Skip Navigation

Press the enter key or spacebar to expand or collapse the accordion

Welcome to the DISD Special Education Instructional Services Page! 

Here you will find descriptions of the variety of instructional services we provide to our Gator Students who have the need for specialized instruction.  DISD is focused on the Individual in Individualized Education Plans (IEP) Focus! In line with our mission to personalize education, we are placing a greater emphasis on developing and implementing Individualized Education Plans (IEPs). Our team of dedicated special education teachers and staff will work closely with you and your child to create a tailored IEP that addresses their specific strengths and challenges, ensuring they receive the appropriate support and accommodations to reach their full potential.  We offer a full continuum of instructional services, click on the tabs below for more information. 

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 

We used to use various acronymns to identify these programs, such as RISE, SAILS, WAVE, TIDES, SEAS, SANDS, SAILS, ABCD, however, during the 2023-24 school year, we have chosen to eliminate those acronyms in the interest of providing clear communication for the instructional continuum.

The Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) program is designed for children aged 3 to 5 years old who need specially designed instruction by a special education teacher in order to access an educational program.

  • The primary goal of ECSE is to provide specialized services that help these young students develop school-ready skills.
  • Various instructional delivery options are available within the ECSE program to best meet the individual needs of each child.
  • For 3-year-old students, there is a half-day programming option.
  • For children who turn 4 years old on or before September 1st, a full-day program is offered, which mirrors the pre-k full-day program.
  • The Level of Support (LOS) provided to each child is determined based on several factors, including data from Early Childhood Intervention (ECI), Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE), and input from parents.
  • The main focus of determining the LOS is to ensure that the child acquires the necessary skills to succeed in school.
  • Previously, the program was known by different names, including PPCD, SEAS and SANDS.

In Class Support (ICS) is a special education service available for students from Pre-K to 12th grade.

  • The primary goal of ICS is to provide instructional assistance and support to students within the general education setting.
  • Special education staff are responsible for delivering ICS, and they employ various methods to aid the students' learning process.
  • External supports are provided to the students, which may include materials, tools, or aids specially designed to facilitate their learning in the regular classroom environment.
  • The special education staff may also physically enter the classroom to provide direct support and guidance to the students.
  • The level of support (LOS) given to each student is determined by the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committee and is based on the student's individual needs and the extent of support required to meet their academic goals successfully.
  • The primary focus of determining LOS is on the student's academic performance and progress in acquiring essential instructional skills.
  • ICS was previously referred to as "inclusion," which emphasizes the integration of students with special needs into mainstream classrooms alongside their peers.

The Behavior Teaching Continuum (BTC) is a specialized program offered to students from Pre-K to 12th grade who require targeted support in managing their behaviors. The BTC services are delivered by the Behavior Team, a group of professionals trained in addressing behavior-related needs effectively.

  • The main focus of BTC is to teach students pro-social / pro-school behaviors by providing them with strategies and interventions to improve their behavior and social skills.
  • The Behavior Team employs a variety of approaches to assist the students, including coaching, social skills training, and pull-out support.
  • Coaching involves working directly with students within their regular classrooms, offering guidance and encouragement to implement positive behavioral changes.
  • Social skills training aims to enhance the students' ability to engage in positive interactions, handle conflicts, and develop appropriate social behaviors. Direct instruction of social skills can happen both "in the moment" and in specific social skills groups (organized either by topic or by student group).
  • Pull-out support refers to withdrawing the student from the regular classroom environment for specific, targeted interventions and skill-building exercises.
  • The level of support (LOS) provided by BTC is determined by the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committee, which takes into account relevant data and assessments.
  • LOS is based on the individual student's needs and the extent of support required to address their behavioral challenges effectively.
  • Data collection focuses on behavioral aspects, particularly prosocial skills, which encompass behaviors that are cooperative, respectful, and socially appropriate.
  • BTC was previously known by different names, including BLP (Behavior Learning Program) and ABCD. The program has evolved to better align with effective behavior intervention practices.

Pull Out Services (P/O) are specially designed instruction (SDI) offered to students between the ages of 3 and 18+ years old, who have specific educational needs that require targeted instruction within a special education setting, which means students are removed from the general education classroom to receive focused and individualized support.

  • The primary goal of Pull Out Services is to address various areas of need, such as dyslexia, reading, writing, math, related services, modified curriculum, alternative education, or life skills training.
  • The decision to utilize Pull Out Services is made by the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committee.
  • The ARD committee's determination is based on various forms of data collected, including academic and functional assessments, to identify the specific areas where the student requires additional support.
  • Academic-focused interventions target core subjects like reading, writing, and math, aiming to enhance the student's proficiency in these subjects.
  • Functional-focused interventions address essential life skills that promote independence and successful participation in everyday activities.
  • Special education teachers receive support from related services, which may involve support from occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, or other professionals to address specific needs related to motor skills, communication, or other areas.
  • Modified curriculum and alternative education are tailored to suit the student's unique learning style and abilities, ensuring they can access the curriculum effectively.
  • Life skills training focuses on developing practical skills needed for daily living, such as personal hygiene, communication, money management, and social interactions.
  • The Level of Support (LOS) provided through Pull Out Services is aligned with the individual student's needs and requirements. LOS is determined based on the data collected, which evaluates the student's progress in targeted and prerequisite skills, both academic and functional, to ensure the most effective support is provided.
  • Link to the 18+ webpage for more information.
  • These services were previously known by different names, including RISE, SAILS, WAVE, TIDES, SEALS. 

The Medical/Fragile - Centralized Support program provides intense instructional and medical services to students between the ages of 3 years to 18+ years who have significant medical and/or fragile needs that require specialized attention and care.

  • These services are delivered in a self-contained setting, which means students are placed in a separate classroom located at specific campuses centralized within the school district.
  • The program focuses on providing a highly supportive and nurturing environment to meet the unique needs of students with complex medical conditions or fragility.
  • A key component of the program is the presence of a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) within the classroom. The CNA plays a crucial role in supporting students with their medical requirements, ensuring their safety and well-being during the school day.
  • The ARD committee determines the level of support (LOS) required for each student in the program. LOS is determined based on comprehensive data collection, including assessments of alternative academics, assisted life skills, and self-care capabilities of the student.
  • The program emphasizes alternative academics, tailoring the curriculum to suit the individual needs and learning abilities of each student.
  • Assisted life skills are a core focus of the program, helping students develop essential daily living skills that promote greater independence and functional abilities.
  • Self-care training is a critical aspect of the program, aiming to empower students to take care of their personal needs, such as grooming, feeding, and managing their health as much as possible.
  • The Medical/Fragile - Centralized Support program was formerly known as TIDES. The program is continuously evolving to incorporate the latest practices in the simultaneous provision of medical care and education, ensuring the best possible support for students with complex medical and/or fragile needs.

Press ENTER key to focus on the active panel

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.


Click HERE to go to the Speech Therapy page.

Click HERE to go to the Related Services Page

Press ENTER key to focus on the active panel

Copyright © 2021 - Dickinson Independent School District

powered by ezTaskTitanium TM