Special Programs and Instructional Support Services
The 1997 amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act (IDEA) and the more recent 2004 Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) have mandated that every school district in the country develop a system to identify children with disabilities, from birth through age 21, who live within the district.
Georgia Cyber Academy will make a concerted effort to identify, locate and evaluate children who have a suspected or confirmed disability, in accordance with all federal regulations and state standards as required by Child Find. In addition, it shall be the policy of Georgia Cyber Academy that the child with a disability and his or her parents/ guardians shall be provided with procedural safeguards, as required by law, throughout the identification, evaluation and placement process and with a free and appropriate public education (FAPE).
Students with disabilities can receive services based on the following eligibility categories:
- Deaf/Hard of Hearing
- Emotional & Behavioral Disorder
- Intellectual Disabilities
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Other Health Impairment
- Significant Developmental Delay
- Specific Learning Disability
- Speech-Language Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Visual Impairment & Blindness
Students with disabilities who qualify for Special Education Services can receive a free appropriate education (FAPE) based on the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). Georgia Cyber Academy delivers special education programming and related services in the least restrictive environment, as determined by the student’s IEP team. Instruction and services delivered in a virtual and/or face to face environment are provided at no cost to the parent, guardian or student. Through the virtual learning environment, students can be served using regular education, additional supportive services, consultative, co-teaching, collaborative, and small group settings.
Progress monitoring of IEP goals is accomplished through a variety of data collection methods using a variety of instructional programs, as well as the individualized assessments designed by special education and general education teachers. IEP mandated, specialized instructional services are provided via the online learning platform, and progress data is collected during live class sessions. These sessions are designed to aid in the continuous progression and mastery of students’ IEP goals and objectives. These sessions, led by certified special education teachers, are intended to support the student’s academic, behavioral, and post-secondary needs.
All members of the Georgia Cyber Academy school community believe that varied instructional practices and learning environments benefit all children. Related Services, such as Speech, Physical Therapy, and Occupational Therapy, etc. are determined through review of various data sources to include evaluations and progress monitoring data. In sum, Georgia Cyber Academy is committed to the full implementation of IDEA. When students served through the Department of Special Education are provided with the appropriate supports, as outlined in their IEP and through the collaborative efforts of parents, students, teachers, therapists and other faculty/ staff (as appropriate), we believe they will achieve.
Any additional information regarding Parent Rights, Special Education Records, and services offered should be directed to Veronica Crenshaw firstname.lastname@example.org, Gaetane Borders email@example.com, and Dr. Lynea Laws firstname.lastname@example.org, the Special Education Assistant Directors.
Students receiving special education services may have additional face to face, on camera, and attendance requirements per their IEP. The learning coach or designated adult will have additional meetings with staff as is required.
Please review the Special Education Manual located on our website for complete information on this program.
The Advanced and Gifted Program (A&G) is a supplemental program designed to meet the needs of our advanced learners in a variety of ways including: enriched sessions, curriculum compacting, topic enrichment and extension, honors, advanced, and/or accelerated course planning and placement; along with other activities which incorporate academics, multiple intelligence’s, and social interaction.
General Advanced and Gifted program qualifications are set forth by GaDOE guidelines and implemented in accordance with specific Georgia Cyber Academy program criteria. These requirements are subject to change year to year; therefore, students may need to re-qualify annually to remain in the A&G program.
Participants in the A&G are expected to maintain exemplary progress and achievement. If you feel your student qualifies for the program, please contact the Assistant Director of Advanced & Gifted Programs, Marchele Nelson, at email@example.com for additional information. Please note that students must qualify each year to participate in the Advanced & Gifted Program.
Advanced & Gifted learning options also include Advanced Placement (AP), Acceleration, and Honors courses. Georgia Cyber Academy plans to offer the following AP and Honors courses for the 2020-2021 school year:
- Honors 9th Grade Literature and Composition
- Honors World Literature
- Honors American Literature
- Honors Biology
- Honors Chemistry
- Honors Physics
- Honors Algebra
- Honors Geometry
- Honors World History
- AP US History
- AP World History
- AP US Government and Politics
- AP Calculus AB
- AP Statistics
- AP English Literature and Composition
- AP English Language and Composition
- AP Biology
- AP Environmental Science
In addition, Georgia Cyber Academy will allow qualifying students to take the following AP classes through Georgia Virtual School for the 2020-2021 school year:
- AP Research
- AP Seminar
- AP Art History
- AP Music Theory
- AP Chemistry
- AP Physics 1: Algebra Based
- AP Physics 2: Algebra Based
- AP Physics C: Mechanics
- AP Human Geography
- AP Comparative Government and Politics
- AP European History
- AP Microeconomics
- AP Macroeconomics
- AP Psychology
- AP Calculus BC
- AP Computer Sciences A
- AP Computer Science Principles
- AP Spanish Language and Culture
- AP French Language and Culture
Please review the Advanced & Gifted Manual located on our website for complete information on this program.
INSTRUCTIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES
Students that have a 504 plan or have been identified as needing RtI Tier 2 or 3 supports, may have additional face to face or on-camera interactions. The learning coach or designated adult will have additional meetings with staff as is required.
Under Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, some school-age children with disabilities who do not meet the eligibility criteria for Special Education services may be eligible for special protections and for adaptations and accommodations in instruction, facilities and activities. Children are entitled to such protections, adaptations and accommodations when they have a documented disability that: (1) has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity; (2) has a record of such an impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such an impairment. The determination of whether a student has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity (and therefore has a disability) must be made on a case by case basis and is subject to review by the school 504 team. After all documentation of the disability and its academic impact for the student is collected, an eligibility meeting will be held with the teacher(s), parent/legal guardian, 504 coordinator, and administrator to determine plan eligibility and appropriate accommodations.
Please review the 504 Manual located on our website for complete information on 504 Plans and their requirements.
Georgia Cyber Academy supports the academic achievement of all students, particularly those most at-risk. The Response to Intervention (RtI)/Multi-tiered Support System (MTSS) team composed of parents, teachers, administrators, trained professionals and the student (as appropriate), uses a tiered model incorporating problem-solving methods and research-based interventions to identify and serve students having academic, behavioral or emotional difficulties. The goal of the RtI/MTSS process is for the teacher, learning coach, and/or parent to work together so the student may achieve a satisfactory rate of progress in the regular educational setting, preventing the need for more intensive services at a later period. In accordance with the Georgia Department of Education, all students at Georgia Cyber Academy participate in the RtI/MTSS process, which is embedded in the school’s instructional model. This model includes standards-based curriculum, direct instruction from certified teachers via live sessions, other supplemental programs, as well as all state mandated assessments. As a student identified as needing Tier 2 or Tier 3 supports, they would receive supplemental help from their teacher, such as small group or individual Live Class sessions and/ or other research-based interventions and may move up the tiered process for additional support. The teacher, intervention specialist, and the learning coach/ parent form a partnership to determine which additional interventions are required to further support the student’s learning needs. In addition, older students (Grades 4 and up) are encouraged to participate in this decision-making process.
The teacher and learning coach/ parent carefully follow and document the student’s response to those interventions over a course of six to twelve weeks. During this period, data is collected and reviewed to determine whether the recommended interventions are effective. Once the data has been collected and reviewed, the Student Support Team (SST), made up of the classroom teacher, learning coach/ parent, and other interventional specialists, reviews the student’s progress, assignments, assessment scores, educational and family learning history, medical history and the results of the interventional strategies previously attempted with the student. If the interventions have shown little to no effect on student progress, the SST may recommend a referral for further academic or behavioral screenings, a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation and/or a referral to participate in other supplemental programs designed for more intensive student support. Since RtI/MTSS is a process, not a program, students may move up and down through the tiers throughout their academic career. The goal of RtI /MTSS is a proactive one, to provide students with the tools necessary to achieve academic success.
Note: Regardless of whether a student is struggling or typically does well academically, there may be times that extra support is required to master a skill or concept. When students are invited to a small group reinforcement session or tutoring, they are required to attend the live session even if they have full flexibility.
Please review the RtI/MTSS Manual located on our website for complete information on this program.