Each school must establish an admission, review and dismissal (ARD) committee for each eligible child with a disability and for each child for whom an initial Full and Individual Evaluation is conducted 19 TAC 89.1050. The ARD/IEP Committee is the: (1) Eligibility team defined in federal law IDEA 2004, 34 CFR 300.306. (2) Individualized education program (IEP) team defined in federal law IDEA 2004, 34 CFR 300.321. (3) Placement team defined in federal law IDEA 2004,34 CFR 300.116. The term IEP means a written statement for each child with a disability that is developed, reviewed and revised in accordance with the ARD/IEP committee framework. The ARD committee must review the child's IEP periodically, but not less frequently than annually, to determine whether the annual goals are being achieved. The ARD committee must determine the child's placement at least annually 34 CFR 300.116(b)(1). T
he ARD/IEP Committee may meet more often than annually to revise the student's IEP, as appropriate, to address: (1) any lack of expected progress toward the annual goals, (2) the results of any reevaluation, (3) information about the student provided to, or by the parents, (4) anticipated needs of the student or (5) other concerns. A parent may request an ARD/IEP committee meeting (at a mutually agreeable time) at any time to discuss educational concerns such as placement, IEP goals and objectives, and the extent of services being provided to the student. The school must either grant the parent's request to have a meeting or contact the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to ask for assistance through mediation.
ARD/IEP Committee Membership: The ARD/IEP committee means a group of individuals composed of: 34 CFR 300.321; 19 TAC 89.1050
- The parents of a child with a disability
- Not less than one regular education teacher of the child (This is not required at TSD)
- Not less than one special education teacher
- A district representative
- An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be the regular education teacher, special education teacher or provider, an LEA representative, or a discretionary member on the ARD committee;
- Other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the child
- The child with a disability, whenever appropriate
- A teacher who is certified in the education of children who are deaf/hard of hearing for a child with a suspected or documented hearing loss including suspected or documented deaf-blindness
- A teacher who is certified in the education of children with vision impairments for a child with a suspected or documented vision loss
- A member of the language proficiency assessment committee (LPAC) when determining participation in state and district wide assessments for a child with limited English proficiency, to address the child's language needs; and
- A representative from Career and Technical Education (CTE), preferably the teacher when considering initial or continued placement of a child in CTE.
See Legal Framework References to Attendance and Excusal: ARD Committee Membership and Legal Framework References to the: ARD/IEP Committee
What We Do
The School shall establish an admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee for each eligible student with a disability and for each student for whom a full individual and initial evaluation is conducted. The ARD committee shall be the individualized education program (IEP) team defined at 34 C.F.R. 300.321.
The School member of the ARD committee shall not be required to attend an IEP meeting, in whole or in part, if the parent and the district agree in writing that the attendance is not necessary because the member’s area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed during the meeting. The School member of the ARD committee may be excused from attending an IEP meeting, in whole or in part, when the meeting involves a modification to or discussion of the member’s area of curriculum or related services if the parent, in writing, and the district consent to the excusal and the member submits, in writing, to the parent and the ARD committee, input into the development of the IEP before the meeting. 20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(1)(C); 34 C.F.R. 300.321(e)
Duties of the ARD/IEP Committee
The ARD/IEP Committee makes decisions concerning the educational program for students who are eligible to receive special education services. Among other responsibilities, the ARD/IEP Committee performs the following functions:
- Evaluation, reevaluation, and determination of eligibility for special education and related services;
- Placement of students with disabilities including disciplinary changes in placement;
- Development of the student’s IEP;
- Development and implementation of service plans for students who have been placed by their parents in private schools and who have been designated to receive special education and related services;
- Compliance with the least restrictive environment standard;
- Compliance with state requirements for reading diagnosis and state assessments;
- Development of middle school personal graduation plans;
- Development of accelerated instruction under Education Code 28.0211 and intensive programs of instruction under Education Code 28.0213 [see EHBC];
- Evaluation, placement, and coordination of services for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, or visually impaired;
- Determining eligibility for extracurricular activities, under Education Code 33.081; and
- Determining other related services required by law.
ARD/IEP Committee Training
Training for administrators/ARD chairs is conducted annually. This includes how to take effective deliberations at ARD/IEP Committee meetings and how to complete the sections of the special education paperwork as it often changes from year to year.
Duties of the TSD Registrar
- Coordinate scheduling of ARD/IEP committee meetings at a time mutually acceptable to the parent/adult student and other members.
- Provide the parent/adult student with written notice of ARD/IEP committee meetings at least 5 school days prior to the meeting.
- Ensure the Notice of Procedural Safeguards Booklet is provided to parent/adult student or guardian with the Notice of ARD/IEP committee meeting for an initial or evaluation ARD/IEP committee meeting and at least annually thereafter.
- Record the Notice of the ARD/IEP committee meeting and Notice of Procedural Safeguards booklet in the IEP/ARD software management system.
- Send final ARD to LEA and parent when requested
Duties of the ARD Facilitator/ARD Chair
- Conduct the ARD/IEP committee meeting
- Assist with taking deliberations
- Facilitate resolution of problematic ARD/IEP committee meetings.
- Monitor the input of information in an ARD/IEP data management system (eSTAR).
- Ensure all issues are followed up.
Guidelines for ARD/IEP Meetings
- ARD/IEP meetings should be conducted efficiently.
- ARD/IEP meetings will have a clear agenda. A sample agenda is attached.
- A copy of the draft IEP will be sent to parents, particularly the PLAAFP and goals.
- Participants must share if they plan to record the meeting, so that the district can be prepared to record as well.
- The department administrators, along with the department evaluator will need to determine if there is a need for a staffing prior to the ARD. The purpose of the staffing is to review any new assessments, the PLAAFP, proposed goals and objectives and discuss proposals for schedule of services, state assessment, transition, appropriate ARD supplements and any other items relevant to the student.
- Parents have a right to bring advocates to ARD/IEP meetings. All participants are expected to exhibit professional conduct during the meeting. Rudeness and abusive language cannot be tolerated and such behavior can be cause for discontinuing the meeting. Parent are required to notify the school that they are bringing an advocate or an attorney to an ARD meeting. The Director of Special Education, Director of Instruction, and the TSD general counsel will determine if they need to attend. This may mean that the ARD needs to be rescheduled to a time when they can attend.
IEP Amendment Without a Meeting
The Code of Federal Regulations at 34 C.F.R. §300.324(a)(4)(i) provides: “In making changes to a child’s IEP after the annual IEP Team meeting for a school year, the parent of a child with a disability and the public agency may agree not to convene an IEP Team meeting for the purposes of making those changes, and instead may develop a written document to amend or modify the child’s current IEP.” A copy of the amendment is sent to the committee and the parent/guardian/adult student.
Eligibility determinations, changes of placement, and manifestation determination reviews will not be conducted through the amendment without a meeting process.
From time to time, disputes may arise between the parent(s) and the school district relating to the identification, evaluation, or educational placement or the provision of a free appropriate public education (FAPE), for a student with a disability. The Texas Education Agency (TEA) encourages and supports the resolution of any dispute at the lowest level possible and in a prompt, efficient, and effective manner. The possible options for resolving disputes include, but are not limited to:
- meetings of the student's admission, review, and dismissal committee;
- meetings or conferences with the student's teachers;
- meetings or conferences, subject to local school district policies, with campus administrator(s), the special education director of the district , the superintendent of the district, or the board of trustees of the district;
- requesting mediation through the TEA in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and 34 CFR 300.506(b)
- filing a complaint with the TEA in accordance with 34 CFR 300.153(b); or
- requesting a due process hearing through theTEA in accordance with IDEA and 34 CFR 300.507.
- upon the filing of a request for a due process hearing, the parent(s) and the school district shall also be provided with an opportunity to resolve the dispute through the mediation process established by 34 CFR 300.510(a)
What We Do
Local resolution is a voluntary process that should be the first option, giving parents and the district the chance to resolve any concerns.
- As a first step, the parent(s) should contact their child’s department supervisor regarding a concern.
- If the principal is not able to assist with a solution, the parent/guardian should contact the Special Education Director at (512) 462-5782.
- If all efforts to reach a solution with the district are unsuccessful, the parent(s) or other interested party can file a complaint with the Texas Education Agency.
The parent(s) may also file a due process with TEA to resolve the issue(s) before a special education hearing officer
- If the parties resolve any issues, the parents should contact TEA either verbally or in writing to request that the complaint/due process be withdrawn or that certain issues be dismissed.
- If there are any remaining issues that were not resolved, TEA will evaluate whether it must investigate those issues.