Special Education Department
The mission of the Special Education Department is to support the schools in extending and improving learning opportunities for students with disabilities in accordance with state, federal, and local policies and procedures so that students are able to participate in instruction and related services to the fullest extent. This will be accomplished by working with district offices and schools to develop and implement programs and activities that will meet the needs of disabled students and by collaborating with schools and district staff and parents to ensure that disabled students are fully included in the school’s instructional and extracurricular programs in accordance with least restrictive environment (LRE).
Aldine Independent School District proudly serves well over 4,000 students with disabilities each year. We are dedicated to providing every student with an effective Individualized Education Program in the least restrictive environment. With innovative and progressive service delivery models, nationally recognized staff, ongoing and specialized staff development and expert supervision and support, we are committed to offering not only appropriate educational services, but also services of the highest in quality.
Aldine ISD provides training in the most successful and research-based techniques in the educational field. Our leadership staff is composed of a group of experts with a variety of specialties. Additionally, many of our teachers are practiced trainers in various respected methods. Examples of current training includes:
- Positive Behavioral Supports and Interventions
- Tools for Instruction and Assessment
- Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (NCI)
- Instructional Strategies
- Standards Based IEPs
- Student Assessment
- Alternative Assessment
- Assistive Technology
- Accommodations and Modifications for the Diverse Learner
Expert Supervision and Support
The special education services department is led by a dynamic and accomplished group of program directors and specialists.
Executive Director of Special Education
Misti Babino – Structured Learning Classroom Program, Early Childhood Programs
Tracy Bailey – Graduation, Transition, Instruction – Middle and High Schools
Tommie Elmore – Related Services, Homebound
Melinda Kamm – Assessment, Play Based Assessment Team (PBAT)
Mona Miller – Speech, Compliance
Sylvia Sammons – Bilingual Evaluations, Bilingual Inclusion
Amber Srock – Deaf ED, NHC RDSPD, SHARS
Tracy Terronez – Behavior, Discipline
Terra Thompson – Instruction – EC and Elementary Schools
Bilingual Assessment Specialists
Dr. Marc Evans – LSSP
Dr. Paula Harris – LSSP
Dr. Meredith Wiese – LSSP
Dr. Erin Kitts – LSSP
Dr. John (JT) Lacy – LSSP
Dr. Verlynn Williams – LSSP
Jason Glenewinkel – Application Developer/Database Administrator
Annaliesja Webb – Online Learning Coordinator
Notice of Destruction of Special Education Records
Special education records which have been collected by the Aldine Independent School District related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of special education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for a period of seven years after special education services have ended for the student. Special education services end when the student no longer is eligible for services, graduates, completes his/her educational program at age 22, or moves from the district. After seven years, the records are no longer useful to the district, but may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for social security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc.
Each school year, Harris County Department of Education Records Management Services sends the Director of Special Programs, a certificate that alerts Aldine Independent School District of the disposal of confidential records of students who have received special education services. A copy of this certificate is forwarded to the Director of Special Education. The Medicaid Administrator prepares a notice to Aldine’s Purchasing Department and the Public Relations Department so that proper notification is given to the public.These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise.
The records are destroyed approximately two weeks after the official notice is posted.
The parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student may request a copy of the records in writing or in person at the following address:
Special Education Department
15010 Aldine Westfield Road
Aldine, Texas 77032
Attn: Katherine Seals, Executive Director of Special Education
Kathy Gray, Program Director of Special Education
Attention Deficit Disorders
- Attention Deficit Disorder Association
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders (http://www.add.org/)
- C.H.A.D.D. Children & Adults with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity (http://www.chadd.org/)
- Center for Hearing and Speech
- Hear-Say for Hearing Impaired
- Lighthouse of Houston
- Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Service
- Texas Association of Parents and Educators of the Deaf (http://www.taped.org)
- Texas Hands and Voices (http://www.txhandsandvoices.org/txhv/)
- Texas Educational Resource Center on Deafness (http://www.texasdhhresources.org/)
- Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (http://www.dars.state.tx.us/dhhs/index/shtml)
- National Association of the Deaf (http://nad.org/)
Autism & PDD Resources
- Learning Disabilities Association
- Learning Disabilities Association of Texas
- National Center for Learning Disabilities
- The ARC of Greater Houston
- Center for the Retarded, Inc.
- Down’s Syndrome Association of Houston
- The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities)
- National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI)
- Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR)
- Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)
- Shriner’s Hospitals for Children, Houston Hospital
- United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Houston
Other Health Impairments
Texas Education Agency (TEA)
- 24-hour Parent Complaints Hotline
- Complaint Process
- Mediation Process
- Special Education Hearing Officer Decisions
- Special Education Rules and Regulations (Federal and State)
- Houston Center for Independent Living
- Department of Rehabilitative Services
- Texas Workforce
- Texas Dept. of Aging & Disability Services
- Transition in Texas
Other Helpful Resources
- Advocacy Inc.
- American Diabetes Association
- Americans w/ Disabilities Act
- Bay Area Council on Drugs and Alcohol
- Booklet: A New Guide for Paraeducators, Teachers and Principals
- Booklet: Battling Teacher Burnout
- Council for Exceptional Children
- Crisis Intervention Center of Houston, Inc.
- Family to Family Network
- Information from The President’s Commission on Excellent in Special Education
- Office of Special Education Programs
- Texas Education Agency (TEA)
- Tourette Syndrome Association
- U.S. Department of Education
Continuum of Services
Innovative Service Delivery Models
Aldine ISD’s special education department is a model educational system, marked by a progressive and innovative spirit. The special education department is proud to offer a full continuum of services to meet the unique needs of each individual. The ARD/IEP team develops the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP) with the general education setting and curriculum as the reference point. For students whose IEP can best be implemented within the general education setting, an array of services is available to ensure success, including modifications, support, content mastery and/or co-teaching. The following options are available:
- Inclusion Classes: Aldine ISD is undoubtedly a frontrunner in inclusive education. Our district has a statewide reputation for successfully including students with disabilities into the general education classroom, while maintaining the support for the individual needs of all students. Districts from all over the state continuously seek direction through consultations and observations of Aldine ISD’s Inclusion Program.
- Resource Classes: Students receive instruction in one or more academic areas in order to meet their unique needs, which cannot be met through a general education classroom or curriculum.
- Gaining Appropriate Performance (GAP) Units: These classes serve students who need a highly structured behavior management system that emphasizes modifying inappropriate behaviors and teaching appropriate behavior and social skills. Structured classes generally serve students with moderate to severe emotional disturbance and/or students with other health impairments who exhibit behaviors that significantly interfere with their ability or the ability of others to benefit from instruction.
- Gaining Appropriate Performance (GAP) Center: This campus serves students who need a highly structured behavior management system that emphasizes modifying inappropriate behaviors and teaching appropriate behavior and social skills and who are not being successful on the general education campus. The GAP Center generally serves students with severe emotional disturbance and/or students with other health impairments who exhibit behaviors that significantly interfere with their ability or the ability of others to benefit from instruction.
- Psychological Consultation Counseling
- Social Work Services
- Other related services as determined by the ARD/IEP Committee
This centralized program emphasizes motor skills development, sensory skills development and language and communication training for students with Severe/Multiple Disabilities. This campus provides a highly individualized class for students with severe developmental delays and disabling conditions.
Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities
The EC/PK campuses are designed to emphasize acquisition of delayed developmental skills for children with disabilities, aged 3 to 5. Based on a child’s unique needs, the program addresses cognitive skills, receptive and expressive language, gross and fine motor skills, socialization, and self-help skills.
Students identified as having a speech impairment may receive therapy in the areas of receptive or expressive language development, articulation, fluency, voice, or augmentative/alternative communication systems.
The ARD Committee considers whether there is a need for assistive technology for every student with a disability. For students whose needs are particularly challenging, Aldine ISD has an Augmentative Communication/Assistive Technology Team which can aid with making decisions and instructing students and teachers about particular devices.
Adapted Physical Education (APE)
Each student with a disability must be afforded the opportunity to participate in the regular physical education program available to nondisabled children unless the child needs a specially designed program as prescribed in the IEP. Aldine has a strong team of APE teachers assisting students with special needs to improve or maintain their physical and motor fitness, fundamental motor skills and patterns, and skills in individual and group games.
This service is available for students who require monitoring and development of their fine motor skills in order to benefit from the educational process.
is available for students who require monitoring and development of their gross motor skills in order to benefit from the educational process.
Orientation and Mobility
is a service to assist students with severe vision loss in using strategies and specialized equipment to become acquainted with and successfully navigate a variety of environmental settings.
Services for Students with Vision Impairments
The Aldine Independent School District has a comprehensive program for students with visual impairments. This program provides educational support services for any child who has been determined by a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist to have no vision or to have a serious visual loss after correction and whose vision has been determined by a Functional Vision Evaluation and Learning Media Assessment to interfere with his/her educational programming. An eye report from the eye specialist is required that gives a diagnosis, acuity estimate, field testing, prognosis and a statement that the child has a serious visual loss after correction. The eye report needs to be forwarded to the Program Director for Students with Visual Impairments in the Special Education Department. Service delivery options are determined by the assessed needs of each student. Depending on the child’s individual needs, the appropriate placement will be determined by the Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee. Placement options range from the least restrictive environment of full time placement in the regular classroom in the student’s home school, with consultant services from a certified teacher of students with visual impairments, to the most restrictive environment of a self-contained classroom. A certified teacher of students with visual impairments provides either consultative services to the teacher or direct services to the student in the child’s classroom or instructional setting. Regardless of the child’s placement, the teacher of the visually impaired will work closely with the child, his parent, and classroom teacher to identify necessary modifications to support the child’s educational programming.
Early Childhood Intervention Services for Students with Visual Impairments (Birth through Two Years of Age): This program serves children from birth through two years of age who are blind or have a “serious visual loss” after correction, which is interfering or can be expected to interfere with normal patterns of development. Certified teachers of the visually impaired work in cooperation with staff in early childhood intervention programs. This team develops an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) which is based on the both the infant’s and family’s needs. This plan includes activities and techniques that address the impact of the visual impairment on the child’s development. The teachers of the visually impaired demonstrate these activities to the caregiver which can then be continued in the home between sessions.
Beginning at age 16, or younger if appropriate, the ARD Committee considers the transition service needs for each student with a disability. This process focuses on the student’s courses of study and any interagency responsibility or needed linkages to accommodate the student’s plans following graduation.
When a student is expected to be confined at home or in the hospital for at least four weeks, Special Education Services may provide a teacher to instruct the student in his/her home. Homebound instruction is designed to enable students to continue their coursework during extended absences so that when they return to school, they may resume their educational programs with as little interruption as possible.
Services for students with Auditory Impairments
This program provides educational support services for any child who has been determined by a licensed audiologist and otologist to have a serious hearing loss even after corrective medical treatment and/or use of amplification and cannot be adequately educated in general education classes without the provision of special education.
Regional Day School Program for the Deaf
This program serves students who qualify as having an auditory impairment and whose hearing loss interferes with the processing of linguistic information. This student’s educational performance, even with recommended amplification, is adversely affected, giving him or her a greater need for educational assistance. A student is determined eligible for this program by either an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) for students ages birth-3 years of age or by an Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee for students ages 3-21 years. The North Harris County is a Regional Dayschool program for the Deaf/Hard of hearing (RDSPD) which works in partnership with the State of Texas, Education Service Centers and local school districts through a Shared Service Agreement. due to the low incidence of hearing impairment, students may come from several districts to a central location (public school) for education services or be served by teachers who are certified to work with students who are deaf/hard of hearing on their home campuses. As part of the North Harris County RDSPD, classes for students who have auditory impairments are offered at deSantiago Early Childhood/PreSchool Center, Calvert Elementary, Rayford Intermediate, Teague Middle School and Nimitz High School. In addition to receiving instruction at the on-site campuses, students with auditory impairments may be served by itinerant teachers on the student’s home campus. Additional services may be provided by a speech pathologist, counselor and an audiologist. A student (age birth to 21) is determined to be eligible for services by the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee. The Program provides instruction in oral language, total communication, and any other mode of communication depending on the need of the student.
- Our Total Communication classrooms advocate all means of communication that gives a child with an auditory impairment the chance to develop competence with language. Such means include speech, amplification, sign language, finger-spelling, speech reading, gestures, and pantomime.
- The Auditory-Oral method mainly involves mainstream settings with amplification (FM systems), speech, speech reading without the use of sign language.
- Additional Services
- Speech pathologists who are specifically trained to work with students who are deaf/hard of hearing.
- Audiological Services
- Interpreting services are provided when needed.
- Occupational and/or physical therapy and/or counseling services are also available.
- Sign Language Classes
- Parent Infant Program
- This program serves children with auditory impairment ranging in ages from birth to 3 years of age. this service is coordinated with an Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program.
- A home-based program is utilized which is centered on the needs of both the parent(s) and the child.
- The program uses the home environment to develop language and stimulate speech and auditory skills and/or communication skills in the child.
- The SKI*HI and/or INSITE models are utilized with the children in addition to other educational programs.
- ECI program will provide services to your child and family as outlines in the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP). The ECI will provide these services directly or arrange for another agency to provide them.
- Services are provided for forty-eight (48) weeks during the year. Your child’s progress on the IFSP will be reviewed on a six-month and an annual basis. A meeting will be held with the school district and ECI program thirty days prior to your child’s third birthday from ECI to school services, Head Start or other education settings.
- Site-based Classrooms
- All classes are located in public school settings.
- Classes run from early childhood to senior high.
- Speech and auditory training is provided on all campuses.
- Students are mainstreamed in both academic and non-academic settings.
- Students may participate in Co-teach settings (a general education setting with a teacher of students who are deaf/hard of hearing).
- The high school program provides alternatives to meet students’ needs in both academic and vocational tracts.
- Itinerant Program
- This program serves students who are deaf/hard of hearing ranging in age from 3-22 years of age who attend schools within their home school districts.
- Teachers with certification in deaf education travel among the school districts to provide students with direct and/or indirect services.
- Direct services generally emphasize language development, speech and auditory training.
Tools and Supports for Accessing the General Curriculum
A systematic guide designed to provide access tools and supports for students with learning differences. These support tools are provided for students requiring accommodations and/or modifications for accessing the General Curriculum.
“Accessing the Special Education Instructional Framework” (PDF 140KB)
Step-by-step instructions on how to access the information in the Special Education Instructional Framework.
“Step-by-step Instructions” (Video)
Step-by-step instruction video on how to access the information in the Special Education Instructional Framework.
Curriculum Material (Google Drive)
File and resource depository for curriculum material sorted by grade level and subject area.
Child Find is a process designed to identify, locate, and evaluate individuals from birth to 21 years of age who may need special education and related services. If you are concerned that your child may have a disability, contact your local school district or charter school for more information about the Child Find process.
Aldine ISD Special Education Department
Region 4 Education Service Center
School districts and public charter schools must ensure that a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) is provided for children who are identified as needing special education and related services.