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Frequently Asked Questions
A. What is Special Education?
Special services provided by special and general education personnel to meet the needs of a student with disabilities. Provision of the general education curriculum, with modifications and accommodations, if agreed upon by a multidisciplinary team, including the parents, known as the Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee.
B. How are students identified for Special Education services?
Special education is provided through a child centered education process. Collaboration between school and home is essential if students are to achieve benefit from special education. The child-centered educational process begins with public awareness activities which inform the community of educational opportunities for students with disabilities. Referrals from teachers, parents and a variety of other sources lead to the identification of students who may need special education. Once a referral is made, a full and individual initial evaluation (FIIE) will be conducted. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine: (1) if a physical, mental or emotional disability exists; (2) if a significant educational deficit exists; and (3) the student's specific learning competencies.
If a student is determined eligible for and requires special education services, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed by and Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee which includes parents and school representatives. The IEP outlines the special education instructional and related services a student is to receive. This plan is reviewed at least annually.
C. Who is eligible for Special Education?
Special education services are provided to eligible students who may have one or more of the following disabilities (3 to 22 years of age) and an educational need that requires special education support and services:
D. What are some Special Education programs and services?
E. Can all AISD schools serve a child with a disability?
Special education services are provided at all AISD campuses. Specialized programs for some students are strategically located throughout the city. Austin is divided into attendance areas that determine what school a child will attend. If you live in an area of Austin where the home school does not offer the specialized program your child needs, AISD will provide transportation to the next closest location of that program.
F. What is the process for a child to start receiving special education services?
If the student has been in special education in a previous school district, special education services will be provided immediately and within 10 school days of enrollment the AISD school will either adopt the IEP from the previous district or hold a Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee meeting to develop a new IEP.
If the student has not been in special education previously, but parents or staff are concerned a disability may exist, the campus IMPACT Team will address concerns and may recommend a Local Support Team (LST) meeting be convened. A full range of services including, but not limited to the possibility of special education is considered during the LST meeting. The least restrictive setting where the students needs can be met will be designed.
G. Is there anything I should bring with me from my child's current school to assist in transferring to AISD?
Whenever families who have children with disabilities move into the Austin area, AISD needs complete records from the previous school district or program serving the student. These records should include but not be limited to the current Individual Education Plan (IEP), the most recent Full Individual Evaluation, and any other reports which will assist AISD in identifying the appropriate services for an individual student. The parents can either bring school records from the previous school district or can sign a release to have the records mailed to AISD.
Office:Janna Lilly, Director
1111 West 6th Street
Austin, Texas, 78703-5338