Student Advocacy

The Arc@School

The Arc Williamson County is partnering with Franklin-based Post Adoption Learning Services (PALS) to offer The Arc@School, a 10-week course for parents and non-attorney advocates of students with disabilities. Training includes a special focus on Tennessee schools and children from hard places. Classes run Tuesday evenings from February 18 through April 28, 2020, 6:30-7:30 p.m. with a by-week for WCS Spring Break. Classes will be held at the Community Services Building, 129 West Fowlkes Street, Suite 143, Franklin. Participants will receive a course notebook and a certificate from The Arc national office. Participants will view a training video and complete brief online tests at home prior to each Tuesday evening class. Special topics will include the unique needs of children from backgrounds of adoption and foster care. Cost is $25 for the 10 week session. The course is open to all parents and caregivers who are interested in becoming more informed advocates. For further information contact Sharon Bottorff at or Anna Caudill at


Student Advocacy is an action taken on behalf of an individual needing services associated with education.  The advocate’s primary responsibility is to represent the best interests of the student in the education process.  Student Advocacy Services includes assisting students and their families to understand their rights according to IDEA as well as assisting students and their families to understand the laws governing educating students with disabilities including IDEA, Section 504 and Tennessee State Law. Any student and his/her family who receives special education services in Franklin Special School District or Williamson County Schools or any students and his/her family that believes the student should be receiving special education services is eligible for Student Advocacy Services. For Student Advocacy services, contact Sharon Bottorff at (615) 790-5815 Ext 3.  Below are resources that you might find helpful:

IDEA Part C (Birth-2)
Early intervention is crucial for providing a good education to children with special needs. Tennessee Early Intervention System TEIS (Part C Regulations of IDEA), helps families with disabled or developmentally delayed children connect to the supports and services they need.

TEIS Online Brochures:
– Tennessee Early Intervention System-Questions and Answers

– Tennessee Early Intervention System-Growing Together Little by Little

– The Rights of Infants and Toddlers with Special Needs-Eligibility for TEIS

– Tennessee Early Intervention System-Early Childhood Outcomes

– Tennessee Early Intervention System-Transition

Tennessee Early Intervention System-What is Developmental Therapy?

IDEA Part B (Ages 3-21)
Nine months prior to a child’s third birthday, children can be re-evaluated for continued special education services for an Individualized Educational Plan IEP (Part B Regulations of IDEA). A child need not receive services under Part C (birth-2) to qualify for services under Part B (ages 3-21).

Developing Your Child’s IEP

RTI Parent’s Guide

Response to Intervention (RTI) Explained

 Section 504 Guide

Intellectually Gifted Guide

The Arc’s School Advocacy Curriculum

This training is designed for non-attorney advocates who are providing information to and advocating on behalf of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families in special education matters. Clink here for more information.