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Special Services

Serving students with disabilities and special needs, as well as their families

The Special Services Department is comprised of three specific areas that support students: Exceptional Education, 504, and Health Services. The focus of the department is to provide students with disabilities or health-related challenges the tools and resources to benefit from their educational program.

It is the intent of the Gulf Shores City School System to meet the individual needs of students with special needs in an efficient and timely manner. Each child is evaluated and an educational program developed to meet the individual needs of that student. The following information summarizes the responsibility of the school system and defines the areas in which students can be identified as having a disability.

Exceptional Education

Exceptional education is not a “place:” rather, it is a set of services. The district’s goal is to partner with families regarding the individual needs of children. The Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is the federal legislation that helps guide school teams and families in the qualification of students and the development of Individualized Education Programs (IEP). GSCS has a continuum of services to meet the needs of our diverse student population.

Section 504 Services

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (“Section 504”) is a federal civil rights law. It is designed to eliminate disability discrimination in programs and activities that receive federal funds. Since all public school districts receive federal funds, all public school districts must comply with Section 504. Under Section 504, denying a disabled student a free appropriate public education (“FAPE”) is disability discrimination.

Health Services

Health services in GSCS are designed to ensure schools have the resources and systems to provide students with the health-related care needed to access school. Duties of Health Services include medication management, health care collaboration, monitoring of life-threatening emergency care plans, and general oversight of student medical related needs.

Training and Resources Available for Parents

Alabama Parent Education Center is here to help YOU as we travel through uncertain times in our state, and especially in our school systems. The new normal of ever-changing school operations, transportation options, class schedules, instructional platforms and social distancing requirements has created stress for both parents and students.

But one thing is certain, which is that Alabama Parent Education Center is available and ready to help answer questions and provide support and resources to help you stay involved and participate in your child's education. One way we accomplish that is by providing free monthly webinars to parents on the first Tuesday of the month designated Training Tuesdays. Webinars begin at 10:00 am and usually last one hour or less. Watch on your laptop, or other device by downloading the gotowebinar app from your app store. Webinars require registration, and afterwards you'll receive a confirmation email which contains the link to join us on the scheduled date. You must save this link in order to be connected to the webinar. You'll find our training schedule on our website under Training and Events. In addition to this monthly eNewsletter, you can stay informed by liking and following us on Facebook. Stay tuned for some great topics!

Click Here for Parent Tip Sheet.

Click Here for Parents-Partners In Special Education

Areas of Qualification