Special Education Resources

General Info
  • If you think your child needs special services, do not wait!  Contact your teacher and the Laurel Ridge lead education teacher for the next steps.

  • Some conditions, such as autism, are already specified in the state eligibility categories.  ADHD and other learning disabilities can also qualify. For information about the eligibility categories, review this page.

What are my options?

If a child has special needs, they could be eligible for a 504 or an IEP, which is under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 


What are the differences?  The main difference is that a 504 does not require the federal government to provide additional funding for students identified with special needs.  Schools are required to provide reasonable accomodations

  • GRADES: K-5 

  • SCHEDULED: Once Yearly

  • FORMAT: Online and paper/pencil depending on grade level

Students in grades K-5 who score in the 90th percentile or above in Reading or Math on the August MAP Assessment will be invited to take the CogAT. CogAT is a measure with a focus on reasoning abilities rather than achievement.The CogAT allows comparisons of the performance of DeKalb students with state and the US. Results are used for program qualification for gifted services.

Georgia Milestones
  • GRADES: 3-5 

  • SCHEDULED: Once yearly-Spring

  • FORMAT: primarily online

State required comprehensive summative assessment taken each spring to measure student progress towards mastery of the Georgia Standards of Excellence.

Georgia Milestones measures how well students have learned the knowledge and skills outlined

in the state-adopted content standards in English Language Arts, mathematics, science, and

social studies.  

Students in grades 3 through 8 take an end-of- grade assessment in English Language Arts and

mathematics while students in grades 5 and 8 are also assessed in science and social studies.

Features the Georgia Milestone Assessment System include:

  • open-ended (constructed-response) items in English Language Arts and mathematics (all grades and courses);

  • a writing component (in response to passages read by students) at every grade level and course within the English Language Arts assessment;

  • norm-referenced items in all content areas and courses, to complement the criterion-referenced information and to provide a national comparison; and

  • transition to online administration over time, with online administration considered the primary mode of administration and paper-penc​il as back-up until the transition is complete

Georgia Kindergarten Inventory of Developing Skills
  • GRADES: K 

  • SCHEDULED: year long performance based assessment

Year long performance based assessment where teachers continually collect data to measure student growth. Not an assessment or test that students sit and take. Teachers collect work samples and observational notes using the state manual to monitor student growth towards mastery of the Georgia Standards of Excellence.

Accessing Comprehension & Communication in English State to State
  • GRADES: K-5 

  • SCHEDULED: Once yearly, between Jan. & Feb. 

  • FORMAT: online and paper/pencil

Serves as a secure large-scale English language proficiency assessment administered

to K-12th grade students who have been identified as English language learners to monitor

students' progress in acquiring academic English. ACCESS for ELLs 2.0 assesses each of the four language domains of Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Writing.

Gifted Services

The Georgia Board of Education defines a gifted student as “a student who demonstrates a high degree of intellectual, creative, and/or artistic ability(ies), possesses exceptional leadership skills, or excels in specific academic fields and who needs special instruction and/or special ancillary services to achieve at levels commensurate with his or her abilities.”

DCSD’s gifted program brings gifted children together to experience a variety of challenging activities, supports teachers in the area of educating gifted children, and provides guidance for the parents/guardians of gifted students. LRES uses a variety of gifted models.


Please open the presentation linked below to learn more about the latest updates to the DeKalb County gifted eligibility process.

Georgia Alternative Assessment
  • GRADES: 3-5 Special Education

Third, fourth and fifth grade special education students unable to take the Georgia Milestones are assessed using the Georgia Alternative Assessment. The decision to participate in this alternative assessment is based on a child's Individual Education Plan.