Special Populations 

The mission of the Franklin Special School District Special Populations Department is to meet the unique needs of all certified and eligible special education students and students with a 504 plan.
Special Education Services
As mandated by the federal government through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the special education program is diverse and attempts to meet the academic, behavioral, social, physical and adaptive needs of students. Services may begin at age three, depending on eligibility, and continue until students exit the program or complete the 8th grade. At that time, students enter the Williamson County School System and continue special education services as the IEP (Individual Education Program) team determines.
Service options include a continuum of services as required by IDEA and are determined by the IEP team. Related services include occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and physical therapy. Franklin Special School District provides a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) to all students who qualify for services through special education in the “least restrictive environment.”
Accelerated Learning
The FSSD recognizes the unique needs of both accelerated learners and students who meet the Tennessee state eligibility standards for intellectually gifted.  Delivery of instruction is based on individual student need.  FSSD has an Accelerated Learning Specialist (ALS) in each school. These specialists work with students and/or consult with teachers to differentiate instruction for advanced learners.
  • Intellectually Gifted:  According to the State of Tennessee, “Intellectually Gifted” describes a child whose intellectual abilities and potential for achievement are so outstanding that the child’s educational performance is adversely affected. “Adverse affect” means the general curriculum alone is inadequate to appropriately meet the student’s educational needs. If a parent or teacher makes a formal request for gifted eligibility testing, the general education teacher, Accelerated Learning Specialist, building administrator, and others, as appropriate, will schedule a review meeting.  It is recommended that the student begin the Academic Support Team (AST) process to gather and review data. All testing decisions are based on data. 
  • Honors Program:  FSSD offers a general education honors curriculum beginning in 5th grade.  Meeting the state standards for intellectually gifted eligibility does not automatically qualify a student for the Honors Program. In addition, students who are served by the Accelerated Learning Specialist in elementary school are also not automatically placed into the Honors Program in 5th grade. The FSSD Honors Program has specific eligibility criteria for placement. For more information visit the Honors Program online.
Section 504
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a federal civil rights law which ensures that all individuals with disabilities have equal access to education. Students with a 504 plan have the right to receive appropriate and necessary accommodations as determined by the 504 team.
Child Find
 The FSSD Child Find program identifies preschool through eighth grade children with special education needs. The purpose is to reach children who may have an exceptionality in the areas of vision, hearing, cognitive skills, behavioral issues and emotional issues in order to provide them with necessary support.


Special Populations Department
Beth Farrar, Supervisor
Joy Crunk, Secretary
507 New Hwy 96 West
Franklin, TN  37064