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Special Education Department


The Cheatham County School District believes that every student has the ability to succeed.

The Special Education Department is committed to ensuring that all students with disabilities in Cheatham County are afforded every opportunity to be included with their non-disabled peers. 

For this reason, each student has an Individual Education Plan (IEP) that addresses their needs. A continuum of services is available to all students based on their IEP.

These needs are carefully considered and are the result of a team of professionals, the student’s parents and the student when age appropriate. 

The district provides a comprehensive list of services to help students meet academic, social, behavioral, physical and adaptive needs.


Contact Us

102 Elizabeth Street, Ashland City, TN

615-746-1420 (phone); 615-746-1423 (fax)

Department Directory  
Special Education Supervisor  
Mike Parsley mike.parsley@ccstn.org
Administrative Assistant  
Carol Bracey carol.bracey@ccstn.org
Special Education Consulting Teacher  
Lynne Anderson lynne.anderson@ccstn.org
Lead School Psychologist  
Deidrah Edwards, Ph.D. deidrah.edwards@ccstn.org
School Psychologist, Central Cluster  
Melissa Looney, EdS melissa.looney@ccstn.org
School Psychologist, Central Cluster  
Linda Gray linda.gray@ccstn.org 
School Psychologist, North Cluster  
April Ebbinger, EdS april.ebbinger@ccstn.org
School Psychologist, North Cluster  
Lindsay Jurek, EdS lindsay.jurek@ccstn.org
School Psychologist, South Cluster  
Donna Jacobs, MA donna.jacobs@ccstn.org
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant  
Tammy Butler, COTA tammy.butler@ccstn.org
Physical Therapist  
Coreen Havron, PT coreen.havron@ccstn.org
Deaf Education  
Shelley Gipson shelley.gipson@ccstn.org 
Teacher of the Visually Impaired  
Carla Wall carla.wall@ccstn.org
Special Education Academic Specialist  
Peggy Casesa peggy.casesa@ccstn.org 

How to Request a Special Education Evaluation

If your child is enrolled in the Cheatham County School System and you are concerned about his or her academic progress, first contact the regular classroom teacher. The teacher will listen to your concerns and review your child's records. Together, you may develop an intervention plan or behavioral strategies to help your child improve classroom performance. Classroom accommodations and adaptations will be attempted in an effort to overcome any academic difficulties.

Interventions Prior to Referral

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (reauthorization of IDEA 1997) mandated that states adopt additional requirements regarding eligibility determination. These requirements include a determination that the child's educational difficulties are not due to a lack of appropriate instruction in reading, including the essential components of reading instruction as defined by NCLB, lack of appropriate instruction in math, or Limited English proficiency.  Appropriate instruction is now defined as instructional programs and techniques that have scientific research base and are delivered by appropriately trained personnel. 

Cheatham County school district has adopted an organized, systematic early intervention approach to solving educational difficulties in the general education setting. A student is considered for special education eligibility when the student continues to demonstrate a clear educational need after the school has implemented high quality instruction and behavior management in the general education curriculum. Student may then be referred for a full comprehensive evaluation to see if the student meets state criteria to be identified as a student with a disability. 

If an Evaluation is Recommended for your Child

An evaluation is recommended for your child if he or she has significant difficulty accessing appropriate educational services due to a possible disability, at which time you will be contacted to discuss the evaluation recommendation. You will be asked to complete referral paperwork (S-Team or Support Team paperwork) and sign a Consent for Evaluation form. A school psychologist, speech language pathologist or other certified school personnel may administer several different standardized tests or inventories, depending on the suspected disability of your child.  

The Evaluation is Complete...now what?

The school will contact you to schedule a meeting. During this meeting, school personnel will discuss the test results and describe your child's academic strengths and educational needs. Your input is very important  during this meeting. As a member of the team, you will have an opportunity to discuss your concerns about your child's academic and/or behavioral difficulties. Don't be afraid to ask questions about the evaluations or test results. Together, you and the school staff will consider all the options for your child and determine if special education and related services are required.

Special Education Services

If you and the school team decide that special education and related services are needed for your child, then an Individualized Education Program, also known as and IEP, will be developed. An IEP is a written plan outlining the special education and related services for a student with a disability. It describes your child's present levels of performance, strengths and weaknesses, and what you and the school will do to address his or her educational needs. Every child with a disability must have an IEP developed at least once a year. This plan will include specific annual goals that the team expects your child to be able to achieve. It also indicates the amount of special education services that your child will receive.  Any related services needed for your child, such as speech-language therapy,occupational therapy, physical therapy, vision or deaf ed services will also be indicated on the IEP.


Services are also offered to students who attend private schools and/or who reside in Cheatham County and are home schooled.  If the student qualifies and is eligible for speech and/or language services, then the parent can bring the child to the school to receive the therapy.  For more information regarding homeschool services contact the Office of Special Education at (615) 746-1420.


Useful Links for Teachers


TDOE Special Education Framework Manual


TDOE Special Education Implementation Guide





Child Find Notification

The Cheatham County School System provides special education and related services and special accommodations to children who are disabled.

Under state and federal laws, public schools are required to provide a free and appropriate public education to all children who are disabled between the ages of three and twenty-two, and may not, on the basis of disability, discriminate against these children. 

The Tennessee State Department of Education recognizes “Intellectually Gifted” as a category under special education. A child whose intellectual capabilities and potential for achievement are so outstanding that the child’s educational performance is adversely affected may qualify for services. Eligibility for services is based upon evaluation in each of the following component areas: educational performance, creativity/characteristics of intellectual giftedness, and cognition/intelligence. 

Anyone, including the parent(s), guardian or community professional may refer a child for possible evaluation in any of the disability categories. Contact the S-Team Coordinator in the building the child attends for more information.

Dr. Cathy Beck, Director of Schools, Cheatham County Schools



102 Elizabeth St. | Ashland City, TN 37015 | Ph: 615-792-5664 | Fx: 615-792-2551

Cheatham County School District does not discriminate on the basis of age, sex, race, color, creed, religion, national origin or handicap in the operation of its educational programs and activities including employment practices.