Special Education

Department of Special Education

Office (210) 622-4355 Fax (210) 622-4356

Interim Executive Director Dr. Albrey Hogan
Secretary Veronica Campos
Coordinators D'Lynn Erwin Kellie Gaylor Joseph Gonzalez
Specialists Douglas Heyde Frank Hogan
Social Worker/Parent Liason Sandra Iracheta-Cruz
Clerks Monica Dimas, Cathy Ferrell Pamela Ripps
District-Wide Employees Licensed Specialist in School Psychology
Educational Diagnostician
ARD Facilitators

Programs

Life Skills

Life Skills is a specialized instruction setting for students in special education. This instructional setting is intended for students who have a moderate to severe cognitive disability, need functional academics, and daily living skills to promote independence. Students’ access grade level TEKS at the prerequisite skill level and need intensive individualized instruction in a variety of instructional settings with substantial modifications for Life Skills

Kellie Gaylor Douglas Heyde

Inclusion

SWISD uses the Inclusion model to facilitate the delivery of Specially Designed Instruction (SDI) for some students who qualify for special education. In an Inclusion classroom, two certified teachers collaborate in the planning, delivery, and monitoring of services to help students make progress in identified areas of need as outlined in each student’s Individual Education Program (IEP).

Joseph Gonzalez

ECSE

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) is any special education service for children between the ages of 3-5 which begin as early as the child's 3rd birthday. ECSE services are provided through a continuum of service options that may include "drop-in" speech therapy, in-class support, or specialized instruction as decided by the child's ARD Committee.

Douglas Heyde Frank Hogan

BMC

The Behavior Management Classroom (BMC) program specialize in supporting the individual educational needs of each student through behavioral and academic foundations. Our primary objective is to provide an environment that contributes to the acquisition of academic and pro-social behavior skills that generalize throughout all aspects of a student's life.

Frank Hogan

Speech-Language & Assistive Technology Programs

School-based speech therapy is an instructional or related service that supports the educational program for students who have a disorder in communication in one or more of the following areas: articulation, language, voice, or fluency (stuttering). School based Assistive Technology (AT) service is any service that directly assists a student with a disability in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology device. Assistive Technology support becomes a related service when a student requires a specific tool to access curriculum, compensate for their disability, and/or provide independence in various settings.

Joseph Gonzalez. Speech Contacts Douglas Heyde

Visually Impaired (VI) and Orientation and Mobility (O&M)

Teacher’s of the Visually Impaired along with Orientation and Mobility Specialists work together to meet the instructional and daily living skills of students with a visual impairment. The SWISD Special Education Department works collaboratively with campuses and our related services specialists to ensure that each student has access to the curriculum by providing such things as instruction in braille, social emotional support, daily living and independence skills as well as career and technology planning.

Rosalba Wisner, Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments

Rose Aguirre, O&M Specialist

Southwest Employment & Transition (SET)

The Southwest Employment & Transition program (SET) is designed to help students acquire a specific set of skills in alignment with their post-secondary goals. Students receiving special education services have the opportunity to experience, perform, and develop meaningful vocational skills in a "real-life" campus/community environment used as teaching tools. The SET program is directly related to the preparation of the student for paid or unpaid employment or placement in a work/day program setting.

Kellie Gaylor

Homebound Services

SWISD provides homebound services for special education students who are unable to attend because of medical reasons.

Robert Hester

Occupational & Physical Terapy (OT/PT)

Special Education PT and OT services are a related or support service to the students’ instructional program. OT/PT services support the IEP through integration of direct and indirect student interventions as well as collaboration/consultation with the educational team to provide students with access and participation in their school day.

Tiffany Lachenauer, Physical Therapist

Lorretta Gonzales,COTA

Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Southwest ISD provides a continuum of Deaf and Hard of Hearing instructional services and placements. We collaborate with industry leaders to ensure access to best practices.

Leia Edmonds

Adapted Physical Education

Special Education Adapted P.E. individualizes physical education interventions and supports in order to maximize student participation and success in physical education and lifetime leisure activities.

Leia Edmonds

Parent Information

Southwest ISD

Provides information and training throughout the year by newsletter, district information releases, and social media.


Texas Education Agency Child Find website


Child Find Flyer English


Child Find Flyer Spanish


TEA-Texas Transition and Employment Guide - Education Code 29.0112
Transition Coordinator: Kellie Gaylor



Education Service Center, Region 20

The Education Service Center - Region 20 offers a variety of parent training and webinars throughout the year.

Check out their catalog for a list of offerings for the 2020-2021 school year in English and Spanish.


Transfer of Rights Resources English


Transfer of Rights Resources Spanish


Helpful Websites:


Alamo Area Council of Governments

Morgan's Wonderland

Any Baby Can

The Arc of San Antonio

Respite Care

Legal Framework


SB2075, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides students with reading disabilities the ability to borrow audiobooks free of charge. For more information contact Dawne Benavides dbenavides@swisd.net or (210) 622-4335






Education Professional Information

Referral to Special Education The Student Data Review Guide When Considering a Referral to Special Education is designed to support school teams in reviewing and analyzing student data and information to make informed decisions regarding referrals for special education. This guide will help teams consider multiple areas that may impact the decision to proceed with a referral.

Special Education Initial Referral Timeline The Special Education Initial Referral Timeline provides an overview of the timeline and legal requirements for a referral for an initial special education evaluation from the point of campus or parent request for a referral for an initial evaluation to the initial ARD committee meeting where eligibility is determined, and may be another helpful resource for ensuring timelines and legal requirements are implemented.

Special Education Full and Individual Initial Evaluation (FIIE) Timeline. The Special Education Full and Individual Initial Evaluation (FIIE) Timeline provides an overview of the various timelines for an initial evaluation and ARD committee meetings where eligibility is determined based upon when the school district received written consent for an FIIE.

IEP Implementation and Progress Monitoring: Administrative Considerations. All special education services must be documented in a student’s individual education program (IEP). Special education services must be delivered by a certified special education professional or can be delivered in a consultative manner under the supervision of a certified special education professional. The delivery of special education services must be documented and must match the frequency, duration, and location specified in the student’s IEP.

Individualized Education Program (IEP) Annual Goal Development: Question and Answer. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) 2004 requires that all students who receive special education services have measurable annual goal(s) included in their Individualized Education Programs (IEPs).

Administrative Considerations about IEP implementation and Progress Monitoring. All special education services must be documented in a student’s individual education program (IEP). Special education services must be delivered by a certified special education professional or can be delivered in a consultative manner under the supervision of a certified special education professional. The delivery of special education services must be documented and must match the frequency, duration, and location specified in the student’s IEP.

Least Restrictive Environment. Placement is NOT: Based on category or severity of a disability, Based on types of supports needed or configuration of the delivery system, Based on the availability of educational or related services, Based on the availability of space or administrative convenience, Based on what the parent wants or what a school professional wants without consideration to the student’s needs based on his/her determined specially designed instruction (SDI), Guiding the development of the IEP goals and objectives, Based on needed modifications that cannot be provided in the general education setting.

Online modules for IEP Goal Development. This is a free online course open to all educators. It focuses on developing a standards-based individualized education program (IEP). Although all parts of the IEP will be addressed, the focus is on using the present levels of academic achievement and functional performance (PLAAFP) to create enrolled grade level, measurable annual academic goals.

Statewide Child Find, Evaluation, and ARD Supports Virtual Workshops. We are excited to offer FREE virtual workshops on a variety of pertinent topics related to child find, evaluation, and ARD supports. Certificates of attendance will only be provided to participants who attend and participate in the live virtual workshop. Certificates of attendance will not be provided for viewing of any recordings.

Upcoming LIVE Webinars. Click on this link to see a list of free webinars


Aiding students who have learning difficulties or who need Special Education or Section 504 services

For those students who are having difficulty in the regular classroom, all school districts and open enrollment charter schools must consider tutorial, compensatory, and other academic or behavior support services that are available to all students, including a process based on Response to Intervention (RtI). The implementation of RtI has the potential to have a positive impact on the ability of districts and charter schools to meet the needs of all struggling students.

If a student is experiencing learning difficulties, his or her parent may contact the individual(s) listed below to learn about the school’s overall general education referral or screening system for support services. This system links students to a variety of support options, including making a referral for a special education evaluation or for a Section 504 evaluation to determine if the student needs specific aids, accommodations, or services. A parent may request an evaluation for special education or Section 504 services at any time.

Special Education Referrals

If a parent makes a written request for an initial evaluation for special education services to the director of special education services or an administrative employee of the school district or open enrollment charter school, the district or charter school must respond no later than 15 school days after receiving the request. At that time, the district or charter school must give the parent a prior written notice of whether it agrees to or refuses to evaluate the student, along with a copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards. If the school district or charter school agrees to evaluate the student, it must also give the parent the opportunity to give written consent for the evaluation.

Please note that a request for a special education evaluation may be made verbally and does not need to be in writing. Districts and charter schools must still comply with all federal prior written notice and procedural safeguard requirements and the requirements for identifying, locating, and evaluating children who are suspected of being a child with a disability and in need of special education. However, a verbal request does not require the district or charter school to respond within the 15-school-day timeline.

If the district or charter school decides to evaluate the student, it must complete the student’s initial evaluation and evaluation report no later than 45 school days from the day it receives a parent’s written consent to evaluate the student. However, if the student is absent from school during the evaluation period for three or more school days, the evaluation period will be extended by the number of school days equal to the number of school days that the student is absent.

There is an exception to the 45-school-day timeline. If a district or charter school receives a parent’s consent for the initial evaluation at least 35 but less than 45 school days before the last instructional day of the school year, it must complete the written report and provide a copy of the report to the parent by June 30 of that year. However, if the student is absent from school for three or more days during the evaluation period, the June 30th due date no longer applies. Instead, the general timeline of 45 school days plus extensions for absences of three or more days will apply.

Upon completing the evaluation, the district or charter school must give the parent a copy of the evaluation report at no cost.

Additional information regarding special education is available from the district or charter school in a companion document titled Parent’s Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process.

Contact Person for Special Education Referrals

The designated person to contact regarding options for a student experiencing learning difficulties or regarding a referral for evaluation for special education services is D'Lynn Erwin at (210) 622-4355.

Section 504 Referrals

Each school district or charter school must have standards and procedures in place for the evaluation and placement of students in the district’s or charter school’s Section 504 program. Districts and charter schools must also implement a system of procedural safeguards that includes notice, an opportunity for a parent or guardian to examine relevant records, an impartial hearing with an opportunity for participation by the parent or guardian and representation by counsel, and a review procedure.

Contact Person for Section 504 Referrals

The designated person to contact regarding options for a student experiencing learning difficulties or regarding a referral for evaluation for Section 504 services is Dawne Benavides at (210) 622-4335.

Who can request an evaluation for special education?

A parent or guardian has the right to request a special education evaluation at any time. It is best to submit this request in writing to your school’s principal or to the school district’s special education director. If your child is pre-school age and not yet enrolled in school, send the letter to the district’s special education director. School:

If the school knows or has reason to suspect that the student has a disability and a need for special education services, the school must refer the student for a special education evaluation. More information on evaluation timelines can be found on the TEA website. A parent or guardian has the right to request a special education evaluation at any time.

Resources for Families

TEA has created topic specific information for families. Family members can call (855) 773-3839 or visit SpEdTex.org to find answers to their questions as well as general information about special education.

Texas Education Agency Child Find website


Child Find Flyer English


Child Find Flyer Spanish


Required Postings

TEA-Texas Transition and Employment Guide - Education Code 29.0112


SB2075, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides students with reading disabilities the ability to borrow audiobooks free of charge. For more information contact Dawne Benavides dbenavides@swisd.net or (210) 622-4335


Parent's Guide to the Admission, Review and Dismissal Process

Guía Para Padres


Procedural Safeguards English updated February 2021

Procedural Safeguards Spanish updated February 2021



It is the policy of the Southwest Independent School District not to discriminate on the basis of age, race, color, national origin, gender or handicap in its programs, services or activities as required by law, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation act of 1973, as amended.


Es norma de Southwest Independent School District no discriminar por motivos de edad, raza, color, origen nacional, sexo o impedimento, en sus programas, servicios o actividades, como se requieren por la ley, incluyendo el Titulo VI de la Ley de Derechos Civiles de 1964, según enmienda; el Titulo IX de las Enmiendas en las Educación de 1972 y la Sección 504 de la Ley de Rehabilitación de 1973 según enmienda.