McKinney ISD

 

Special Education Services

Response to Intervention (RtI)

New federal laws have directed schools to focus on helping all children learn by addressing academic or behavior problems earlier. These laws include the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) of 2004. Both laws underscore the importance of providing high quality, scientifically-based instruction and interventions.

MISD has developed a multi-tier, early identification and intervention process provided in general education. RtI uses research-based interventions at increasing levels of intensity to support students who struggle with reading, math, or behavior. Student information and data collected from the RtI process is an essential component for determining whether a student meets eligibility as a student in need of specially designed instruction through special education.

Evaluation Services

Referral for a Full and Individual Evaluation (FIE) for Special Education Services

If a student continues to experience difficulty in the general education classroom after appropriate interventions (RtI) are provided, the student may be referred for an FIE for special education services. A referral for an FIE may be initiated by the parent or school personnel. In McKinney ISD, evaluations are completed by educational diagnosticians, licensed specialists in school psychology (LSSP), and/or speech-language pathologists. Each McKinney ISD campus is assigned a diagnostician, LSSP and speech-language pathologist. Evaluation staff may serve multiple campuses within the District. Once the school receives written consent to evaluate, the District has 45 school days to conduct the FIE and an additional 30 days to convene an Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee with the results of that evaluation. A child between the ages of three through twenty-one must meet the criteria for one or more of the disability categories listed below to be eligible for special education services:

  • auditory impairment (from birth)
  • autism
  • deaf-blindness (from birth)
  • emotional disturbance
  • Intellectual disability
  • multiple disabilities
  • noncategorical early childhood ages 3 – 5
  • orthopedic impairment
  • other health impairment
  • specific learning disability
  • speech or language impairment
  • traumatic brain injury, and
  • visual impairment (including blindness from birth)

Eligibility

Eligibility for special education services is determined based on two criteria: (1) a student must have a disability listed above, and (2) as a result of the disability, the student requires specially designed instruction that only special education can provide. As part of considering eligibility, the evaluation must determine that the student has had appropriate instruction and that the academic or behavioral difficulties can not be explained by other factors such as frequent absences, limited English proficiency, or other factors that could be the primary cause of the academic difficulties. If other factors are determined to be the primary cause of the student’s academic or behavioral difficulties, then the student would not qualify for special education services.

Reevaluation

A reevaluation must occur at least once every 3 years, unless the parent and the District agree that a reevaluation is unnecessary.

Instructional Services

Speech Therapy

Speech Therapyis an instructional service that provides speech therapy in a general education classroom or in a special education classroom. Licensed Speech and Language Pathologists assist eligible students with improving articulation, language, voice and/or fluency skills to meet their academic needs. Service may be delivered through direct, consultative or integrated delivery models. Speech Therapy is offered to any student found to be eligible for services at all MISD campuses.

Vision Services

Services for visually impaired students are instructional strategies for students whose loss of vision, even with correction, adversely affects their educational performance. Certified Teachers of the Visually Impaired provide services for students with visual impairment from birth to 21 years of age.

Service delivery is either direct or consultative and is provided to students in the least restrictive environment ranging from a one-on-one environment to inclusion in the classroom. Consultative services are also provided to educational staff and families. The scope of staff and family consultations encompasses the sharing of information regarding the student’s eye conditions; student’s needs in the classroom and at home; the provision of specialized materials; suggestions for strategies to facilitate student success; and referrals to outside agencies.

Services for Students with Auditory Impairments

Any student who has a hearing impairment which severely impairs the processing of linguistic information through hearing, even with recommended amplification, and which adversely affects educational performance will be eligible as a student with an Auditory Impairment (AI). Most students with auditory impairments are served by itinerant deaf education teachers on the student’s home campus within McKinney ISD. These services are determined by the student’s ARD committee.

McKinney ISD also participates in a Shared Service Arrangement with the Plano Regional Day School Program for the Deaf, which is a state funded program for students with hearing impairments ages 0-21. Students who use sign language, or require instruction by specially trained deaf educators, would be eligible for services at an appropriate school in the Plano Regional Day School Program. Students receiving services at the Plano Regional Day School are offered transportation services to and from school. Placement in the Regional Day School Program is determined by the student’s ARD committee.

Adapted Physical Education ( APE)

Adapted Physical Education (APE)services are provided when an evaluation conducted by an APE teacher determines that the student requires modifications to be successful in a general education physical education class. After the ARD/IEP committee has made the recommendation and the services are specified in the student’s IEP, physical education for students with disabilities may be provided in the general education P.E. class by physical education teachers, special education teachers, or paraprofessionals.

Inclusion

Inclusion is an instructional service providing special education supports to a student in the general classroom in accordance with the student’s IEP. Special education personnel (including paraprofessionals) provide direct or indirect services to the student as determined by the IEP.

Special Education Homebound Services

Homebound is an instructional service that provides special education and related services to eligible students with disabilities who are served at home or in a hospital setting. These students are served at home if a licensed physician documents that the student is expected to be confined for a minimum of four consecutive weeks due to illness. Homebound instruction may also be provided to chronically ill students who are expected to be confined for any period of time totaling at least four weeks throughout the school year as documented by a licensed physician. The student’s ARD/IEP committee will determine the amount of services to be provided to the student in this instructional arrangement.

Transition Planning

Initial planning for the transition of students from school to adult life begins when with the student is 15 and is in place by the age of 16 The plan is based on the individual student’s needs, preferences, and interests and may include instruction, related services, community experiences, development of employment opportunities and skills, and other adult living objectives.

Community Based Vocational Education delivers job-related education and training to students with disabilities in the school environment or in a typical community work setting. Students age 13 and older engage in nonpaid vocational exploration, assessment, and training experiences to identify their interests, assess their employment skills and training needs, and develop the skills necessary for paid employment.

Related Services

Related services are supportive services provided to children with disabilities to assist them in benefiting from special education and are determined based on evaluation data reviewed by the student’s ARD committee. Related services may include services such as audiology services, school health services, counseling services, occupational therapy, transportation, orientation and mobility services, and physical therapy.

Need Help?

If you need additional assistance with the content on this page, please contact McKinney ISD team member Sherri Winters by phone at 469-302-6304 or by email here .