Category Archives: Special Education

Parents invited to Autism Services meeting on Oct. 12

The Office of Special Education Services invites parents to the first Autism Services meeting from 9 to 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 12 at the Special Education Field Office (4040 West Fuqua St., Room 135, 77045).

This is an opportunity for parents to engage with other parents whose children have autism, learn what’s happening in the classroom, and hear about new research developments.

There will also be members from the HISD Autism team on site to answer questions and provide information on how you can support your child at home. Please RSVP here.

With four meetings scheduled for the school year, the district will host each meeting in different regions to provide an opportunity for every parent across the district to participate at the parent meetings.

HISD Board of Education adopts recommendations from Special Education Committee

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday unanimously voted to adopt recommendations from the district’s Special Education Ad Hoc Committee, which was tasked with assessing HISD’s current special education program.

Approval to accept the report and its seven recommendations grants the interim superintendent the authorization to carry out the recommendations.

In a separate vote, the board also voted to sunset the ad hoc committee. Continue reading

Fifth Annual Special Education Conference draws hundreds of parents, HISD staff 

More than 900 parents and members of Team HISD filled Kingdom Builders’ Center on Tuesday to kick off the district’s Fifth Annual Special Education Conference.

The two-day conference, themed Engage, Restore and Support Every Student, focused on arming participants with new and effective instructional, compliance and behavioral strategies.

“We have come a long way from our very first conference with approximately 70 attendees,” Senior Manager of Special Education Services Kelli Charles said. “It is my hope that you leave here ready to give your absolute best to the students who needed it the most and ready to elevate HISD’s special education services.” Continue reading

Fifth annual Special Education Conference planned for July 17-18 

The Office of Special Education will hold its fifth annual Special Education Conference next month for parents and educators to share supports and strategies that help students with disabilities to be successful – academically, socially, and emotionally.

The two-day conference will be held from 7:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 17 and Wednesday, July 18 at Kingdom Builders’ Center (6011 W Orem Dr., 77085).

The theme of this year’s conference is “Engage, Restore and Support Every Student.” With presentations from teachers and thought leaders in the special education field, participants can expect to leave transformed and ready to begin the school year armed with new and effective instructional and behavioral strategies.  Continue reading

HISD’s Special Education Parent Advisory Committee holds first meeting 

HISD’s Office of Special Education Services (OSES) held its inaugural Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SEPAC) on Wednesday afternoon at the Hattie Mae White Educational Service Center.

Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan

The purpose of the committee is aligned to the Office of Special Education Services Framework, including parent advocacy and voice; instruction and support; compliance and monitoring; and professional development. The committee promotes active engagement with parents as partners of OSES with regard to the services provided to students with disabilities.

Assistant Superintendent for the Office of Special Education Services Shannon Verrett said partnering with the parents and community offers the best support for students and campuses.  Continue reading

Special needs student lands full-time job at Houston Food Bank 

HISD has several transitional programs for students with cognitive disabilities that train them to find meaningful work and sustainable life situations after graduation. After two years in the H.E.A.R.T. program at the Houston Food Bank, Trevor has been hired as a full-time worker. Trevor is doing everything regular employees do—chopping vegetables, cutting bread, packaging meals, and washing trays and utensil. Trevor’s mother is thrilled.

Watch the video to find out what Trevor is planning to do with his first paycheck.

HISD to host Special Education Spring Parent Summit & Forum on April 28 

HISD invites parents and guardians to the 2018 Special Education Spring Parent Summit & Forum to meet with special education professionals, attend learning sessions, ask questions, and share input about special education in the district.

2018 Special Education Spring Parent Summit & Forum
Saturday, April 28, 2018
Registration: 7:30-9 a.m.
Summit & Forum: 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 W. 18th St., 77092)

Click here to register

The summit portion of the day begins at 9 a.m. and includes interactive presentations on understanding the IEP and special education process, supporting student achievement, supporting healthy parent and student relationships, and transition services. Food and child care will be provided.

Click here for a list of Parent Summit presentations 

The forum begins at 1:30 p.m. and will include a presentation on special education services available in HISD, as well as the opportunity to ask questions and share your concerns. There will be multiple ways to submit questions:

  • Ask a question during the forum portion of the meeting.
  • Submit your question electronically at the computer stations in the Hattie Mae White Lobby.
  • Email your question to SpEdSupportingParents@houstonisd.org or visit HoustonISD.org/SpecialEducation to submit a question electronically.
  • Ask your child’s school for a special education comment card, fill it out, and return it to your school’s front office, or call your school’s main office and request a comment card be mailed to you.

Click here to register. For more information, call the Special Education Parent Liaison Office at 713-556-7042 or contact SpEdSupportingParents@houstonisd.org

Report shows HISD has taken steps to improve special education program

 The American Institutes for Research (AIR) released a comprehensive new report that finds HISD has already taken specific action that will enable the district to improve outcomes for students with disabilities and implement the report’s recommendations more effectively.

The report, Special Education Program Review, was commissioned by the Houston Independent School District. The HISD Board of Education contracted AIR to assess the district’s strengths and areas in need of improvement with respect to its special education program. The results of the review were presented at the March HISD Board of Education meeting by experts from AIR. Continue reading

Parents can sign up to participate in Special Education focus group meetings

The Texas Education Agency will be conducting focus group meetings on Monday, Feb. 26 for parents of students with disabilities across age and grade levels receiving special education services.

During the 2016-2017 school year, the United States Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, performed a series of onsite monitoring visits to review Texas’ compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The final report was provided to TEA on Jan. 10, 2018.

The findings from that report require TEA to develop a plan to address four corrective actions. An integral part of the plan development process will be the gathering of input from stakeholders and other interested Texans. Continue reading

HISD celebrating Inclusive Schools Week 

HISD is celebrating Inclusive Schools Week through Dec. 8 in partnership with the Inclusive Schools Network.

This year’s theme focuses on standing up for inclusion, and the district is encouraging all schools to share photos of their inclusive schools week activities on Twitter using the hashtag #HISD2017ISW.

In particular, HISD is recognizing seven schools for their inclusivity efforts: Dogan, Lyons, Peck, and Patterson elementary schools; Tanglewood Middle School; and Lamar and Washington high schools. They will be honored at the Board of Education Meeting at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 14.

This year, the Inclusive Schools Week’s theme is “Stand Up, Sit Tall for Inclusion.” Schools, parents, and community members can take part in the celebration by downloading lesson plans, activities, and resources here.   Continue reading