Welcome Back !

~CSD Special Education August Newsletter~

Frances Holt, Chief of State and Federal Programs

Hello families!

Welcome back to a new school year! I am excited about the growth and engagement of the State and Federal Program. Our department is determined to continue increasing connections with parents and building the capacity of CSD school leaders to support positive outcomes for CSD students.


Below is a highlight of the State and Federal Programs Annual Report as it pertains to special education.


Take care and have a great school year!

Annual Performance Reports (APR) District Determination Results - Based on 2020-2021 school year data, CSD has been determined to "Meet Requirements" at 95%.

Big picture
S&F 2022 State of The Department Annual Report

Click this link to view the full report.

State & Federal Programs Department Structure

Big picture

Frank DeFilippo, Special Education Coordinator

  • College Heights Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC)
  • Oakhurst
  • Westchester
  • FAVE
  • Beacon Hill Middle School

Tiffany Martin. Special Education Coordinator

  • Clairemont
  • Glennwood
  • Winnona Park
  • Talley Upper Elementary
  • Decatur High School

Clair Rutherford, Special Education Lead Teacher



Decatur High School

Karen Ehmer, Special Education Lead Teacher



Beacon Hill Middle School

Welcome Jane Brawley, New Special Education Lead Teacher

  • Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC)
  • Oakhurst
  • Westchester
  • FAVE Upper Elementary

Welcome Jennifer Swint, New Special Education Lead Teacher

  • Clairemont
  • Glennwood
  • Winnona Park
  • Talley Upper Elementary
Big picture

disAbility Link Empowering Youth

Thursday, Sep. 15th, 6-7pm

This is an online event.

Mr. William Thomas Youth & Diversity Supervisor for disAbility Link will give an overview of the services and supports that are offered through the Empowering Youth program for youths ages 14-29. disAbility link provides supports but not limited to employment, self- advocacy, social activities and peer support. CSD is excited to connect and collaborate with disAbility Link!


TARGET AUDIENCE: PARENTS OF STUDENTS AGES 14-22

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

About Our Speaker...

Mr. William Thomas currently serves as Youth and Diversity Independent Living Supervisor. He comes with 33 years of experience working with youth in the areas of education and recreation. William has worked for the YWCA, various school districts (public and private) in multiple states, Rutgers and NYACK University, non-profit and for-profit organizations in the planning, developing and implementing of educational programs for k through 16 learners. He has served as a mentor, teacher, vice-principal, principal, chief school administrator and professor. William’s educational background consists of a Bachelors of Arts degree in Mathematics and Chemistry from the New Jersey City State University, a Master’s degree in Administration & Supervision from Saint Peter’s University, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Seton Hall University. He is currently a Law student at EMORY University in pursuit of the JM/JD degree with a concentration in Business/Corporate Law. William shares in the philosophy of “each one teach one” believing that “we all learn from one another”.

Threshold Community Program

Thursday, Sep. 29th, 6-7pm

This is an online event.

Threshold Community Program supports:

  • Individual and group counseling aimed at addressing social communication and adjustment issues, anxiety, depression, and other mood/mental health issues. Counseling also addresses issues related to transitioning to adulthood (e.g., college, career, independence).
  • Group experiences used to strengthen social communication. Examples include a tabletop gaming, group and experiential, outing-based groups.
  • Academic tutoring and support at the middle, high school, and college levels to support educational achievement.


  • six-week summer program uses a flexible structure to strengthen social-emotional functioning, and support transition-to-independence goals.
  • The summer program is a great way for regular program participants to extend and continue working on their existing goals.
  • It’s also a great way for someone attending another academic-year program to connect with our community and benefit from our services.


TARGET AUDIENCE: PARENTS OF STUDENTS AGES 14-18

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

About Our Speaker...

Mr. Dave Nelson is the Executive Administrative Director of Threshold Community Program and the organization’s founder. Dave has an M.S. in Counseling and an M.A. in English Literature from Georgia State University, as well as an M.B.A. from Duke University. He is licensed as a professional counselor (LPC) in the state of Georgia. He has a DIR expert certificate and is a DIR Training Leader with the Interdisciplinary Council on Development and Learning (ICDL). He is an Approved Clinical Supervisor (ACS). Dave is also part of Floortime Atlanta, a professional group of clinicians in the Atlanta area who use the (Developmental Individual-difference Relationship-based model) DIR approach.

Cheryl Grant, Parent Mentor for Special Education

Parent Mentors are parents of children with disabilities hired by the district to support family engagement, as well as special education directors and other administrators, teachers, and support personnel within the district.


Parent mentors support other parents by providing information and resources to help their children succeed in school and transition from school to adult life. The mentors work to increase parent participation in IEP meetings, provide information related to improving reading and math, graduation rates, and help parents locate needed services and supports.


Cgrant@csdecatur.net


404-371-3601 EXT.1042