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Special Programs

Special Education

Special Education Support Services assists districts and charter schools as they implement the major components of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and provide services to students with disabilities. These support services include ongoing technical support and professional development in specific areas.

 

Section 504

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a civil rights law designed to protect individuals with disabilities from discrimination for reasons related to their disabilities. The Section 504 regulations require a school district, receiving Federal financial assistance, to provide a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) to eligible students. The FAPE must meet the students individual educational needs as adequately as the needs of non-disabled students.

To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to: (1) have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, or (2) have a record of such an impairment, or (3) be regarded as having such an impairment. The Center provides technical assistance to support districts in addressing 504 issues.

Dyslexia

What is Dyslexia?

Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. It refers to a cluster of symptoms, which result in people having difficulties with specific language skills, particularly reading. Students with dyslexia usually experience difficulties with other language skills such as spelling, writing, and pronouncing words.

Dyslexia affects individuals throughout their lives; however, its impact can change at different stages in a person’s life. It is referred to as a learning disability because dyslexia can make it very difficult for a student to succeed academically in the typical instructional environment, and in its more severe forms, will qualify a student for special education, special accommodations, or extra support services.

  

Career and Technical Education

What is Career and Technical Education (CTE)?

“CTE instruction aims at developing foundational skills, core workplace competencies, and specific skill competencies in various occupational areas. Internships, practicums, cooperative education, school-based enterprises, dual enrollment programs, and apprenticeships are a few venues that deliver CTE by providing meaningful opportunities for learners to apply their academic and technical skills.”

 

Gifted & Talented (G/T), Advanced Placement / International Baccalaureate (AP/IB)

Gifted and Talented programs are required in all public school districts. Information about program requirements can be found in the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted and Talented Students.

In Texas, "gifted and talented students" means a child or youth who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who:

  • Exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative, or artistic area
  • Possesses an unusual capacity for leadership
  • Excels in a specific academic field

 

State Goal

“Students who participate in services designed for gifted students will demonstrate skills in self-directed learning, thinking, research, and communication as evidenced by the development of innovative products and performances that reflect individuality and creativity and are advanced in relation to students of similar age, experience, or environment. High school graduates who have participated in services for gifted students will have produced products and performances of professional quality as part of their program services.”