Student Success Programs
Our school offers a host of services to help your student get the support they need to thrive in school and beyond. Below is a list of specific services, providers, and contact information.
Identification of English Language Learners (ELL) Manager
Districts and charter Schools are required to identify and serve English Learners (ELs) through bilingual education or English as a second language (ESL) programs (Texas Education Code (TEC) Chapter 29, Subchapter B). For further information, click HERE.
Identification of Section 504 Manager
Dr. Courtney S. Williams
1825 Lakeway Drive, Suite 400
Lewisville, TX 75057
Students may be eligible to certain accommodations or services if they have a mental or physical disability that substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program and otherwise qualify under the applicable laws. Texas Online Preparatory School (TOPS) will ensure that qualified students with disabilities have equal opportunity to participate in the school program and activities to the maximum extent appropriate for each individual student. In compliance with applicable state and federal laws, TOPS will provide students with disabilities the necessary educational services and supports they require to access and benefit from their educational program. This is to be done without discrimination or out of pocket cost to the student or family for the essential supplementary aids, services or accommodations determined to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the student's abilities and to the extent required by the laws. Click
HERE for more information related to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
Identification of Dyslexia Manager
"Texas Education Code (TEC) §38.003 defines dyslexia and related disorders, mandates testing students for dyslexia and providing instruction for students with dyslexia, and gives the State Board of Education (SBOE) authority to adopt rules and standards for administering testing and instruction. TEC §7.028(b)relegates the responsibility for school compliance with the requirements for state educational programs to the local school board. Chapter 19 of the Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §74.28 outlines the responsibilities of districts and charter schools in the delivery of services to students with dyslexia. Finally, The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, §504, establishes assessment and evaluation standards and procedures for students (34 C.F.R. Part 104)."
The Dyslexia Handbook, Revised 2021 [PDF]
The Dyslexia Handbook, revisado en 2021 [PDF]
Students with Dyslexia needs are serviced and supported following Section 504 guidelines. Texas Online Preparatory School (TOPS) will ensure that qualified students with disabilities have equal opportunity to participate in the school program and activities to the maximum extent appropriate for each individual student. In compliance with applicable state and federal laws, TOPS will provide students with disabilities the necessary educational services and supports they require to access and benefit from their educational program. This is to be done without discrimination or out of pocket cost to the student or family for the essential supplementary aids, services or accommodations determined to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtains the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the student's abilities and to the extent required by the laws. Click HERE for more information related to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Active of 1973.
Identification of Homeless Coordinator
The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, reauthorized in January 2002 as Title X, Part C, of the No Child Left Behind Act, is the primary piece of federal legislation dealing with the education of children and youth in homeless situations. Its key themes are school access and stability, support for educational success, and child-centered decision-making.
If your family lives in any of the following situations:
- In a shelter
- In a motel or campground due to the lack of an alternative adequate accommodation
- In a car, park, abandoned building, or bus or train station
- Doubled up with other people due to loss of housing or economic hardship
Your school-age children may qualify for certain rights and protections under federal McKinney-Vento Act
Your eligible children have the right to:
- Receive a free, appropriate public education
- Enroll in school immediately, even if lacking documents normally required for enrollment
- Enroll in the local school; or continue attending their school of origin (The school they attended when permanently housed or the school in which they were last enrolled), if that is your preference
- If the school district believes that the school you select is not in the best interest of your children, then the district must provide you with a written explanation of its position and inform you of your right to appeal its decision
- Receive transportation to and from the school of origin, if you request this
- Receive educational services comparable to those provided to other students, according to your children’s needs
Identification of Foster Care Coordinator
For further information on supporting students who may be impacted by foster care, click HERE.
Identification of American with Disabilities (ADA) Compliance Act Coordinator/Special Programs Manager
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities that are like those provided to individuals on the basis of race, sex, national origin, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, transportation, State and local government services, and telecommunications. Texas Online Preparatory School (TOPS) complies with all federal and state regulations regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
For further information on the Americans with Disabilities Act and Education, click HERE.
Individuals seeking to discuss accommodations the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) may contact Cynthia Cook, Special Programs Manager (email@example.com).
Request for Parent/Guardian Interpreter Services or Disability Accommodations
Professional interpreter services may be requested at any time for parents/guardians of students with disabilities by contacting either Eddie Alaniz Genis, ELL Manager firstname.lastname@example.org, or Cynthia Cook, Special Education Manager email@example.com.
Additionally, if any parent/guardian has a disability or other limitation that would impact their ability to participate fully in their child’s educational planning process, Texas Online Preparatory School (TOPS) would be happy to discuss accommodations that may be available in order to maximize the parent/guardian’s participation. Individuals seeking to discuss accommodations for this reason may contact either Eddie Alaniz, ELL Manager firstname.lastname@example.org or Cynthia Cook, Special Education Manager email@example.com.
In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requirement that all educational agencies provide parents of students with disabilities notice containing a full explanation of the Procedural Safeguards available under the IDEA and U.S. Department of Education regulations. For a copy of the current Procedural Safeguards documentation, please click HERE [PDF].
In Texas, a child’s eligibility for special education services and most of the major decisions about a child’s special education program are made by an admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee. You may also hear this group referred to as an individualized education program (IEP) team, which is the term used in federal law. If an ARD committee is formed for your child, you will be a member of that committee. Click HERE [PDF] for the Parent's Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process.
Annual Public Notice of Special Services & Programs
In accordance with federal and state regulations, Texas Online Preparatory School (TOPS) will provide an annual public notice to families informing them of TOPS's child find responsibilities, procedures involved in the identification of educational disabilities and determination of students’ service and support needs.
Families are encouraged to review the following information that describes these regulations. Information regarding TOPS's internal practices to comply with these will be available in the TOPS Special Programs Manuals and Handbooks. Click HERE [PDF] for updates in Special Education.
Texas Online Preparatory School (TOPS) strives to identify, locate, and evaluate all enrolled children who may have disabilities. Disability, as stated in IDEA, includes such conditions as hearing, visual, speech, or language impairment, specific learning disability, emotional disturbance, cognitive disability, other health or physical impairment, autism, and traumatic brain injury. The process of identifying, locating, and evaluating these children is referred to as Child Find.
As a public school, we will respond vigorously to federal and state mandates requiring the provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education regardless of a child's disability or the severity of the disability. In order to comply with the Child Find requirements, TOPS will help ensure that all TOPS students with disabilities, regardless of the severity of their disability, who are in need of special education and related services—are identified, located, and evaluated —including students with disabilities who are homeless or students who are wards of the state.
Parent/Guardian permission and involvement is a vital piece in the process. Once a student has been identified as having a "suspected disability" or identified as having a disability, Texas Online Preparatory School (TOPS) will ask the student or the student’s Parent/Guardian for information about the child such as:
- How has the suspected disability or identified disability hindered the student’s learning?
- What has been done, educationally, to intervene and correct the student’s emerging learning deficits?
- What educational or medical information relative to the suspected disability or identified disability is available to be shared with the school?
This information may be also be obtained from the student’s present or former teachers, therapists, doctors, or from other agencies that have information about the student.
All information collected will be held in strict confidence and released to others only with parental permission or as allowed by law. In keeping with this confidence, Texas Online Preparatory School (TOPS) will keep a record of all persons who review confidential information. In accordance with state regulations, parents have the right to review their child's records.
As part of the Child Find process, some services may include a complete evaluation, an individualized education program designed specifically for the child, and a referral to other agencies providing special services.
Texas Online Preparatory School (TOPS) cannot proceed with an evaluation, or with the initial provision of special education and related services, without the written consent of a student’s parents/legal guardians. For additional information related to consent, please refer to the Procedural Safeguards Notice which can be found at the Texas Education Agency (TEA) website, https://framework.esc18.net/documents/pro_safeguards_eng.pdf [PDF] or by accessing the link via the Child Find section of the TOPS website. Once written parental/guardian consent is obtained, TOPS will proceed with the evaluation process. If the parent disagrees with the evaluation results, the parent can request an independent education evaluation at public expense.
Special Education (IEP) or Service Agreements (504 Plans)
Once the evaluation process is completed, a team of qualified school personnel, parents/guardians, and other relevant service providers hold an evaluation determination meeting to come to agreement on whether the student meets eligibility for one of the disability categories under IDEA. Click HERE for information related to eligibility criteria associated with the disability categories defined under IDEA. If the student is eligible and requires specially designed instruction, an Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) committee will be gathered to construct an Individualized Education Plan (IEP); during which the ARD Committee will review and finalize the proposed details of an appropriate educational program to meet the student’s documented needs.
For students confirmed to present with special education needs, once the ARD Committee agrees on the IEP and the student’s educational placement, a Prior Written Notice (PWN) will sent to the parent/guardian for signature. This must be signed and returned to Texas Online Preparatory School (TOPS). TOPS can only proceed with implementing the student’s IEP (or 504 Plan) upon receipt of the signed PWN. Some students are found to present with one or more disability, but do not meet the eligibility criteria outlined under IDEA (Special Education); however, their disability may still require TOPS to develop a 504 Service Agreement (504 Plan) to outline the special provisions a student may require for adaptations and/or accommodations in school-based instruction, facilities, and/or activities.
Students may be eligible to certain accommodations or services if they have a mental or physical disability that substantially limits or prohibits participation in or access to an aspect of the school program and otherwise qualify under the applicable laws. TOPS will ensure that qualified students with disabilities have equal opportunity to participate in the school program and activities to the maximum extent appropriate for each individual student. In compliance with applicable state and federal laws, TOPS will provide students with disabilities the necessary educational services and supports they require to access and benefit from their educational program. This is to be done without discrimination or out of pocket cost to the student or family for the essential supplementary aids, services or accommodations determined to provide equal opportunity to participate in and obtain the benefits of the school program and extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate to the student's abilities and to the extent required by the laws. Click HERE for more information related to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Active of 1973.
Parents/Guardians have the right to revoke consent for services after initial placement. Please note, a revocation of consent removes the student from ALL special services and supports outlined on the IEP or 504 Plan. Click HERE.
Privacy & Confidentiality
To maintain privacy of students’ Special Education records, both within its central office and across school systems and databases, Texas Online Preparatory School (TOPS) follows protocols consistent with the federal regulations associated with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Click HERE for additional information about the privacy and security guidelines for your child’s educational records.
Notice of these rights is available, upon request, on audiotape, in Braille, and in languages other than English. Should you need further assistance or information regarding any of these accommodations, please contact Cynthia Cook, Special Programs Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org, or any member of your child’s TOPS team for guidance.
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Special Education Grievances or Disputes
Texas Online Prep School recognizes that despite best intentions of all parties, disagreements or miscommunications may arise between the school-based team and TOPS's families or students. Should this situation occur, the Texas Virtual Academy Special Education case manager will call an Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee meeting where the specific details contributing to any educational concern are fully discussed and addressed as the entire team determines would consider most appropriate for the student. Collaboration is a primary focus for this type of meeting, and the Texas Online Prep School Special Education Team seeks to establish and maintain the confidence of its families to always serve its students in order to maximize their educational success.
For details on how to file a complaint, please click HERE to visit the Texas Education Agency (TEA) site.
Dispute Resolution Options
IEP Facilitation – IEP facilitation is a voluntary process that can be utilized when all parties to an IEP meeting agree that the presence of a neutral third party would help facilitate communication and the successful drafting of the student’s IEP. This process is not necessary for most IEP meetings. Rather, it is most often utilized when there is a sense from any of the participants that the issues at the IEP meeting are creating an impasse or acrimonious climate.
Mediation – A voluntary process in which both parties seek to resolve the issues involved in the concern with an unbiased, third party mediator from the Texas Education Agency, click HERE. The mediator who will write up the details of the agreement that the parties come to through the mediation conference, the agreement is signed by both parties, and thus what the document states is mandated to be implemented; This process is overall less time-consuming, less stressful, and less expensive to complete than a due process hearing (see below).
Formal Due Process - Families are NOT obligated to pursue the above alternatives to due process should they feel their concerns can only be resolved through a formal due process hearing. Formal complaints against TOPS are submitted to the Texas Education Agency at https://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Contact_Us/Complaints/Complaints/.