Special Education


The Special Education Department for Harlan County Public Schools is a team of professionals that believe all children can learn and is dedicated to all children. Every child has special skills and distinctive learning styles, including those children with special needs. Our staff strives to educate students in the least restrictive environment, because all children can learn.

We value parents that are advocates for their children. If you ever need any assistance, please do not hesitate to call. For more information on Special Education, contact Leah Coots, Director of Preschool Programs/Special Education & 504 at extension 573-4330 ext. 2013.

Harlan County Public Schools makes a systematic effort to identify all children who may have a disability and need special education and related services. The Child Find system includes activities to locate, identify, and evaluate each child who is three (3) to twenty-one (21) years of age. Harlan County Schools includes the involvement of parents and community in the Child Find System. During the year, Harlan County Public Schools actively seeks and locates children who may have disabilities by:
1. conducting awareness activities with the general public and with Harlan County Public Schools personnel to notify them of the need to find children with disabilities who need special education and related services;
2. contacting private (including home schools) and parochial schools and other programs and agencies providing services to children to notify them of the availability of special education and related services and methods of referral; and conducting screening activities to identify any child who may need further evaluation to determine if the child has a disability and needs special education and related services.

The categories of disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act are:

  • Autism
  • Developmental Delay (DD)
  • Deaf-Blind (D/B)
  • Emotional Behavior Disability (EBD)
  • Hearing Impairment (HI)
  • Mild Mental Disability (MMD)
  • Functional Mental Disability (FMD)
  • Multiple Disabilities (MD)
  • Other Health Impaired (OHI)
  • Orthopedic Impairment (OI)
  • Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
  • Speech and Language Impairment (SL)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Visual Impairment (VI)

Services are available to all eligible students with disabilities. Varieties of service delivery plans (i.e., full-time general education, part-time general and part-time special education, special school, itinerant services, etc.) are available to meet the needs of individual students, based on their IEP. Related services are also available based on individual student needs. Examples of related services include speech/language services, occupational therapy, school psychological services, special transportation and assistive technology. If you know a child who lives in Harlan County, may have a disability and is not receiving services, please contact Leah Coots, Director of Preschool Programs/Special Education & 504 at the contact information above.

Harlan County Special Education Policies & Procedures
SPED Policies and Procedures: Pages 1-90, 91-178

Harlan County Public Schools are supported by the experts at the: Southeast South Central Educational Cooperative. Please visit them at www.sesccoop.org

Dr. Brandi Bray - Regional Director of Special Education (606) 260-5232 (office); brandibray1@sesccoop.org

Harlan County Special Education Section 504 Resources

Attention Parents!
If your child receives special education services, you can help the Kentucky Department of Education’s Division of Exceptional Children Services (KDE/DECS) improve parent involvement in your schools by completing a short survey. Data from the survey will be collected and analyzed by the Human Development Institute at the University of Kentucky (HDI/UK). HDI/UK will then consult with KDE/DECS about improving services to parents with disabilities by identifying and targeting specific training, services and programs. A random sample of parents will receive the survey by mail, and parents also may complete the survey online by visiting this address: http://tinyurl.com/KYParent

Frequently Asked Questions for Parents of Children With Disabilities
Your child's school record is an important source of information. Under state and federal confidentiality requirements, you have rights concerning this record. These rights have to do with inspection and release of your child's record. The questions and answers that follow do not cover all requirements but may help you: (need link)

Parent Resource Library
The Parent Resource Library provides parents of exceptional children information and links to available resources across the Commonwealth. For additional information, please contact Allison Scott via email or at 502-564-4970.

IMPORTANT DOWNLOADS for students with exceptional needs and their parents:

Internet Resources for exceptional learners and their families:

Behavioral Issues - Parent and Teacher Resources:

  • HCPS
    251 Ball Park Road
    Harlan, Ky 40831