All children with disabilities residing in the State, regardless of the severity of their disabilities, and who are in need of special education and related services, must be identified, located, and evaluated. In addition to children enrolled in the public schools, the child find duty extends to children who are homeless or wards of the State or are who are attending private schools 34 CFR 300.111.(a)(1)(i)and 20 USC 1412(a)(3)(A).
What We Do
All of the students attending Texas School for the Deaf must meet eligibility criteria as a student with an auditory impairment. This is verified through an audiogram. Each student must also show a need for deaf education services either through a 504 plan or special education documentation.
A qualified TSD employee will not conduct a psychological evaluation, test, or treatment without obtaining prior written parental consent unless the examination, test, or treatment is required under state or federal law regarding requirements for special education or by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) for child abuse investigations and reports.
For those students who are having difficulty in the classroom, all school districts must consider tutorial, compensatory, and other academic or behavior support services that are available to all students, including a process based on Response to Intervention (RtI). The implementation of RtI has the potential to have a positive impact on the ability of districts and charter schools to meet the needs of all struggling students.
If a student is experiencing learning difficulties, his/her parent/guardian may contact the individual(s) listed below to learn about the school’s overall screening system for support services. The multi-disciplinary team for each department can provide suggestions for strategies to try prior to requesting an evaluation. This system links students to a variety of support options, including making a referral for a special education evaluation to determine if the student needs specific aids, accommodations, or services. However, a parent may request an evaluation for special education services or re-evaluation at any time.
Section 504 Students:
Texas School for the Deaf does not place students on a 504 plan. This must be done at a local education agency (LEA)/public school. TSD can and will conduct an initial special education evaluation upon request for any student on a 504 plan that is attending Texas School for the Deaf. Conducting an evaluation does not guarantee that a student will be placed on an IEP or is eligible for additional related services.
Special Education Evaluations:
If a parent makes a written request for an evaluation for special education services to the Director of Special Education or an administrative employee of the school district, the district must respond no later than 15 school days after receiving the request. At that time, the district must give the parent a prior written notice of whether it agrees to or refuses to evaluate the student, along with a copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards. Requests for evaluations can also be made to LSSP/Educational Diagnostician assigned to the department.
If the school district agrees to evaluate the student for additional services, it must also give the parent the opportunity to give written consent for the evaluation. Please note that a request for a special education evaluation may be made verbally/signed and does not need to be in writing. Districts must still comply with all federal prior written notice and procedural safeguard requirements and the requirements for identifying, locating, and evaluating children who are suspected of being a child with a disability and in need of special education. However, a verbal/signed request does not require the district or charter school to respond within the 15-school-day timeline.
If the district decides to evaluate the student, it must complete the student’s evaluation within the agreed upon time line or within the 3-year evaluation due date. Initial evaluations (for 504 students and children turning 3, the evaluation must be completed within 45 days. If the evaluation request is made less that 35 days before the end of the school year an initial evaluation will be completed by June 30th of the current school year. Upon completing the evaluation, the district must give the parent a copy of the evaluation report at no cost.
If the student is absent for 3 or more school days during this period, the timeline is extended by that number of days. The extension for absences does not apply for: children under 5, not enrolled in school, or any student enrolled in a private or home school setting.
An ARD will be scheduled within 30 school days to review the evaluation results. Additional information regarding special education is available from the district in a companion document titled Parent’s Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process.
Infants and Toddlers (Initials)
In coordination with the Texas School for the Deaf Parent/Infant Program, we provide services for children ages 0-3 who are deaf and hard-of-hearing. For children referred prior to age three, special education services must be made available to the child on his or her third birthday if the student is found eligible. Not all children served by the ECI and PIP program will qualify for special education services by the schools.
- A meeting will be scheduled by the IFSP team to help the family make the transition from ECI/PIP services to special education services 90 days before a toddler receiving ECI turns three years old, if appropriate. The LEA will be invited to this meeting and will receive a copy of the final report.
- The TSD evaluation team will schedule the Play Based Assessment when it is convenient for the family to be there, but no later than the 60th day prior to the child turning 3.
- The evaluation will be completed within 45 school days of receipt of written initial parent consent.
- The ARD/IEP meeting will be held within 30 calendar days of the completion of the written Full Individual Evaluation.
- If the parent chooses to enroll their child at TSD, the enrollment paperwork will be completed. If the parent chooses to enroll their child in the LEA and/or RDSPD program, the FIE and data collection information will be provided to the serving school district.
- Through weekly home visits and on site school services, the teacher models, supports, and advises the parents in the instructional areas of hearing aid management, parent-child communication, listening skills, and language development for students with deafness/hearing loss. Instructional materials are brought to the home to make the program effective for the family.
- This plan includes activities and techniques that address the impact of the hearing loss on the child's development.
- The teachers of the Deaf/HH demonstrate these activities to the caregiver which can then be continued in the home between sessions.
Contact Person for Special Education/504:
The designated person to contact regarding options for a student experiencing learning difficulties or regarding a referral for evaluation for special education services is:
Elizabeth Sterling, M.Ed.
Special Education Director