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Click here to access the A to Z Special Education Operating Guidelines! 

Welcome to the Special Education Home Page! 

Here you will find recent communication from Special Programs Leadership and general information about Special Education.  Use the tabs below to find out information about Special Education in DISD. 

In accordance with federal and state laws, DISD provides special education to students who are evaluated with a full, individual evaluation (FIE) and determined by an Admissions, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee to meet the Texas Education Agency (TEA) eligibility criteria as having a disability condition and to need specialized instruction to receive a free and appropriate education (FAPE) in the student’s least restrictive environment (LRE).

Entry into special education: 

There are three primary ways a student is determined eligible for special education:
1. Child Find Process
a. ECI  transition (also known as Project Launch)
b. Monthly child find  screenings conducted by DISD Child Find Assessment Team (Contact Kathy Linkey)
c. Private School Referral process - contact Maggie Burk for additional information. 


2. Campus RtI Referral Team
a. A campus RtI may refer a student for a full, individual evaluation (FIE) which is conducted by a multi-disciplinary team led by either a speech language pathologist (SLP), an LSSP (licensed professional in school psychology) or an educational diagnostician.  Upon completion of the FIE, the student’s ARD committee will meet to review the evaluation, determine eligibility for services, and, if eligible, plan the students individualized education plan (IEP). (Contact your campus counselor)
3. Transfer from another district 
a. Students who are eligible for special education in another Texas district or from another state are entitled to immediate special education services upon enrollment in DISD.  The parent should bring a copy of the most recent ARD or IEP paperwork to the campus ARDC facilitator.  If the parent is able to provide sufficient information, or the facilitator is able to obtain enough information from the sending district, then DISD attempts to match services as closely as possible.  Otherwise, a “transfer” (or temporary) ARD is held and services are implemented pending receipt of full records.  Within 30 school days of the initial verification or transfer ARD, the student’s ARD committee will meet to do a full ARD to finalize evaluation, goals, objectives, services and placement. (Contact your campus ARDCF)

Special Education is a system of specially designed instruction that includes both educational and related services for students who have been identified as having a disability and needing specially designed instruction. 


In Dickinson, we have a wide range of instructional supports ranging from in-class support, dyslexia instruction, and pull-out . self-contained classes (for highly supported academic instruction, life and functional skills, and behavioral instruction).  We also offer a variety of related services, such as occupational and physical therapy, assistive technology, counseling, and more.


All special education services are determined by the student's ARD committee.


Please visit our ARD Committee Process Page to learn more about the ARDC process.


Please visit our Evaluation Services page to learn more about our special education evaluation services.


Please visit our Special Ed Instructional Services Page to find descriptions of the variety of services we offer.


Please visit our Related Services Page to find descriptions of related services. 

Please visit our Special Programs Department Leadership Page to find links to all of our department staff.

TEA Required posting regarding Compensatory Services

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The SpedTex website offers a variety of resources for parents.  Parent support is crucial to creating a positive difference in a student's special education program. 

To go to SpedTex website, click on image:



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