Texas Online Prepatory School offers robust special education services to support students and meet their needs, empowering them to thrive in school and beyond. With high-quality, personalized learning and the help of teachers and support staff, students with special needs can achieve their academic goals, find their confidence, and pave a path to success.
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
Identification of Section 504 Manager
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).”
OSEP Requirement 3:
OSEP Requirement 4:
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 school and attend classes while the school gathers needed documents
- 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
Identification of American with Disabilities (ADA) Compliance Act Coordinator/Special Programs Manager
Request for Parent/Guardian Interpreter Services or Disability Accommodations
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, 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.
Privacy & Confidentiality
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.
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).