SABINE COUNTY SHARED SERVICE ARRANGEMENT
SERVING BROADDUS, BROOKELAND, HEMPHILL & WEST SABINE ISDs
Surrounded by beautiful Lake Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend.....
PO Box 1950 Hemphill, Texas 75948
Office: 409-787-2338 Fax: 409-299-8117
Table of Contents
Shared Service Arrangement
Response to Intervention
Special Education Services
Early Childhood Special Education Ages 3 to 5
Early Childhood Intervention - Birth to 36 Months
Transition Services – 14 years and up
Sabine County Shared Service Arrangement Staff
Cassy Whitsitt, M. Ed. firstname.lastname@example.org Director of Special Education
Sandy Hanks email@example.com Medicaid Case Manager
Bobbie Strickland, M. Ed. firstname.lastname@example.org Serving Brookeland ISD Hemphill Ele.
Shelley Fisette, M. Ed. email@example.com Serving West Sabine ISD & Hemphill MS
Lucinda Jones, M. Ed. firstname.lastname@example.org Serving Broaddus ISD & Hemphill HS
Licensed Professional Counselor / Transition
Susan Matthews, M.A. email@example.com Serving all Districts
Collette Hanzel, M.S. SLP, CCC firstname.lastname@example.org Serving all Districts
Rahaf Shawakfeh, B.S, SLP Assistant email@example.com Serving Hemphill & Broaddus ISD
Medically Fragile Unit
Jasmine Blake, LVN firstname.lastname@example.org Serving all Districts
SABINE COUNTY SHARED SERVICE ARRANGEMENT SUPERINTENDENT BOARD
Broaddus ISD Lucas Holloway, Superintendent 936-872-3041
Brookeland ISD Kevin McCugh, Superintendent 409-698-2677
Hemphill ISD Stephen English , Superintendent 409-787-3371
West Sabine ISD Dr. Carnelius Gilder, Superintendent 409-584-2655
What is a Shared Service Arrangement?
Broaddus, Brookeland, Hemphill, and West Sabine ISDs have entered into a shared service agreement. A Shared Service Arrangement is when school districts jointly operate their special education programs as a shared services arrangement, in accordance with TEC, §29.007. Shared services mean that individual school districts reach out beyond themselves to maintain or enhance their educational position. The aim of sharing services is to provide pooled resources.
What is Child Find?
Sabine County Shared Service Arrangement is ready, willing, and able to identify and serve all children with disabilities residing within its jurisdiction who are in need of special education and related services. The district’s child find duties also extend to students with disabilities who are placed in private schools or home schools by their parents.
Child Find is a component of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act that requires school districts and charter schools to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities residing in the State, who are in need of Early Childhood Intervention Programs or Special Education and Related Services. Dyslexia: Along with state and local requirements to screen and identify students who may be at risk for dyslexia, there are also overarching federal laws and regulations to identify students with disabilities, commonly referred to as Child Find. Child Find is a provision in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a federal law that requires the state to have policies and procedures in place to ensure that every student in the state who needs special education and related services is located, identified, and evaluated. The purpose of the IDEA is to ensure that students with disabilities are offered a free and appropriate public education (20 U.S.C. §1400(d); 34 C.F.R. §300.1). Because a student suspected of having dyslexia may be a student with a disability under the IDEA, the Child Find mandate includes these students. If a parent believes their child may be in need of special education services and/or dyslexic, please contact Sabine County Shared Service Arrangement at 409-787-2338. Request to speak to the Director of Special Education or the Educational Diagnostician. Families may also request a special education/dyslexia evaluation at any time through the Campus Principal or the child's teacher.
Who can begin the Child Find process?
Anyone can begin the process: a parent/guardian, doctor, teacher, relative, or friend.
Response to Intervention
Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-tier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs. The RTI process begins with high-quality instruction and universal screening of all children in the general education classroom. Struggling learners are provided with interventions at increasing levels of intensity to accelerate their rate of learning. These services may be provided by a variety of personnel, including general education teachers, special educators, and specialists. Progress is closely monitored to assess both the learning rate and level of performance of individual students. Educational decisions about the intensity and duration of interventions are based on individual student response to instruction. RTI is designed for use when making decisions in both general education and special education, creating a well-integrated system of instruction and intervention guided by child outcome data. For RTI implementation to work well, the following essential components must be implemented with fidelity and in a rigorous manner:
https://tea.texas.gov/academics/special-student-populations/special-education/resources Resources Dyslexia, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ,
Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, Section 504
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, also known as IDEA, is a federal law that gives eligible students with disabilities the right to receive special education services and assistance in school. To be eligible for special education services, a student with a disability must need instruction that is specially designed to meet the student’s unique needs based on that disability. The process and procedures for initiating a referral for evaluation for special education services are found in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and TEC Sec. 29.004.
Parents of students with disabilities can request compensatory services for students who were previously denied an appropriate Full Individual and Initial Evaluation (FIIE) or whose FIIE was delayed.
https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/Comp_Services_One_Pager_Sept_2021_ACC.pdf Delayed or Denied Evaluation - Compensatory Services
https://tea.texas.gov/sites/default/files/Comp_Services_One_Pager_Sept_2021_SPANISH_ACC.pdfDelayed or Denied Evaluation - Compensatory Services - Spanish
Dyslexia is a learning disability in reading. People with dyslexia have trouble reading at a good pace and without mistakes. They may also have a hard time with reading comprehension, spelling, and writing, not caused by intelligence. Therefore, when referring and evaluating students suspected of having dyslexia, LEAs must follow procedures for conducting a full individual and initial evaluation (FIIE) under the IDEA. Regardless of the grade level, students suspected of having Dyslexia will be referred for a Full Individual and Initial Evaluation (FIIE) through Special Education. Once the referral is made, data will be collected, The parents and teachers will meet with the diagnostician to obtain informed consent for the FIIE through Special Education.. If the parent consents, the process will proceed with the FIIE by the special education diagnostician. This will encompass the testing for Dyslexia as well as other cognitive and achievement assessments. The educational diagnostician will receive signatures the parent received Procedural Safeguards; Explained the full individualized evaluation process; Sign a Prior Written Notice they have declined testing by the special education department. Moving forward, when a teacher suspects a student of having Dyslexia, or a parent request Dyslexia testing, the 504 Coordinator and campus educational diagnostician needs to be informed. Required data and documentation on the student will be collected for their review. The campus diagnostician and dyslexia coordinator will set a meeting with the referring teacher and the parent to discuss parental rights and responsibilities concerning the FIIE. Once the parent has consented to or denied a Full Individual and Initial Evaluation (FIIE) through Special Education, the evaluation process will proceed and will be completed based on the determined pathway. IDEA contains a clear mechanism for parents/guardians to reject eligibility (by way of refusing consent for initial special education placement or revoking consent for continued special education and related services). See 34 C.F.R. 300.300(b)(4). Section 504 has no similar regulation. Without an eligibility identification of dyslexia, the LEA may still provide appropriate tiered interventions relevant to the 2 student’s needs. Parental notification is required when a student receives assistance from the school district for learning difficulties, including intervention strategies that the school district provides the child. Please refer to https://tea.texas.gov/WorkArea/DownloadAsset.aspx?id=2147500270
As with all disabilities, the ARD committee (which includes the child’s parents) determines whether the child is a child with a disability under the IDEA and the educational needs of the child. For students with a specific learning disability, including dyslexia, the ARD committee must determine if the student requires specially designed instruction as a result of the disability on a case-by-case basis using information gathered as part of the full individual and initial evaluation (FIIE). Specially designed instruction means adapting the content, methodology, or delivery of instruction to address the unique needs of the child that result from the child’s disability and to ensure access of the child to the general curriculum. There are a variety of ways to meet the needs of students with dyslexia
All dyslexia evaluations flow through a single referral entry point that begins with seeking parental consent to evaluate under IDEA. LEAs must seek informed parental consent and provide proper notice and a copy of the procedural safeguards when the LEA refers a student for a full individual and initial evaluation (FIIE) because dyslexia and a need for dyslexia instruction are suspected. Dyslexia evaluations under 504 should be a rare occurrence.
Sabine County Shared Service Arrangement assures the educational diagnosticians have completed the Texas Dyslexia Academy: Module 2 - Handbook Overview as required by the state.
Dyslexia Handbook 2021
Special Education Services
Each child’s individual needs will be addressed on an individualized basis by a team consisting of a parent(s) or guardian, a campus principal, a person who can interpret evaluation data, teacher(s), and the student (if appropriate). The team will review evaluation information, discuss eligibility, identify areas of need for specialized instruction, including related services (such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, or counseling), and develop a plan to fit the needs of the child.
The term “child with a disability” means the child must meet eligibility criteria for at least one of the 13 disabilities specifically outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and, as a result of the disability, has a need for specially designed instruction that can only be provided through special education.
Disability categories include the following:
Auditory Impairment* Autism Deaf-Blind* Emotional Disturbance
Intellectual Disability Learning Disability Multiple Impairment Other Health Impairment
Orthopedic Impairment Speech/Language Impairment Traumatic Brain Injury Visual Impairment*
How much do services cost?
All services are provided at no cost to the individual or parents. https://www.spedtex.org/
Who do I contact?
If you are concerned about a child’s learning, contact your child's school principal or SCSSA Special Education at (409) 787-2338.
The Texas Education Agency (TEA) is committed to ensuring that every local education agency (LEA) in the state meets federal and state statutory requirements. In October of 2020, the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) required the TEA to make specific changes to Texas’ Notice of Procedural Safeguards and Parent’s Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process. The TEA has made those changes and provided all Texas LEAs access to the updated versions of these documents. Additionally, OSEP has asked that all Texas LEAs provide the updated versions of these documents to the families who had been provided with the previous versions of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards and the Parent’s Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process during the 2020-2021 academic year.
Resolution Dispute Guide
Legal Framework - Policy & Procedures
Early Childhood Special Education - Ages 3 to 5
In Texas, the school district Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) provides special education and related services for eligible children with disabilities ages 3-5. ECSE refers to the services provided by the school district, not to the place where they are provided. Eligible children may receive ECSE services in a variety of settings such as pre-kindergarten, resource, and self-contained classrooms or in community settings such as Head Start and pre-school.
Early Childhood Intervention - Birth to 36 Months
In Texas, children between the ages of birth and 36 months can receive services from Early Childhood Intervention ("ECI") if their children need additional support to meet developmental milestones in areas such as language, motor development, adaptive behaviors such as feeding, or learning and play skills.
How do I get in touch with ECI?
Anyone who has a concern about a child’s development can make a referral to ECI — a parent, a grandparent, a daycare provider, a pediatrician, or a health care worker. A referral does not have to be made by a professional. To find a local program near you, visit https://citysearch.hhsc.state.tx.us/(link is external) or you can call the HHS Office of the Ombudsman at 877-787-8999. https://www.hhs.texas.gov/services/disability/early-childhood-intervention-services
Transition Services - 14 years and up
Susan Matthews, Transition & Employment Designee - 409-787-2338
Transition services and activities must be included in the development of the IEP no later than the first IEP to be in effect when the student turns 16, or younger if determined appropriate by the IEP Team, and must include appropriate measurable postsecondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and where appropriate, independent living skills.
The Texas Administrative Code (TAC) describes the following nine issues important to the development of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for students receiving special education services.
Appropriate student involvement in the student's transition to life outside the public school system
If the student is younger than 18 years of age, appropriate parental involvement in the student's transition
If the student is at least 18 years of age, appropriate parental involvement in the student's transition if the parent is invited to participate by the student or the school district in which the student is enrolled.
Any post-secondary education options
A functional vocational evaluation
Employment goals and objectives
If the student is at least 18 years of age, the availability of age-appropriate instructional environments
Independent living goals and objectives
Appropriate circumstances for referring a student or the student's parents to a governmental agency for services
Transition & Employment Guide
Mental Health Resources:
https://texassuicideprevention.org/ Mental Health
Special Education Referrals
https://tea.texas.gov/academics/special-student-populations/special-education/non-educational-community-based-support-services Community Based Support Services
https://tea.texas.gov/academics/special-student-populations/special-education/programs-and-services/state-guidance/guidance-on-parentally-placed-private-school-children-with-disabilities Private School Placement - Children with Disabilities
https://www.spedtex.org/ Family / Student Resources
https://sses.tea.texas.gov/ Supplemental Special Education Services
https://crcg.hhs.texas.gov/ Community Resource Coordination Groups
https://bootcamp.cvn.columbia.edu/blog/free-resources-for-children-with-communication-disorders/ Speech, Hearing, and Language Disorders: 40 Free
Student Handbook Statement
Texas Transition and Employment Guide
SB 139 Notice to Families
IDEA, Dyslexia, MTSS, and Section 504
Dyslexia Handbook 2021
SPEDTex Logo, Hyperlink, Description, and Contact Information
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Grant assurances: https://tea4avcastro.tea.state.tx.us/eGrants/21-22/22660001/errata1.pdf
IT TAKES A SPECIAL TEACHER TO HEAR WHAT A CHILD CANNOT SAY