Category Archives: Special Education

Program for the deaf opens up a vibrant world of learning, opportunity


Yordana Bridger says her daughter Abbi, a deaf-education student at Wilson Montessori, has blossomed thanks to the
Region 4 Regional Day School Program for the Deaf housed at the campus.

Before the morning bell rings at HISD’s Wilson Montessori, Yordana Bridger places a red hearing aid into the right ear of her five-year-old daughter Abbi and sends her off for another day of learning.  

Communication is often key to learning, but for students like Abbi it can be just one of the many challenges they face at school. However, since enrolling at the age of 3 in the Region 4 Regional Day School Program for the Deaf (Region 4 RDSPD) housed at Wilson, Abbi has blossomed. 

“We’d be lost without this program,” Bridger said. “Because of all of the services offered to Abbi and our family, we are able to make her life better.” 

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HISD to hold Parent Leadership Conference on Oct. 26

The Houston Independent School District’s Office of Special Populations will hold its annual Parent Leadership Conference for parents to learn supports and strategies that will help students to be successful – academically, socially, and emotionally.  

The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 26 at the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center (4400 W 18th St., 77092). The conference is designed for parents and guardians of HISD students.  

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Nutrition Services partners with HISD transition programs to help students with disabilities

Leticia Resendiz spends her weekdays at Seguin Elementary School, carefully preparing and serving wholesome meals to eager students.  

A dedicated employee, she carefully reviews the instructions of every recipe and always remembers to follow health and safety regulations. 

“I’m happy with this job,” Resendiz said. “I love giving the kids their breakfast and lunch. Everyone is so nice to me.” 

Resendiz is one of four food service attendants hired by Nutrition Services in partnership with two transition programs — HISD-HCC Lifeskills and HISD/HEART (Housing, Entrepreneurship, and Readiness Training).  

The programs are designed to help HISD special education students who have met all academic and course requirements for graduation but require transition services to complete their Individualized Education Program.  

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Notice of Destruction of Special Education Records

Special Education records that have been collected by the Houston Independent School District (HISD) related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of Special Education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for a period of five years after Special Education services have ended for the student.

Special Education services end when the student is no longer eligible for services, graduates, completes his or her educational program at age 22, or moves from the district. 

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HISD’s annual Special Education Conference planned for July 16-18

The Houston Independent School District’s Office of Special Education will hold its sixth annual Special Education Conference in July for parents and educators to share supports and strategies that help students with disabilities to be successful – academically, socially, and emotionally. 

The conference will be held from 7:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16 and Wednesday, July 17 at Kingdom Builders’ Center (6011 W Orem Dr., 77085). On Thursday, July 18, leadership teams will create action plans from 8 a.m. to noon. A job fair will also be held on Thursday afternoon from 1 to 4 p.m.

The conference is designed for parents, guardians, educators, and community members of the Houston Independent School District.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Cultivating a Global Perspective, Tapping into the Potential of Unique Learners.” 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.  

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HISD to host Special Education Spring Parent Summit on April 27 

The Houston Independent School District’s Office of Special Education Services will host its Spring Parent Summit on Saturday, April 27 at five locations throughout the district.   

Parents and guardians are invited to attend and meet with special education professionals, attend learning sessions, ask questions, and share input about special education in the district. The event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with registration beginning at 8:30 a.m.  

At each site, there will be entertainment from local schools, an art exhibit and a vendor/resource fair for parents.   

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‘Light It Up Blue’ in honor of Autism Awareness Month

Light It Up Blue is the annual kick-off event for Autism Awareness Month, and members of the HISD community are encouraged to wear blue on Tuesday, April 2 (World Autism Awareness Day), to help spread the word. 

World Autism Awareness Day is internationally recognized on April 2 every year and is meant to raise awareness about people with Autism Spectrum Disorder and to educate the public about autism.  

The entire month of April is World Autism Month, and people around the globe are encouraged to #LightItUpBlue to show support and understanding for those with autism. Learn more about how to Light It Up Blue here

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Special Olympics Field Days rescheduled for March; volunteers needed

Editor’s note: Due to the threat of inclement weather, the Special Olympics Field Days rescheduled for March have been postponed. When new dates are established, they will be communicated.

The sixth annual Special Olympics Field Days, which was postponed in November because of inclement weather, are now scheduled for March, and HISD needs volunteers for the upcoming event.

Field Days give students with intellectual and developmental disabilities a chance to showcase their athletic skills by taking part in fun athletic contests. The friendly competition includes basketball, tennis, soccer, and track and field for all ages, as well as flag football for high-schoolers.

Middle-school students will have their events on March 6, while high school students will participate on March 7. Then elementary students get their Special Olympics Field Day on March 5.

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Organization identifies HISD as leader in dyslexia intervention  

HISD is leading the way on how dyslexia is identified and addressed at the district and school levels, according to a recent report released by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB).

In April 2018, SREB spent time with the HISD Dyslexia Program Support Services Office and asked them to share their experiences regarding changing dyslexia practices. According to the report, through leadership dyslexia training with Neuhaus Education Center (NEC) — a nonprofit organization devoted to evidence-based training and support for reading — at the district and school levels, HISD can readily determine if a student is dyslexic and then quickly provide early intervention.

“Houston ISD chose to work with Houston-based NEC to train regional and campus-based dyslexia specialists and interventionists,” the report states. “Some elementary schools in the district also work more directly with Neuhaus to try to prevent reading difficulties early by training classroom teachers to incorporate structured language teaching into their daily reading instruction.”  Continue reading

Special Olympics Field Days postponed due to inclement weather

The Houston Independent School District Special Olympics Field Days planned this week (Tuesday, Nov. 13 through Nov. 15) at Butler Stadium will be rescheduled due to inclement weather.

HISD officials have closely monitored the weather forecast and determined that lower temperatures may impact the district’s Special Olympics event. As a result, Special Olympics Field Days will be rescheduled at a later date.

The event, which is held in partnership with Special Olympics Texas, gives students with intellectual and developmental disabilities a chance to showcase their athletic skills by taking part in fun athletic contests. The friendly competition includes basketball, tennis, soccer, and track and field for all ages, as well as flag football for high-schoolers.