Special Education

Welcome to the Tift County Special Education Department. It is our mission to ensure educational success for each student by providing a free, appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet unique needs and prepare students for employment and independent living.

If a student has learning or behavioral problems in school, all available strategies to remediate, modify, or correct the problem should be tried before a special education referral is made. The school must show that the student is not able to progress without a unique educational program. Our Special Education Specialists are available to assist schools with meeting the needs of our special education population and in developing goals to enhance their learning potential.


Lee Watson

Director of Special Education

Phone: (229) 387-2460

Email: ldwatson@tiftschools.com

Kim Bruce

Assistant Director of Special Education

Phone: (229) 387-2460

Email: kim.bruce@tiftschools.com


Child Find Notice

In accordance with IDEA regulations, the Tift County School system seeks to ensure that all disabled students (ages 3-21) who are in need of special education within its jurisdiction are identified, located, and evaluated, including those attending private school and home school. Final identification of students with disabilities and programming for such students occurs only after an appropriate evaluation and a determination by a Multidisciplinary Placement Team.

If the "child find" process indicates that a student may require special education and supportive services in order to benefit from regular education, the student shall be referred to the Multidisciplinary Placement Team to determine the student's eligibility for special education services.

If you know a child with a disability that is not being served, please notify:

Tift County Schools

Special Education Department

506 West 12th Street

Tifton, GA 31794


Pre-School Intervention

Pre-School Intervention is a special education program established to serve children 3-5 years of age who exhibit Significant Developmental Delay (SDD) in at least one of five developmental areas (cognition, communication, adaptive development, physical development, and/or social/emotional development) or who meet eligibility in any of the “categorical” eligibility areas such as: Speech Impaired, Visually Impaired, Hearing Impaired, and/or Orthopedically Impaired.

Pre-School Intervention services are provided throughout the state of Georgia and are free of charge to parents. It is Tift County’s philosophy that early intervention is essential to providing support to children at an early age in order to lessen the impact of entering kindergarten with developmental delays.

Children should be referred to Pre-School Intervention when they appear to show delays in any of the five areas listed above. Referrals may come from many sources including, but not limited to: parents, physicians, daycare providers, pre-k teachers, Head Start, family, and/or friends. To refer a child to Pre-School Intervention, please contact the Tift County Special Education Department at 229-387-2460.

Special Transportation

What is Special Transportation?

 Special transportation is provided to students whose Individualized Educational Program (IEP) addresses the need for transporting the student to and from school either on the general education school bus with special modifications, a special school bus, or a special school bus with modifications. An IEP committee may determine that the student requires special transportation as a related service and modifications necessary to transport the student. Modifications may include but are not limited to, power lifts, wheelchair fasteners, special seat belts, harnesses, car seat, bus monitor, and special seating.

Who is eligible for Special Transportation?

Special transportation is a “related service” and only students with identified disabilities may receive special transportation.

Who determines if a student needs Special Transportation Services?

The IEP committee determines a student’s need for special transportation.

The IEP committee is a group of individuals composed of:

  • the parents of a child with a disability

  • at least one regular education teacher

  • at least one special education teacher

  • a representative of the local educational agency

  • an individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results

  • at the discretion of the parent or the agency, other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child, including related services personnel as appropriate

  • whenever appropriate, the child with a disability

If you have any questions regarding special transportation, please contact your child’s special education teacher at your local school or the Tift County Special Education Department at 229-387-2460.

Special Needs Scholarship Program