SPECIAL POPULATIONS DEPARTMENT
Director of Special Populations, Heather Concklin
English as a Second Language Director, Laura Bolton
At BSIC, our stated mission “Brazos School for Inquiry & Creativity will collaborate with families and the community to provide a nurturing environment that will empower ALL students to be successful learners within a competitive, global society” is central to all educational endeavors, including addressing the needs of special populations.
This mission means that BSIC is committed to working with families to make sure all students get the support they need to be successful. If any student is having difficulty in the regular classroom, we will consider tutorial, acceleration, or small group instruction. Parents may also refer students for evaluation in any of the programs under the umbrella of Special Populations including (1) Response to Intervention (RTI), (2) Special Education (SPED), (3) Section 504, (4) Dyslexia Services, and (5) English as a Second Language (ESL). These programs are explained below with the appropriate District and/or Campus Contact.
BSIC uses RTI data to provide interventions for students who need academic, behavioral, or social-emotional supports.Data may consist of daily grades by the teacher, beginning or mid-year assessment results, or observation of student behavior.Following data analysis, interventions may include supports such as one-on-one tutoring, small group instruction, or peer tutoring.
Parents or legal guardians will be notified if additional referrals are recommended during the RTI process for 504 Services, or Special Education Services. Further deliberation and assessment will be undertaken with parental consent.
The Campus Principal on each campus is the contact person regarding the RTI Process
In adherence to Child Find, BSIC is responsible for identifying, locating and evaluating all students who are potentially eligible for Special Education and related services. We will seek the parent’s permission to evaluate if and when we suspect that the child has a disability or needs special education services. In addition, a parent, may any time, request in writing that his or her child be given an initial evaluation if the parent suspects learning issues. This request must be in writing and be directed to either the Campus Principal or the Director of Special Populations at the District Level.
Once the evaluation process is triggered and the evaluation completed, the Admission Review Dismissal (ARD) committee is comprised of the parent, the general education teacher, special education teacher, the campus principal, language translator if necessary, and representative who will interpret the findings of the evaluation. If the findings merit an Individual Education Plan (IEP), the ARD committee will outline the plan requirements and accommodations, and will meet to monitor progress and to make modifications if necessary. This committee will also meet to review State assessments, such as STAAR.
At Brazos School for Inquiry and Creativity, all special education students attend a general education classroom and receive push-in help from special education personnel. The student’s instruction is customized to meet his or her needs and to level the academic challenges across the student population providing FAPE for all students.
Our district is a firm believer in professional development and fostering life-long learning for all of our employees, and this belief is emphasized for special education personnel. We train our teachers in teams so that they can support each other through collaboration and planning. During the school year, our priority is to train our entire team in writing standard based Individual Education Plan goals for students, ARD and Language Proficiency Acquisition Committee (LPAC) collaboration training, and Dyslexia Screening.
Additional Information for Special Education:
The following websites and links provide information and resources for students with disabilities and their families.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a Civil Rights law aimed at supporting students who are experiencing cognitive or physical impairments that limit major educational or life activities.
A parent or guardian may request an evaluation for Section 504 Services at any time for if they feel special accommodations or services would be helpful.
Students receiving services under Section 504 are responsible for all content standards for their enrolled grade level and must meet all promotion standards to be promoted to the next grade.
Additional Information for Section 504 Services:
Dyslexia is a neurological condition; the characteristics of dyslexia include difficulty with recognizing words accurately and quickly, difficulty breaking down words, struggles with spelling and memorization. If a student is suspected of having dyslexia, he or she will be evaluated and served through either Section 504 or Special Education, depending in the student’s needs.
BSIC adheres to the Universal Screening for dyslexia in grades Kindergarten through Second Grade, as required by Texas Education Agency. If students in any grade display a pattern of characteristics of dyslexia, they may be referred for additional screening by their classroom teacher.
Once identified, BSIC students with dyslexia are served with the accommodations resources, including small group instruction, individual instruction or served by contracted services from vendors approved by Texas Education Agency.
Additional Information regarding Dyslexia from the TEA Accommodations Recourses page:
At the elementary level, BSIC supports Emergent Bilinguals (EBs) by providing services in order to develop native Spanish into fully bi-literate students
The goal of the program is to enable the Emergent Bilinguals to master listening, speaking, reading and writing in English. Teachers incorporate English Language Proficiency Standards into daily instruction and use small group instruction to aid this process.
Language Proficiency Assessment Committees (LPAC) on each campus monitors the academic progress of the Emergent Bilinguals and coordinate additional accommodations as needed. Each year, Emergent Bilinguals take the state required TELPAS (Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System) exam to monitor their level of language proficiency and progress.
BSIC encourages all classroom teachers to become certified in ESL. In addition, on each campus, BSIC has full-time certified ESL teachers to coordinate the learning accommodations for ESL students. At the District level, a Director of Special Populations (Laura Bolton) coordinates and communicates with campus personnel to make sure the Emergent Bilingual student is receiving services as needed.