Special Education Services

The Special Education Department of the Bessemer City School System provides educational opportunities designed to help each disabled student in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 to achieve his or her maximum potential. The Special Education Department, dedicated to providing services to disabled students in the least restrictive environment to the maximum extent appropriate, offers a complete range of services in all schools throughout the system. Additionally, four specialized schools and three alternative schools provide educational opportunities in alternative settings.

The Special Services Division of the Bessemer City School System encompasses several programs, Special Education, Special Education Preschool, Homebound, Gifted, and Talented Program,


  • We maintain a “Students First” philosophy. We structure each classroom and educational environment to meet the needs of every student.
  • Our students learn, grow, and thrive in innovative programs that build independence and prepare each student for a successful transition to life after school.
  • We provide and sustain a balance of life skills, academic skills, social-emotional supports, and transition curricular options based on students’ true and ever-changing/evolving abilities, interests, and future goals. 
  • Each student is respected as a unique individual and offered high expectations, not bound by a label. Decisions and practices will be student-driven and based on evidence and data.
  • We provide support to students so that they each actively participate in their educational processes, including the IEP process, and in activities that increase self-advocacy and self-determination.
  • We work with parents as partners so that they are well informed and educated about programs and supports available to students within the District as well as when they transition to young adulthood.
  • We will provide the necessary support to all staff so that they are informed both of student needs and of evidence-based ways to address and support those needs.



Special Education Preschool


Special education services for children ages 3-5 years are a part of the total special education program offered through the Bessemer City School System. The laws—the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) amendments of 2004 and the Alabama Exceptional Child Act—require special education and related services for children with disabilities, ages 3 to 21, who have special needs.

For information about the Preschool Program, please contact Brandy Johnson at 205-432-3003

Psychometry Services

The System Psychometrists serve in all of the schools in the Bessemer City  School System as well as private schools.  They are engaged in a wide variety of job functions that positively impact the academic progress and social development of all students in the Bessemer City  School System.  The System Psychometrists assist schools in identifying educational disabilities as mandated by state and federal law. In addition, assist school personnel in developing effective academic interventions and behavioral strategies for students, and administer specific assessments required for special education eligibility.  

Gifted and Talented Program

Alabama State Act 106 mandates that school systems identify and serve gifted students.  Guidelines are set forth in the "gifted" section of the Alabama Department of Education Administrative Code for referral, consent, evaluation, eligibility determination, placement and service delivery options, gifted education plan, administration, caseload, and procedural safeguards for gifted students.

The Bessemer City School System does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

Dr. Jameka Thomas, Section 504; and Title IX Coordinator

1621 – 5th Avenue North

Bessemer, Alabama 35021

Phone: 205.432.3028 Email: jathomas@bessk12.org