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.
Each public and charter school district is required to designate a Section 504 Coordinator. For more specific information about local policies and practices contact the Section 504 Coordinator in your district.
Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. It refers to a cluster of symptoms, which results 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.
In the state of Texas, Dyslexia evaluation and services are provided through the Section 504 Program.
English Language Learners
The Southwest Preparatory ELL program provides intensive instruction in English using second language acquisition strategies to teach English to students who speak other languages other than English. The academic program model teaches the state-required Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS).
Response to Intervention (RTI)
Reading at grade level and having a solid foundation in mathematics is essential for success in school as well as beyond. Research supports early intervention as a key to promoting level reading and mathematics skills. Therefore, we provide opportunities for our students to engage in interventions targeted on each student’s specific need for additional support.
These interventions are provided with multiple levels of support depending on each child’s response to the intervention provided and are set up based on multiple and extensive data points collected throughout the year.
Gifted & Talented (G/T), Advanced Placement / International Baccalaureate (AP/IB)
Gifted and Talented Program: Students who perform at, or show the potential for performing at, a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who exhibit high-performance capability in an intellectual, creative or artistic area, or possess an unusual capacity for leadership, or excel in a specific academic field will be considered for the Gifted and Talented Program.
If the student is nominated, qualifies, and his/her parents give permission for the student to participate in the program, the student will receive the appropriate Gifted and Talented Services (see the Southwest Preparatory School’s GT Handbook for more information).
It is crucial to emphasize that being identified as gifted and talented is not a badge of honor, not a reason for bragging, nor a reward for good behavior. It is an educational need. And once identified, the student will receive essentially designed services that permit G/T students to be appropriately challenged. Nominations for elementary students must be received by December 30, and Nominations for secondary students must be received by November 30.
“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.”