Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support (GNETS)
The Georgia Network for Educational and Therapeutic Support (GNETS) is a service available within the continuum of supports for LEAs to consider when determining the least restrictive environment for students with disabilities, ages 5-21. GNETS services is an option in the continuum of supports that prevents children from requiring residential or more restrictive placement. Specifically, GNETS provides comprehensive educational and therapeutic support services to students who exhibit intense social, emotional and/or behavioral challenges with a severity, frequency or duration such that the provision of education and related services in the general education environment has not enabled him or her to benefit educationally based on the IEP.
GNETS services aim to support students with social, emotional and/or behavioral challenges. These students’ behaviors may include but are not limited to, significant, aggressive, self-destructive, atypical, and withdrawal behaviors. Children receiving GNETS services are taught coping skills, behavior regulation, and adaptive behaviors, with a keen focus on developing positive interpersonal relationships with others. GNETS services are implemented with greater intensity and frequency than what is typically delivered in a general education school environment. The supplemental aids and services available at GNETS must be appropriate and necessary in order for the child’s IEP team to consider GNETS services. GNETS will be staffed to meet the needs of a unique population of students requiring intensive individualized supports, including providing appropriate therapeutic services identified in the IEP. The staff receive specialized training in skills designed to deescalate major disruptive behaviors and assist students with meeting their IEP goals. GNETS staff will collaborate with professionals from a variety of agencies to enhance students’ social, emotional, behavioral and academic development based on their IEPs. The IEP team will assess at least annually whether the student with disabilities is ready to transition to a less restrictive setting. Progress monitoring data aligned with IEP goals should be reviewed to determine if the student is ready to receive a free appropriate education (FAPE) in the lesser restrictive environment.
Students receiving services through a GNETS Program are identified by their local school system through the Individual Education Program (IEP) process. An IEP team may consider services by a GNETS program for a child with characteristics of social, emotional and/or behavioral challenges are such that education in general education setting with the use of supplementary services and intensive individualized interventions cannot be achieved. The IEP team will consider the various settings in which GNETS services may be delivered and determine whether the student is likely to receive FAPE in each environment.
The IEP team must begin with consideration of the least restrictive setting following the continuum below:
- Services provided in the general education setting in the student’s current school placement.
- Services provided in the student’s current school placement with “pull out” services from the general education setting.
- Services provided in the student’s current school placement with a portion of the day in a GNETS classroom/setting.
- Services provided for the full school day in a dedicated GNETS classroom/setting.
- Services provided in a dedicated GNETS classroom/setting located in an off campus GNETS facility for part of the day.
- Services provided in a dedicated GNETS classroom/setting located in an off campus GNETS facility for the entire school day.
Prior to GNETS consideration:
Students currently served through special education:
- Students who exhibit severe emotional and behavioral deficits should have targeted interventions in place to address their emotional/behavioral needs.
- A Functional Behavior Analysis must have been conducted and a Behavior Intervention Plan implemented.
- Data collected from interventions must support the consideration.
- If, based on data, it is determined that consideration is warranted:
- The school administrator or special education teacher will contact the Special Education Director.
- The Special Education Director will contact the GNETS Area Director.
- The Special Education Director will provide a Northwest Georgia Educational Services/GNETS Request for Services Form to the referring teacher.
- Once the Request for Services Form is completed and signed by the Special Education Director a GNETS representative will conduct an observation (if needed), review student outcome assessments, other relevant data, and collaborate with the school district to provide recommendations.
- Rome City will schedule an IEP meeting.
- The IEP team must include the following people: special education teacher, general education teacher(s), a LEA representative, Special Education Director, a representative from GNETS and parents.
- The IEP team will make a placement decision and determine any further actions.
Eligibility and placement
Consideration for GNETS services is determined by the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team. The IEP team will always include a GNETS director or his/her designee, in addition to the required team members. GNETS services are only considered if an individual student’s IEP team recommends GNETS services based on the existence of all of the following which will be documented in the student’s education record:
- Documentation that indicates evidence of annual IEP reviews, progress monitoring data aligned with IEP goals, documentation indicating prior services were delivered in a lesser restrictive environment and the student’s inability to receive FAPE in that environment.
- A Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) and/or Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) administered within the past year.
- Documentation that a comprehensive re-evaluation has been completed within the last 3 years.
If the IEP team determines GNETS is the appropriate placement for the student to receive FAPE, Rome City will provide transportation to and from the GNETS facility. Rome City will continue to monitor the student’s IEP goals at least annually to determine the student’s progress and access to services in a lesser restrictive environment. Rome City will provide ongoing professional learning opportunities and best practices for teachers to support students who exhibit social, emotional and/or behavioral challenges. A reintegration plan will be included in the IEP and progressed monitor throughout the year.
Rome City will work collaboratively with GNETS and community service providers to provide mental health services and/or family supports as needed. Longitudinal data for students served in GNETS will be shared with the GNETS teacher or administrative staff. Rome City will submit schedules for GNETS student to the GaDOE with the GNETS code. Rome City will allocate supports and resources, which may include in-king services to GNETS to facilitate flexible models of service delivery and best practices for equitable education support as appropriate. GNETS facilities will be monitored by Rome City special education administrative staff throughout the year. Any identified concerns will be reported to all stakeholders such as fiscal agents, GNETS director and other appropriate parties.