Tipton County Schools

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Exceptional Children

Special Education is a state and federally funded program that provides services for students with disabilities who are between the ages of three and twenty-one. The director of the department is Mrs. Sharon Belew. There are 17 handicapping conditions recognized by the Department of Education and 15 handicapping conditions recognized by federal government’s Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA).

Academic support services range from a consultative basis with accommodations in the classroom to a full-time self contained setting for students with disabilities. Related services that support access to the general curriculum are as follows:
  • Counseling
  • Speech/language therapy
  • Vision services (orientation/mobility and Braille)
  • Occupational/Physical therapy
  • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
  • Transportation
  • Augmentative Communication
  • Behavioral services

504 Plans
A student is eligible for a 504 plan if he/she has a physical or mental impairment, which substantially limits a major life activity or is regarded as disabled by others. A major life activity includes but is not limited to functions such as walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, caring for oneself or performing manual tasks.  
Questions or concerns regarding your child's 504 Plan may be directed to the district's ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, Melinda Godwin, at 901-475-5976 or the 504 Coordinator at your child's school.
Office address for district's ADA/Section 504 Coordinator: 764 Bert Johnson Avenue, Covington
Procedural Safeguards
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires schools to provide parents of a child with a disability with notice containing a full explanation of the procedural safeguards available under IDEA, U.S. Department of Education regulations and Tennessee law regulations.   
Child Find
Child find is a statewide effort by the State Department and the Department of Rehabilitation Services to locate, identify, and evaluate children with disabilities from birth to 21.  Tipton County Schools and Special Education Services work closely with community service agencies, parents, and local school systems to locate children with disabilities.
If you have any concerns regarding your child, please contact Varissa Richardson, Special Education Supervisor Grades PreK-5 or Sharon Belew, Special Education Supervisor Grade 6-12 at 901-476-7148.
Exceptional Children Staff
Varissa Richardson
Pre-K - 5 Special Education Supervisor

Sharon Belew
Grade 6-12 Special Education Supervisor

Melinda Godwin
Special Services Coordinator

Donna Reinberg
Administrative Assistant

Michelle Cothran
Administrative Assistant