Special Programs Office

281-229-6020

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The Special Programs Department consists of a variety of student instructional and support teams, including:

  • ARDC Facilitators
  • Assessment & Evaluation
  • Behavior Learning Program Coaches
  • Counselors
  • Dyslexia Interventionists
  • Health Services / Nursing
  • Related Services (OT / PT)
  • Section 504
  • Special Education Teachers / Paras
  • Speech Therapy Team

 

 

 

 

 

If your child has special needs, please contact the campus or our office for assistance!

What is school counseling?

More accurately known as School Guidance and Counseling, it is defined by the Texas Education Agency as school guidance and counseling (link to TEA, outside source) as an interactive component of Coordinated School Health (link to CDC, outside source), which is implemented by professional school counselors to reduce dropout rates, improve academic performance, and increase participation in post-secondary education.  

Dickinson ISD strives to meet the Texas Model for Comprehensive School Counseling Programs (5th edition: 2018). "The Texas Model also provides a developmental framework for a school counseling program curriculum that includes activities at every grade level to enhance students’ educational, career, personal, and social development." (Mike Morath, TEA Commissioner of Education). 

What is Dyslexia?

 

Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge (Adopted by the International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors, November 12, 2002).

 

According to the Neuhaus Education Center (2016), An individual with dyslexia usually has several, not just one or two, of the characteristics listed below.  These characteristics usually persist over time and interfere with his or her learning. If your child is having difficulties learning to read and you have noted several of these characteristics in your child, he or she may need to be evaluated for dyslexia and/or a related disorder.

 

 

 

See more info on our Dyslexia webpage by clicking here!  

What is Section § 504?


Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based upon disability.

The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a non-discrimination statute enacted by the United States Congress.  The purpose of the Act is to prohibit discrimination and it applies to all programs and entities that receive federal funding. However, school districts do not receive federal money specifically for this Act. This Act was amended in 1990 to substitute “individual with disabilities” for “handicapped.” Thus, Section 504 is an anti-discrimination, civil rights statute that requires the needs of students with disabilities to be met as adequately as the needs of the non-disabled are met. Specifically, § 504 of this act applies to students in public schools to ensure that students with disabilities have educational opportunities and benefits equal to students without disabilities

Section 504 states that: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 706(8) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...." [29 U.S.C. §794(a), 34 C.F.R. §104.4(a)].

See more info on our Section 504 webpage by clicking here
Dickinson ISD has entered into an exciting partnership with ReBuild Texas.  Amy Cmaidalka is the new Social Emotional Learning Specialist.  More information coming soon!

What is Special Education?

Special Education is specially designed instruction, including related services, that an ARD committee has determined is necessary for students who have disabilities in order for them to access their education. Specially designed instruction addresses each student's individualized educational plan (IEP).  This can include:

  • Academic accommodations or modifications to curriculum
  • Adapted equipment or materials
  • Accessible settings
  • Assistive Technology
  • Counseling / Psychological Therapy or Services
  • Evaluation and testing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Other related services, such as In Home Training, Parent Training, Nursing
  • Physical Therapy
  • Speech Therapy

 

What is an ARD Committee?

In Texas, we call the committee that makes the disability eligibility determination and designs the IEP the ARD committee, which stands for Admission, Review, Dismissal committee.  Texas governs the committee membership; a parent/guardian and campus administrator are always required members.  In Dickinson ISD, we have a specialized position, called an ARD Committee Facilitator (ARDCF) who is a certified special education teacher with specialized training in ARD Facilitation.  The ARDCF is responsible for ensuring annual ARD meetings are conducted.  If you have a question about your child's special education status, start with the ARDCF.  A list of DISD ARDCFs is provided by clicking here. 

School Nurses

Our School Nurses are committed to educational excellence, and enhancing the educational process by the modification or removal of health-related barriers to learning and by the promotion of optimal level of wellness.  This is accomplished within the frame work of the nursing process, which includes assessment, nursing diagnosis, outcome identification, planning, intervention, and evaluation.  

2019-2020 Dickinson ISD School Nursing Team

Mission Statement

The DISD Special Programs Department exists to provide leadership and service to equip campuses with the knowledge and services to meet the district mission for students to have safe and successful learning opportunities that help them reach their full potential and add quality throughout their lives.  


Beliefs

The department believes in the power and importance of collaboration with campus staff, parents and students, advocates and other service organizations in order to provide a loving and structured educational environment based on federal, state and local guidelines for all our students who have special needs.


Vision

To be recognized as a Special Education department that is constantly focused on a growth mindset, we believe that change is inevitable and progress is a choice. We believe that we provide a quality education for all the  students who receive special education services in order for them to have access to the general education curriculum from a continuum of service delivery models.


Action Plan

We support the District Mission by providing a continuum of instructional, behavioral, and social services focused on the student's needs in the least restrictive environment with maximized access to the general curriculum. Teachers and service providers adhere to the rigorous academic content required of all DISD students while recognizing a student's unique situation.

Department Motto

Whatever the student needs is our job description!

 

 

 

Department Philosophy

We may all be different kinds of fish, but in this school, we swim together!

Program Design:

A continuum of services means that a student may have support provided in a variety of settings, depending on the student's unique needs.  For example:

  • A student who needs specially designed instruction that can be provided by the general education classroom teacher with inclusion support may receive instruction within the general education classroom.
  • A student who needs specially designed instruction that requires a smaller setting may receive instruction in a smaller group (either in or out of class).
  • A student who needs specially designed instruction for all academic areas in addition to personal care may be served in a specialized class.
  • A student who has profound needs in all areas of functioning may be served in a fully self-contained setting.

Student Planning Committees   

DISD provides a variety of student planning committees, including

  1. Student Intervention Team
  2. Section 504 committee
  3. ARD committee (special education)

If you have any concerns about your child's educational or emotional progress, please fill this form out as completely as possible. You will be contacted by someone from your child's school after you submit this form.

 Response to Intervention Process (called RtI) where teachers, parents, support professionals, and administrators can informally and/or formally address student concerns through the Student Intervention Team (SIT). 
Students who are eligible for protection under Section 504   will have an annual 504 committee meeting to address accommodations.
Students who are eligible for Special Education will have an Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee meeting at least annually, or whenever services are changed.

For students who meet the district’s criteria for  dyslexia:

  • If the student is dually served under dyslexia and Section 504, the student’s 504 committee is the committee of knowledgeable persons. 
  • If the student is dually served under dyslexia (or reading disability) and special education , the student’s ARD committee is the committee of knowledgeable persons. 
Program Instructional Goals  

Provide challenging, grade-level, academic instruction, with consideration of a student’s unique needs in order to promote mastery of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)

Provide interventions and document progress as indicated by the student’s Student Intervention Team (SIT)

Provide accommodations as indicated by the student’s 504 committee

Provide instructional and related services as indicated by the student’s ARD committee

Seek and encourage parental participation in student planning committees

Provide all services in the student’s least restrictive environment, with non-disabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate 
Click here to access the names, emails and phone numbers:   Special Programs Department Leadership & Team Leaders 
The mission of the Dickinson Independent School District is to ensure that all students have safe and successful learning opportunities that help them reach their full potential and add quality throughout their lives. 

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