Special Education

  • WISD is committed to meeting the needs of students receiving special education services. Remote instruction will be provided with fidelity and in a manner commensurate with each individual education plan (IEP). Related services, speech therapy, and itinerant instruction will be provided remotely through teletherapy, or the parent will be given the option to bring their child to the school for services.

    WISD is committed to meeting the needs of students receiving special education services and supports.  Teachers and case managers will provide virtual resources and virtual instructional support, including ways to modify content and accommodate remote learning activities.

    Personalized support for students receiving special education services including Resource, Inclusion, Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), Behavior & Social/Emotional Support (SAIL), Functional Academics (ASPIRE & ACHIEVE), and 18+ (ACCESS) will be provided both synchronously and asynchronously. Teachers and case managers will provide resources and instructional support, including ways to modify content and accommodate remote learning activities. Support may be provided to students in the following ways:

    • Campus schedules will be designed to ensure that inclusion and resource support is still possible in a remote setting.
    • Special education teachers will partner with general education teachers through Seesaw or Canvas to provide accommodations and modifications following each student’s IEP and remote learning plan.
    • Synchronous small group instructional time is included in each grade level schedule and may be used to provide targeted instruction and support for students.
    • Digital resources may be assigned as asynchronous instruction to create instructional pathways aligned to the student's identified learning needs.

    All services and supports will be provided virtually and not delivered in the home. It may be necessary to have a parent, guardian, or adult available in the home and with the student during synchronous and asynchronous instructional time to support learning. It is essential to carefully consider the child's needs when deciding on remote or in-person instruction. 

Special Education Evaluations

  • Child Find

    Special education referrals will continue to be initiated for students who are in a remote learning environment or on campus. Early Childhood Intervention and WISD will hold transition conferences through zoom. For preschool-aged children, referrals can be submitted by calling the Special Education department at 254-755-9569.  School-age referrals will continue to be made through the school, parents/guardians, or others concerned that a child might have a disability by contacting the classroom teacher, counselor, or campus administrator. 

    Referrals for Special Education Evaluations

    A referral can be initiated for a student who is participating in remote learning by contacting the student’s teacher or campus administrator.  Please request in writing and submit to the teacher or administrator via email  Please also cc Cathy Parker on the email at cathy.parker@wacoisd.org.

    Initial and Re-Evaluation Assessments

    On-campus evaluations will be offered to parents/guardians for Initial and re-evaluation assessment sessions. If parents/guardians opt-out of in-person evaluation sessions, the assessment staff will work with them to determine which portions of the evaluation can be conducted virtually. 

    Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Meetings

    All ARD meetings will be held via Zoom to comply with timeline requirements and health and safety recommendations. As campuses reopen, parents and guardians will continue to be offered the opportunity to participate in their students’ ARD meetings virtually.

    Continuum of Services/Supports

    WISD will provide a broad continuum of services to meet the needs of all students. Special Education case managers will contact parents/guardians to discuss a Remote Learning Plan. After discussion, the Diagnostician/LSSP will determine if an ARD needs to be held or if the Remote Learning Plan can be agreed upon through an IEP Amendment. The Remote Learning Plan will ensure that the student receives various services and supports progress in the general education curriculum and toward individualized student goals as outlined in the IEP, to the maximum extent possible. Services will continue to be provided in both synchronous and asynchronous remote learning environments. If the student returns to face to face instruction, the most recent IEP will go back into effect. 

Supports & Services

  • Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)

    Students in the ECSE program will engage in synchronous and asynchronous instruction with accommodations or modifications as agreed upon in the IEP and Remote Learning Plan. Students requiring tangible resources that were previously utilized in the classroom environment will be given the opportunity to coordinate with their campus and classroom teacher to receive these items in the home to reinforce learning.

    Inclusion

    Special education teachers will work collaboratively with general education teachers to support the student’s IEP and Remote Learning Plan during remote learning. Special education teachers will promote student engagement in the virtual classroom and develop virtual activities with the general education teacher. The scheduled time for inclusion support will be provided synchronously as outlined in the IEP and Remote Learning Plan to the maximum extent possible.

    Resource

    The scheduled time for resource classes will be provided synchronously as outlined in the IEP and Remote Learning Plan to the maximum extent possible. In rare instances, asynchronous lessons will be utilized to implement the IEP.

    Functional Academics (ASPIRE & ACHIEVE)

    Students participating in the ASPIRE & ACHIEVE programs will access asynchronous or synchronous instruction and connect with their teacher via digital learning platforms such as SeeSaw, Canvas, and Zoom, as outlined in the IEP and Remote Learning Plan. Teachers will use the district’s alternate curriculum and resources, such as Unique Learning System|N2Y, STAR Autism Support, Room 14, Room 28, and Let’s Go Learn, to develop accessible instruction while working remotely. Many of the programs/resources used in the alternative curriculum have a virtual learning component. Additional resources will be used to develop and reinforce student learning. Students requiring tangible resources that were previously utilized in the classroom environment will be given the opportunity to coordinate with their campus and classroom teacher on receiving these items to reinforce learning in the home. 

    Behavior and Social/Emotional Support (SAIL)

    Behavior support teachers and staff will provide synchronous and asynchronous behavior support services to support the IEP and Remote Learning Plan provision to the maximum extent possible during remote instruction. This includes assisting teachers with: 1) incorporating behavioral best practices in the virtual learning environment; 2) consulting and collaborating with parents/guardians as needed on behavioral strategies to support virtual learning in the home environment; and 3) implementing behavior accommodations and modifications for supporting the learning environment by incorporating behavioral best practices.

    Students will be offered synchronous Social and Emotional instruction in alignment with their IEP and Remote Learning Plan to the maximum extent possible. If a student cannot participate in synchronous instruction, asynchronous instruction will be offered as an alternative. Social skills support will be held to encourage appropriate communication and interaction with others.

    Speech/Language

    If appropriate, direct speech services will be provided synchronously using the Zoom platform, or the parent/guardian may choose to bring their student to the school to receive face to face speech therapy as outlined in the IEP and Remote Learning Plan. Indirect/consult speech services will also be provided by a speech-language pathologist (SLP) or speech-language pathologist assistant (SLPA). Indirect/consult speech services can include but are not limited to the following activities with a parent/guardian, special education teacher, general education teacher, and related service provider: materials and resources, phone calls, emails, and video conferencing.