Special Programs Office


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Special Education Instructional Services
Philosophy:   In accordance with federal and state guidelines, and in consideration that all students must take grade level assessments, DISD provides a continuum of services that focuses on maximizing time in the student’s grade level general education environment for students with mild to moderate disabilities.  Students with significant or profound disabilities may be provided a mixture of self-contained classes for core subjects and mainstream settings for electives.

Goals: To provide an individualized educational plan (IEP) in the student’s least restrictive environment (LRE).

Process:   The student’s ARD committee determines all instructional and related services.

Locations: As it is not financially feasible to offer all programs at all campuses, DISD has implemented a system to place various programs on different campuses, adhering to the following goals:
- equitable access amongst various geographical locations within the school district
- special transportation dynamics
- equitable distribution of special programs among campuses

Instructional Services
- Mainstream / Inclusive
  • Academic coaching:   This is a unique and innovative service that DISD began implementing at the elementary level during the 2006-07 school year, expanding it to middle schools in 2007-08 and junior high in 2008-09.  DISD selected highly effective “expert” teachers to provide “academic coaching” to students. The philosophy of this program centers on the belief that the DISD curriculum (which aligns with TEKS) should be the primary focus and students who experience difficulty should have immediate access to supplemental, research-based interventions. 
  • Goal: The goal of academic coaching is to provide supplemental, research-based interventions to students who have demonstrated  academic deficits in order to close learning gaps and accelerate learning to ensure the student’s ability to succeed in the grade level curriculum.
  • Description: Each campus has the autonomy to determine how to utilize their academic coaches based on identified campus needs. Generally, this service is available to students the campus problem solving team deems necessary – it is no longer necessary to “wait to fail” and go through the entire referral process to be identified as a student in 504 or special education in order to receive additional academic assistance.
  • Locations:   All elementary, middle and junior high campuses
  • We believe the combination of the academic coaching model, campus problem solving teams, and the changing definition of LD, will result in reduced referrals for 504, dyslexia, and special education referral rates for learning disabilities, while providing “as needed” academic assistance during crucial learning times.

DISD also offers partially or fully self contained classes for students needing more intensive specialized educational services.

Low Incidence Disabilities (LID) Classroom Descriptions

Speech Therapy Services

·     Philosophy: In accordance with federal and state guidelines, DISD provides Speech and Language therapy as an instructional service so that the student may benefit from his/ her special education instruction and for implementation of a student’s IEP. Speech and Language therapy in the educational setting differs from the received from the traditional medical model of services (outpatient therapy). Educational need for therapy is determined by a student’s ability to perform in his/ her educational setting.
·     Goals: Improve classroom participation, assist classroom teachers in students mastery of speech related TEKS, and provide support for classroom teachers and staff.
·     Process: Speech and Language therapy evaluations can be a part of a student’s initial evaluation if problems in areas are identified at the time of initial referral through the districts PST process or child find. If the student is already enrolled in special education a speech and language evaluation may occur at any time an educational need is identified through the districts Campus RtI Team.
·     Description: Services are delivered in a variety of models and/ or a combination of models such as: in class support, teacher consultation, and direct pull out from educational classroom. Services are centered around finding a way for each individual student to participate in their education to the best of their ability.

Behavior Coaching & Behavioral Instructional Services
This is a unique and innovative service that DISD began implementing first with the PASS program at KELE, BMS, MJHS and DHS during the 2004-05 school year, expanding it to ABCD at DMS in 2007-08 and with behavior coaches to the remaining elementary schools in 2008-09.  The Behavior Support Team consists of several behavior coaches (teachers who have demonstrated excellent classroom and behavior management skills).  The philosophy of this program centers on the belief that students need a safe and orderly classroom environment while realizing there will be some students who will need specific and direct instruction on appropriate classroom behaviors.  We offer a continuum of services for students who experience behavioral difficulties in the general and special education settings through the use of positive behavioral supports.
  • Goal:   The goal of the DISD comprehensive behavior intervention program is to implement a complete system of behavioral services for students who are experiencing moderate to severe behavioral challenges that disrupt the student’s learning and the classroom environment.
  • Description: The behavior intervention program is a multi-leveled system process which provides behavioral services for general or special education students who are in need of services.  Behavior coaches have extensive training in individual interventions to help students succeed in the least restrictive environment. Services are determined through a Campus RtI Team or ARD committee if the student is a special education student.  Services can include working with individual students, groups of students, and teachers to provide behavioral strategies and techniques to minimize instructional interruptions and promote a positive classroom and school environment. Behavior coaches are to strive towards decreasing classroom disruptions and increasing student’s access to the general education setting.  All campuses have at least one Behavior Coach dedicated to supporting the behavior intervention program.

• Each campus has a behavior coach who is responsible for assisting the campus in identification of at-risk students, developing positive behavioral support interventions, and assisting teachers and staff in the implementation of these interventions.
• If a student is not successful behaviorally on the home campus, a referral to Section 504 special education may be necessary to determine if the student has a disability and in need of further specialized instruction, such as that which is offered through PASS or ABCD.


Special Programs Related Services

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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