisory Council is a group of about 50 high school students from across the state who discuss how decisions made at the state level are affecting students throughout Georgia. Members meet a few times throughout the school year with the State School Superintendent and are advisors that act as liaisons between the Department of Education and the students of Georgia. Students may apply for the advisory council at the beginning of each school year by obtaining an application from their school or from the Georgia Department of Education’s website towards the end of July. To learn more about the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council click above.
- Georgia Virtual School
The Georgia Virtual School is an internet-based public school housed in the Georgia Department of Education serving public, private, and home schooled students throughout the state. Georgia certified teachers guide students through each course online as they would in a traditional school setting. Virtual courses can be taken as actual classes during the school day or as a supplement to further enhance or improve a student’s course of study. To learn more or to register for a class click above.
- Magnet Schools
Magnet schools are public schools that offer a targeted learning environment that attract students interested in specific content areas, such as mathematics, science, technology and fine arts. To learn more about these schools or to see a list of magnet schools in Georgia click above.
- Alternative Education
Georgia strives to provide an inspiring and meaningful educational experience to students who have academic or behavior learning needs that may best be met in a non-traditional setting. To learn more click above.
- Georgia Special Needs Scholarship
The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship provides eligible special education students with school choice opportunities. To learn more about this program or to find out if your student is eligible click above.
- Public Choice
If a child attends a Title I school that has been identified by the state for school improvement, corrective action, or restructuring, parents can choose to send their child to another public school that is not so identified. Districts must let parents know each year if their child is eligible to transfer to another school, and districts must give parents more than one transfer option if more than one exists. To learn more about public school choice click above.
- School Choice: Intradistrict Transfers
Under Georgia law O.C.G.A. 20-2-2131, parents of K-12 public school students in Georgia now have the option to enroll their child in any school that is located within the local school district in which they now reside. By July 1 of each year, school systems must notify parents of schools in the district which have available space and which of these schools parents may choose to request a transfer for their children. To learn more about this law click on the link above.
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- Military Child Education Coalition
The Military Child Education Coalition is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, world-wide organization that identifies the challenges facing the highly mobile military child, increases awareness of these challenges in military and educational communities, and initiates and implements programs to meet the challenges. Click above to find parent information, child and student programs, and other educational resources for military families.