Special Education Operating Guidelines

  • Local Education Agencies (LEA) are required to develop and implement policies, procedures and practices related to the provision of special education services to eligible students. Operating guidelines are the written guidelines developed locally which outline the implementation of these practices.  

    Furthermore, according to the requirements of IDEA (34 CFR 300.646(b) (1)), the State Education Agency must provide for review and, if appropriate, revision of the policies, procedures and practices related to serving student with disabilities. This process is conducted through the Special Education Monitoring unit of the Division of Program Monitoring and Interventions at the Texas Education Agency.

    To assist in meeting the above requirement, the following Operating Guidelines document was directly aligned to the Legal Framework for  the Child-Centered Special Education Process hosted at https://framework.esc18.net. Each section provides the legal requirements for the identified area. 

  • Child Find

    Child Find Duty

    District and Campus Improvement Plans

    • District Improvement Plan
    • Campus Improvement Plan

    Parent Notification and Personal Graduation Plan

    Closing the Gap

    • Early Intervening Services
    • Bilingual Education Program
    • After-School and Summer Intensive Mathematics Instruction Programs
    • After-School and Summer Intensive Science Instruction Programs
    • Basic Skills Programs for High School Students
    • Life Skills Programs for Student Parents

    Dyslexia Services

    Referal for Special Education Services

    • Information Concerning Special Education of Children with Learning Difficulties
    • Referral for Full and Individual Evaluation

    Ages 0-5 

    • Age Ranges for Eligibility
    • Noncategorial Early Childhood
    • Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP)
    • Transition from Part C Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) to Part B Preschool Programs
      • Individualized Education Program (IEP)
      • Dual Enrollment

    Parent

    • Identification of Parent
    • Requirements for Foster Parent to Serve as Parent
    • Appointment of a Surrogate Parent
    • Training Program

    Adult Student

    • Transfer of Parental Rights at Age of Majority
    • Notification of the Transfer of Rights
    • Right to Notice Following a Transfer of Rights
    • Parent Attendance at the ARD Meeting Following a Transfer of Rights

    Full and Individual Evaluation

    Review of Existing Evaluation

    • Federal and State Requirements
    • Requirements if Additional Data ar NOT Needed

    Evaluation Procedures

    • Federal and State Requirements
    • Group of Qualified Professionals
    • Evaluation Procedures
    • Initial Evalutions 
    • Reevaluations

    Summary of Performance

    • Federal and State Requirements
    • Considerations
    • Elements of Summary of Performance

    Admission Review and Dismissal Committee

    • Rule of Construction

    ARD Committee Membership

    • Attendance and Excusal

    Parent Participation

    • Other Methods to Ensure Parent Participation
    • Conducting an ARD Committee Meeting without a Parent in Attendance
    • Use of Interpreters
    • Parent Copy of the Child's IEP

    ARD Committee Meeting

    • Initial Meeting
    • Annual Meeting
    • Developing the IEP
    • Revising the IEP
    • Meeting at Parent Request

    Determination of Eligibility

    • Analysis of Determinant Factors
    • Evaluation Report and Documentation of Determination of Eligibility

    Transition Services

    •  Development of a Coordinated Set of Activities
    • Development of postsecondary Goals
    • Transfer of Rights at Age of Majority

    Present Levels

    Annual Goals

    Special Factors

    • Behavior
    • Communication
    • Limited English Proficient (LEP)
    • Deaf or Hard of Hearing
    • Blind or Visually Impaired
    • Assistive Technology
    • Autism

    Supplementary Aides and services, Special Education, Related Services

    • Supplementary Aides and Services
    • Special Education
    • Related Services
    • Program Modifications and Support for School Personnel
    • Traiing to Implement the Individualized Education Program (IEP)
    • Intensive Program of Instruction
    • Accelerated Instruction under the Texas Reading Initiative
    • Student Success Initiative for Children in Grades Fifth and Eighth
    • Initiation, Frequency, and Duration of Services
    • Location

    Least Restrictive Environment

    • Preschool-aged Children
    • Factors for Consideration
    • Placement Determination
    • Instructional Arrangements
    • Children Residing in a Residential Facility
    • Residential Placement at Public Expense
    • Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) and Texas School for the Deaf (TSD)

    State and District Assessments

    • Districtwide Assessments
    • Assessment to Identify Children as English Language Learners (ELLs)
    • Annual Assessment for English Language Learners (ELLs)
    • Assessment for Exit from a Bilingual or ESL Program
    • Statewide Assessments

    Graduation

    • Recommended or Distinguished Achievement High School Programs
    • Minimum High School Program
    • Modified Requirments Under Minimum High School Program and Completion of Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
    • completion of Four Years of High School but Not Meeting Graduation Requirements

    Extended School Year (ESY) Services

    • Limitations
    • Determination of Need
    • Data to Make the Decisions
    • Regression in Critical Areas
    • Recoupment of Acquired Skills
    • Goals and Objectives

    Amendment Without a Meeting

    • Amendment Process
    • Revised IEP

    Prior Written Notice

    • When Prior Written Notice is Required
    • Timeline and Manner
    • Required Content
    • Additional Content Requirements for a Proposal to Evaluate
    • Additional Content Requirements for Proposal to Convene an ARD Committee Meeting
    • Additional Content Requirements When the ARD Committee Will Consider Transitional Services

    Consent

    Consent for Initial Evaluation

    • Actions that Do Not Constitute Evaluation
    • Elements of Consent for an Initial Evaluation
    • Information and Consent for Certain Psychological Examinations or Tests
    • When Despite Reasonable Efforts, Consent is Not Obtained for the Initial Evaluation of a Child who is Home Schooled or Private Schooled
    • When Despite Reasonable Efforts, Consent is Obtained for the Initial Evaluation of a Child who is a Ward of the State

    Consent for Services

    • Elements of Consent for the Initial Provision of Services
    • When Consent is not Obtained, Despite Reasonable Efforts
    • When Consent for Services is Revoked

    Consent for Reevaluation

    • Actions that Do Not Constitute Evaluation
    • Elements of a Consent for reevaluation
    • Information and consent for Certain Psychological Examinations or Tests
    • When Despite Reasonable Efforts, the Parent Fails to Respond
    • When Despite Reasonable Efforts, Consent is not Obtained for the Reevaluation of a Child Who is Home Schooled or Private Schooled
    • When Despite Reasonable Efforts, Consent is not Obtained for the Reevaluation of a Child Who is Not Home Schooled or Private Schooled

    Consent to Excuse Member from Attending ARD Committee Meeting

    • Elements of Consent for Excusal

    Consent to Access Public Benefits

    • Elements of Consent to Access Public Benefits

    Consent to Access Private Insurance

    • Elements of Consent to Access Private Insurance

    Consent to Transfer Assistive Technology Devices

    • Elements of Consent to Transfer ATDs
    • When Despite Reasonable Efforts, Consent is not Obtained

    Consent for Disclosure of Confidential Information

    • Elements of Consent to Disclose Confidential Information

    Transfer Students

    • Transmittal of Records (TREx)
    • When an Evaluation is Pending
    • IEP for a Child with a Disability who Transfers within the State
    • IEP for a Child with a Disability who Transfers from Outside the State

    Incarcerated Students

    • Limitations to a free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)
    • Children in Adult Prisons
    • Transfer of Parental Rights

    Private Schools

    • Considerations
    • Child Find for Parentally-Placed Private School Children
    • Consultation
    • Written Affirmation
    • Developings the Proportionate Share Services Plan
    • Implementation of the Proportionate Share Services Plan
    • Use of Personnel to Provide Proportionate Share Services
    • Transportation Services
    • Confidentiality
    • Right of the Private School Official to Submit a Complaint
    • Dual Enrollment
    • Private School Placement when FAPE is at Issue

    Discipline Authority of School Personnel

    • Authority to Remove for Less than 10 Consecutive School Days
    • Authority to Remove for More than 10 Consecutive School Days
    • Limitation on General Authority
    • Change of Placement
    • Manifestation Determination
    • When Behavior is a Manifestation
    • When Behavior is not a Manifestation
    • Services During Periods of Removal
    • Special Circumstances

    Restraint and Time-Out

    • Applicability
    • Confinement
    • Restraint
    • Time Out

    Independent Education Evaluation

    • Federal and State Requirements
    • IEE at Public Expense
    • Conditions
    • LEA Criteria
    • Results of IEE

    Program Administration

    Administration of Program Information

    • Information for the TEA
    • Information Regarding Disproportionality
    • Information Regarding the Provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education
    • Information Regarding Least Restrictive Enviornment (LRE)
    • Information Regarding Termination of Services
    • Information Regarding Parentally-Placed Private School Children
    • Information Regarding Participation in State-or District-wide Assessments
    • Information Regarding Discipline
    • Information Regarding Migratory Children
    • Information on Direct Services by TEA

    Residential Placements

    • Residential Application Process
    • Residential Approval Process
    • Out of State Residential Placement

    Facilities

    • Compliane with Other Laws

    Administration of Equipment

    • Acquisition of Equipment
    • Equipment in Private Schools
    • Transfer of an Assistive Technology Device (ATD)

    Highly Qualified Special Education Teachers

    • Rules of Construction
    • Core Academic Subjects
    • Separate HOUSSE for Special Education Teachers
    • Special Education Teachers Teaching Multiple Subjects
    • Special Education Teachers to Alternative Achievement Standards
    • Private Charter Schools
    • Private Schools
    • Rural Schools
    • Reporting Requirements

    Special Education and Related Services Personnel

    • Assignment
    • Paraprofessional Personnel
    • Interpreters for the Deaf

    Records

    Records Confidentiality of Information

    • Safeguards

     Special Education Eligibility Folder

    Retention and Destruction of Records

    • Use of Local Schedule SD
    • LEAs Governed by State Agencies or State Boards
    • Local Schedule SD Abbreviations
    • Retention Period
    • Multiple Copies and the Official Record
    • Multiple Records Maintained Together
    • Electronically Stored Data
    • Other Local Schedules
    • Grant Records
    • Retention of Federal Financial and Program Records
    • Retention: Local Schedule SD
    • Retention of Test Administration Documentation
    • Requirement to Retain
    • Destruction
    • Method of Destruction
    • Damaged Records
    • Alienation of Records
    • Liability and Penality

    Records of Access

    Parent or Eligible Student Access to Education Records

    • List of Types and Location of Information
    • Student Assessment Data Portal
    • Right to Inspect and Review Records
    • Timeline
    • Records on More than one Student
    • Copeis Including Fees for Copies

    Procedures for Amending Education Records

    • Request to Amend
    • Opportunity for a Records Hearing
    • Hearing Procedures
    • Results of Records Hearing

    When Consent is Not Required to Release Information

    • Conditions that Apply to Disclosure of Information for Federal or State Program Purposes
    • Conditions that Apply to Disclosure of Information Concerning the Juvenile Justice System
    • Conditions that Apply to Judicial Order of Lawful Issued Subponea
    • Conditions that Apply to Disclosure of Information in Health and Safety Emergengies

    Redisclosure of Information

    • Sender Responsibilities
    • Recipient Responsibilities