To provide students with disabilities the opportunity to excel academically, socially, and vocationally in order to meet their full potential as adults. Harmony Public Schools’ Special Education department focuses on a rigorous curriculum emphasizing science, technology, engineering, and math in order to provide a challenging education individualized to meet the needs of each student with a disability.
- Every individual as a unique human being deserving of respect
- High expectations
- All children can learn.
- All children have the right to be challenged in order to meet their full potential.
- Positive reinforcement and a positive learning environment lead to greater accomplishments than punishment and a negative environment.
- Educating children in the least restrictive environment leads to greater success in life.
- Child Find Notice
- All children with disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disability, and who are in need of special education and related services, are identified, located, and evaluated.
- A practical method is developed and implemented to determine which children need special education and related services.
- Updates in Special Education
- Actualizaciones en Educación Especial
- Areas of Disability in the State of Texas:
- Autism (AU)
- Deaf/Hard of Hearing (DHH) formerly Auditory Impairment
- Deaf-Blind (DB)
- Emotional Disturbance (ED)
- Intellectual Disability (ID)
- Multiple Disabilities (MD)
- Noncategorical Early Childhood (NCEC)
- Orthopedic Impairment (OI)
- Other Health Impairment (OHI)
- Specific Learning Disability (SLD)
- Speech Impairment (SI)
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
- Visual Impairment (VI)
Instructional and Related Services
Harmony provides a continuum of special education services to meet the individual and unique needs of students with disabilities. These services include, but are not limited to:
- Inclusion Support Services: A collaboration between the general education teacher and special education staff to ensure that special education students receiving instruction in the general education classroom successfully meet the requirements of the general education curriculum. Both general education and special education staff ensure that accommodations and/or modifications are implemented and appropriately address the student’s academic needs and cognitive abilities.
- Resource: Pull-out programs provided outside of the general education classroom, for less than 50% of the school day, with a special education staff member providing instructional support. The Special Education Teacher and staff will obtain copies of the lesson plans from the general education teacher, and the sped teacher will prepare instructional materials to develop a quality instructional support system for the student. During the ARD, the committee will determine the amount of specially designed pull-out time a student requires based on the level of support and instructional accommodations needed for the student to access the general curriculum.
- Behavior Services: Students receive individualized, explicit teaching of behavioral expectations in and around the school community. The level of service received is dependent upon the student’s current behavioral needs and aligns to their IEPs and BIPs. The functional behavior skills allow students to actively engage in academics in their scheduled classes while being provided support by their behavior teacher or support personnel.
- Life Skills classes for students who require pre-requisite academic skills in order to access the TEKS. Students are taught ELA, math, science, and social studies in the life skills class, along with social skills and vocational skills (if age appropriate). Students in the life skills class generally attend elective classes in the general education setting with special education support.
- Transition Services: a coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability designed within a results-oriented process that is focused on both academic and functional skills established to facilitate students' movement toward their post-high school goals in education/training, employment, and independent living skills.
- Speech and Language Therapy: Speech and Language Pathologists work with the students who experience speech and language delays like articulation, language, fluency, and pragmatics that affect their social interaction, literacy, and learning. Students generally receive services based on their IEPs either in small groups or within the classroom setting.
- Occupational therapy: a related service that might include working on handwriting or fine motor skills so the student can complete written assignments, helping the student organize themselves in the environment, and working with the teacher to modify the classroom and/or adapt learning materials to facilitate successful participation.
- Physical therapy: a related service in which physical therapists work with the student to improve their muscle control and balance, modify the environment to maximize participation, and educate staff to enhance the physical participation of the student.
- Counseling and psychological services: related services provided to students who require specific skills to participate and progress in the educational setting. These services may address social, emotional, and behavioral problems that interfere with the student’s ability to benefit from services. These services are typically short-term and goal-oriented.
- Assistive technology: any item, piece of equipment, or product system that is used to increase, maintain, or improve the functional capabilities of a child with a disability.
PARTNERS RESOURCE NETWORK
The Partners Resource Network (PRN) provides parents with training, education, information, referral, emotional support, and individual assistance in obtaining appropriate services
TEA-Delayed or Denied Evaluation & Compensatory Services
(TEA-Evaluaciones Retrasadas o Denegadas & Servicios Compensatorios)
If an initial evaluation was delayed or denied when it should not have been, compensatory services may be needed to make up for the delay in your child getting special education services.
TEXAS TRANSITION & EMPLOYMENT GUIDE
Resources created by the Student-Centered Transition Network (SCTN) to assist educators with implementing quality transition services for students with disabilities
Parent’s Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process
(Guía Para Padres del Proceso se Admisión, Repaso, y Retiro)
A comprehensive document that explains the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) process and contains information that assists parents in participating effectively in the ARD committee for their child.
NOTICE OF PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS
(Aviso Sobre Procedimientos de Proteccion)
Dyslexia Handbook Update 2021: Important Information for Parents
(Actualización del manual de dislexia 2021: CAMBIOS IMPORTANTES QUE LAS FAMILIAS DEBEN ENTENDER)
Important changes for families to understand.
The Special Education Information Center (SPEDTex) provides resources and interactive features for increasing family awareness of disabilities and special education processes, with the goal of improving partnerships between schools and families.
Live Chat: www.spedtex.org
General resources for families.
TEA - SPECIAL EDUCATION IN TEXAS
The Texas Education Agency's main website about Special Education
Dyslexia is a lifelong brain-based type of learning disability (language processing disorder) that can hinder reading, writing, spelling, and sometimes even speaking despite effective instruction, adequate intelligence and sociocultural opportunity. Students identified as having dyslexia typically experience primary difficulties in phonological awareness, including phonemic awareness and manipulation, single-word reading, reading fluency, and spelling. Consequences may include difficulties in reading comprehension and/or written expression.
The following are the primary reading/spelling characteristics of dyslexia:
- Difficulty reading words in isolation
- Difficulty accurately decoding unfamiliar words
- Difficulty with oral reading (slow, inaccurate, or labored)
- Difficulty spelling
When signs and characteristics of dyslexia are clearly observed, a special education evaluation needs to be conducted by licensed assessment personnel with the parent’s consent.
Based on the data collected and formal assessment results, the ARD committee makes the dyslexia and special education eligibility decisions.
Programs and Services
- Classroom Accommodations, modifications
- A multisensory, structured language instruction in decoding, comprehension, and fluency provided by a trained dyslexia instructor in a small group setting delivered weekly at scheduled times. The dyslexia program used at Harmony Public Schools is:
- Reading by Design: Reading by Design is a multisensory curriculum based on the Orton-Gillingham approach which teaches phonics, and the structure of the English language. The program teaches reading, writing, spelling, and verbal and written expression by engaging the visual, auditory, and kinesthetic modalities simultaneously whenever possible.
Helpful Resources and Important Links
- TEA Dyslexia and Related Disorders Website
- Dyslexia Handbook FAQ
- Dyslexia Handbook FAQ-Spanish
- Overview of Special Education for Parents
- Overview of Special Education for Parents-Spanish
Harmony Public Schools provides students with disabilities appropriate educational services designed to meet the individual needs of the students to the same extent as the needs of students without disabilities. An appropriate education for a student with a disability under Section 504 regulations can consist of education in regular classrooms, education in regular classes with supplementary services, and/or related services.
Section 504 is a civil rights law that protects eligible individuals from discrimination on the basis of their disabilities.
Once a referral has been made by school staff or the parent(s)/guardian(s), a 504 evaluation – which includes the review of data drawn from a variety of sources (health records, academic records, parent/teacher input etc.) – is conducted by the 504 committee.
To be protected under Section 504, a student must be determined to
- Have a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities (breathing, walking, concentrating, reading etc.)
- Potential Qualifying Disabilities may include, but are not limited to:
- Bipolar Disorder
- OCD, ODD
- Accommodations: Extended time, reading aloud etc.
- Service plans: Individual accommodation plan (IAP), emergency action/health plan, behavior intervention plan etc.
- Related services: Counseling, assistive technology etc.