Special Education

Please click on the "Special Education Required Postings" link below to find the following Special Education resources:

  • Texas Transition and Employment Guide
  • SB 139 Notice to Families
  • IDEA, Dyslexia, MTSS, and Section 504
  • Compensatory Services
  • Dyslexia Handbook 2021
  • SPEDTex Information
  • Significant Disproportionality

A Student Who Has Learning Difficulties or Who Needs Special Education or Section 504 Services

For those students who are having difficulty in the regular classroom, all school districts must consider tutorial, compensatory, and other academic or behavioral support services that are available to all students, including a process based on Response to Intervention (RtI).  The implementation of RtI has the potential to have a positive impact on the ability of districts to meet the needs of all struggling students.

If a student is experiencing learning difficulties, his or her parent may contact the individuals listed below to learn about the school’s overall general education referral or screening system for support services.

This system links students to a variety of support options, including making a referral for special education evaluation or for Section 504 evaluation to determine whether the student needs specific aids, accommodations, or services.  A parent may request an evaluation for special education or Section 504 services at any time.


Special Education Referrals

If a parent makes a written request for an initial evaluation for special education services to the director of special education services or to a district administrative employee of the school district, the district must respond no later than 15 school days after receiving the request.  At that time, the district must give the parent prior written notice of whether it agrees or refuses to evaluate the student, along with a copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards.  If the district agrees to evaluate the student, it must also give the parent the opportunity to give written consent for the evaluation.

Note: A request for a special education evaluation may be made verbally; it does not need to be made in writing.  Districts must still comply with all federal prior-written notices and procedural safeguard requirements as well as the requirements for identifying, locating, and evaluating children who are suspected of having a disability and in need of special education.  However, a verbal request does not require the district to respond within the 15 school-day timeline.

If the district decides to evaluate the student, it must complete the student’s initial evaluation and evaluation report no later than 45 school days from the day it receives a parent’s written consent.  However, if the student is absent from school during the evaluation period for three or more school days, the evaluation period will be extended by the number of school days equal to the number of school days that the student is absent.

There is an exception to the 45-school-day timeline.  If the district receives a parent’s consent for the initial evaluation at least 35 but less than 45 school days before the last instructional day of the school year, it must complete the written report and provide a copy of the report to the parent by June 30 of that year.  However, if the student is absent from school for three or more days during the evaluation period, the June 30 due date no longer applies.  Instead, the general timeline of 45 school days plus extensions for absences of three or more days will apply.

Upon completing the evaluation, the district must give the parent a copy of the evaluation report at no cost.

Additional information regarding special education is available from the school district in a companion document titled Parent’s Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process.

Contact Person for Special Education

The designated person to contact regarding options for a student experiencing learning difficulties or regarding a referral for evaluation for special education services is Jackie Ivers 903-965-4024 ext 322.

Section 504 Referrals

Each school district must have standards and procedures in place for the evaluation and placement of students in the district’s Section 504 program.  Districts must also implement a system of procedural safeguards that includes:

  •     Notice,
  •     An opportunity for a parent or guardian to examine relevant records,
  •     An impartial hearing with an opportunity for participation by the parent or guardian and representation by counsel, and
  •     A review procedure.

Contact Person for Section 504 Referrals

The designated person to contact regarding options for a student experiencing learning difficulties or regarding a referral for evaluation for Section 504 services is Jennifer Vance. 903-965-7738.

[See A Student with Physical or Mental Impairments Protected under Section 504 on page 28 .]

Visit these websites for information regarding students with disabilities and the family:

  •     Legal Framework for the Child-Centered Special Education Process
  •     Partners Resource Network
  •     Special Education Information Center
  •     Texas Project First

Notification to Parents of Intervention Strategies for Learning Difficulties Provided to Students in General Education

In accordance with state law, the district will annually notify parents if their child receives assistance for learning difficulties.  Details of such assistance can include intervention strategies.  This notice is not intended for those students already enrolled in a special education program.

A Student Who Receives Special Education Services with Other School-Aged Children in the Home

If a student is receiving special education services at a campus outside his or her attendance zone, state law permits the parent or guardian to request that other students residing in the household be transferred to the same campus – if the grade level for the transferring student is offered on that campus.

The student receiving special education services would be entitled to transportation; however, the district is not required to provide transportation to other children in the household.

The parent or guardian should contact the school principal regarding transportation needs prior to requesting a transfer for other children in the home. [See policy FDB (LOCAL) for more information.]

A Student Who Speaks a Primary Language Other Than English

(this section is placed her in the handbooks)

A Student with Physical or Mental Impairments Protected under Section 504

A student with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, as defined by law – and who does not otherwise qualify for special education services – may qualify for protections under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.

Section 504 is a federal law designed to prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities.

When an evaluation is requested, a committee will be formed to determine whether the student needs services and supports under Section 504 in order to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE), as defined in federal law.

[See policy FB.]

[See A Student Who Has Learning Difficulties or Who Needs Special Education or Section 504 Services on page 25 and policy FB for more information.]