About Special Education Services

  • Special Services include:

    • Special Education
    • Diagnostician 
    • Related Services

    Silsbee ISD calls our program Special Services rather than “Special Education” because our purpose is to offer an array of special services, which support students and teachers in the learning process.

    Twelve percent of Silsbee ISD students have been determined to need special teaching. These special teaching efforts are supported and monitored by the Special Services Department.

    Evaluation of the needs of the student by Special Services and general education staff members and parents through the Admission/Review/Dismissal (ARD) process determines which of the smorgasbord of individual educational services are made available through the Individual Education Program (IEP). The last summative evaluation of the Special Services program indicated the teachers, administrators, parents, and students who responded to a survey were satisfied with the special services that have been designed for the individual students.

    Special Services are expected to be provided in the “least restrictive environment”. For many years, that meant that students received the special services in separate classrooms. Now, however, federal and state funds for the special services are being based on the “inclusion model” which encourages the placement of almost all students who receive special services into regular education classrooms.

    With the movement toward the “inclusion model” staff development also has to change. The focus now will be on training special education teachers to become disability specialists rather than curriculum implementers. Primary to that focus is the development of team building, cooperative planning and co-teaching skills for both special education and general education staff. Special education teachers are evolving into collaborators or specialists as pullout programs are replaced by short-term interventions and modifications to take place in the general classroom. Special education personnel will become resident campus experts to help other instructors understand and cope with the demands of a new class of students with disabilities as identified by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    In addition to the new dimensions of the least restrictive environment and the new disability categories that have been identified, special services personnel must also deal with graduation options and post-graduate transition services since students are eligible for special education services until age 22.

    Silsbee ISD’s Special Services Department schedules appointments to screen 3- or 4-year old children whose parents believe may have a learning problem.

    The screening appointment may be scheduled by calling (409) 980-7844.

    The screening is designed to identify children with potential disabilities that may qualify them for Silsbee’s special education programs. Appraisal specialists will conduct the screening.

    Parents who can answer “yes” to any of the following questions may wish to consider having their pre-school child screened:

    Language needs:

    • Are you worried because your child is not talking?
    • Are you the only one who can understand your child?

    Learning problems:

    • Is your child having difficulty learning new concepts such as color identification or counting?

    Emotional problems:

    • Does your child seem to have many fears and worries or be constantly afraid? Is he/she overly aggressive or withdrawn and unresponsive?

    Physical difficulties:

    • Does your child seem to have trouble seeing people or objects? Does your child seem to have trouble hearing voices or other sounds, or is he/she usually quiet?
    • Has a physician diagnosed your child as blind or having a severe hearing loss?
    • Is there any special health or physical problems?

    We are proud of our programs, and invite you to contact us if you wish to know more about any area of Special Education. Please feel free to call, write or e-mail.

    In the Silsbee Independent School District, we believe that all children are entitled to educational opportunities designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for maximum independence as an adult. Numerous programs are available for children with disabilities from age three through twenty-one.

    Usually, an adult close to the child will notice signs that indicate a possible disability. Perhaps the child doesn’t respond to sounds, indicating an auditory impairment. Perhaps the child is lagging behind his peers in motor skills like grasping, crawling or walking. At this point, the parent or doctor may contact the school for assistance.

    Each school has a pre-referral process that reviews all information and, if appropriate, refers the student for a comprehensive assessment. Special education staff, administer the appropriate assessment to obtain specific information about the child’s strengths and needs. An Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee will then review all of the available data, and determine whether a child qualifies for services.

    ARD is an acronym for Admission, Review and Dismissal committee. This committee, which includes the parent, administrator, teacher, and other staff familiar with the student’s needs, makes all decisions concerning the educational program/services of a student referred to or receiving special education support.

    Campus-based Special Education is a term that describes the flexible individual services/programs designed by the ARD committee to meet the needs of children with disabilities on the campus. Those services/programs include:

    Modifications or accommodations recommended by the ARD committee are implemented by the regular classroom teacher to ensure the child’s participation in that program.

    Instructional support is an instructional service model where a certified special education teacher or teacher aide works in a regular education classroom with the cooperation of the regular educator to support Special Education students in a mainstream placement. The instructional support personnel may provide direct instruction, re-teaching, modifications, collaboration, assistance or other services designed to provide support for students with disabilities and to the regular classroom teacher.

    A student with special needs may require Special Education instruction for specified content areas. A special educator provides instruction in the special education classroom.

    Through appraisal and correction, the speech-language pathologist helps students with communication disorders in the areas of articulation, language, voice, and fluency. Speech therapy services may be provided directly in a small group or in the classroom, or indirectly through consultation and monitoring.

    Vocational Adjustment Classes (VAC) are offered at Silsbee High School for Special Education students who require more support than is available in regular career and technology education programs. VAC provides classroom instruction on skills necessary to obtain and maintain employment. Students are also given the opportunity to receive specific job training and to participate in off-campus work.

    The Homebound arrangement is extended to students medically unable to attend classes on their school campus for a minimum of 4 weeks. After the attending physician recommends that the service is appropriate, and the ARD committee assigns a student to a homebound instructional arrangement. A homebound teacher will instruct the student at home.

    Related Services/Special Services are available to help students with special needs benefit from their education. When deemed appropriate by the ARD committee. Related Services/Special Services are provided.

    Those services may include but are not limited to:

    • Audiology                                                                                                                                                
    • OT/PT Services                                                                      
    • Counseling                                                                                                                                              
    • Music Therapy          
    • Speech Therapy                                                                                                                                    
    • Medical Services for Diagnostic or Early Identification & Assessment Evaluation Purposes
    • Orientation & Mobility                                                                                                         
    • School Health Services
    • Transportation                                                                                                                                         
    • Social Work Services
    • Psychological Services                                                                                                                      
    • Assistive Technology
    • Modified/ Adapted Physical Education

    In addition to Related Services/Special Services, our highly skilled staff is available to provide consultation and support services to campus staff. These itinerant staff members provide assistance on more than one school campus. They include:

    • Transition specialist Behavior Specialist
    • Educational Diagnostician Structured Learning Facilitator
    • Licensed Specialist in School Psychology Instructional Facilitator
    • Other highly specialized support staff with expertise in many educational areas is available as needed.

    Three, four, and five year olds with disabilities can participate in this instructional program. Offered on the Kirby Elementary campus, these special preschoolers receive instruction in the developmental areas of cognition, communication, motor, self-help, and social/emotional. PPCD teachers work closely with parents/caretakers through regular visits.

    We have various volunteer opportunities at the local campus level such as PTO, Campus Improvement Committee that is composed of parents, professionals, and other persons in the community interested in the education of students with disabilities. If you are interested, further information can be obtained from the Director of Special Services at 409.980.7800.

    Of course, parent involvement is the most important resource the District boasts. It is an essential and vital element of the total education process. Together, parents and the school form a team to provide quality services to our exceptional children.