Become a Special Education Leader. Applications Accepted Now!

Learn more about a MEd in Special Education Leadership through a partnership between HISD and the University of St. Thomas. Click below for more information.

002UST_Wanted_PSEL HISD-Oct014-REV

002UST_SpecialEdLeadership Fliers-Oct014-REV


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Top Three Reasons to Volunteer at Special Olympics this Week!

Reason 1:  The students

Reason 2:  The students

Reason 3:  The students

2015 HISD Special Olympics Field Day.  Thursday April 30th and Friday May 1st.  Barnett Stadium , 6800 Fairway, Houston, TX 

Read more here



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Look Who Has a New WJ-IV in Houston ISD




Get your WJ-IV here

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Have a great weekend!

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#TBT Testing History 1980 – Present

testing history

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April 22, 2015 · 12:17 pm

Measuring IEP Goals

All Houston ISD teachers and IEP service providers are using GoalBook to develop standards-based IEP goals.  GoalBook provides support in establishing the duration, condition, behavior, and criteria for academic, behavioral and speech/language goals linked to the TEKS.

What tools, however, are teachers and IEP service providers using to collect data on IEP goals, and to report IEP goal progress to teachers and parents?  Consider using rubrics.  Rubrics are a great way to standardize a “Teacher Observation” to ensure an IEP goal is measurable.

Example IEP Goal

By (date), when given a multi-paragraph, grade level text, (name) will identify (1-2) facts within each paragraph in (4 out of 5 trials) as measured by a (teacher-made rubric).

Example Rubric to Measure the Above IEP Goal.

Rubrics measure the learning process.  Grades measure the outcome.  Allow report cards to capture students grades.  Use IEP goal measurement to capture improvement in the learning process.  Rubrics are an essential data collection tool to ensure all ARD/IEP committee meetings are driven by data.

More rubrics below to measure IEP goals.

Following Directions/Behavior Rubric

Math Problem Solving Rubric

Oral Language Rubric

Would you like a rubric developed especially for you and your IEP goal?  Tweet @HISDSPED and a unique rubric will be developed for you and your IEP goal in 24 hours or less!

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Special Education Professionals are School Leaders

Special Education evaluators and service providers must be viewed as school leaders on every campus. School administrators, teachers and parents look towards Special Education professionals for expertise and guidance when making critical Individual Education Program (IEP)  decisions. The ultimate leader is one that is able to influence, not one who necessarily has authority over others. Special Education professionals will often say, “If it were my school” or, “I am not over that person” or, “It is just the way it is.” How Special Education professionals represent themselves at Admission, Review & Dismissal/IEP (ARD/IEP) meetings orally and in writing (i.e., evaluations) builds creditability.

Credibility leads to influence.

Creditability suggests how much detail the evaluator took in completing an evaluation or how much care a service provider took in documenting IEP progress. The ability to influence others is the marker of a leader. Are you an influential leader on your campus?

Check out 7 Skills to becoming an influential leader


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KTEA-3 Online Training

Additional online training is now available for the KTEA-3.  Click below for more information.



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Twice Exceptional and Accommodations in Advanced Courses

Do evaluators consider the possibility of giftedness when assessing for a disability through Special Education or Section 504?

If a student with a disability is able to access advanced coursework (i.e., International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, or Gifted and Talented), can ARD/IEP or Section 504 committees articulate the need for accommodations in these above-grade level courses?

Students with disabilities who meet requirements for accommodations based on their evaluation should receive accommodations in all settings as agreed upon by the ARD/IEP or Section 504 committee, this includes advanced level courses. While the purpose of an IEP or 504 plan is not to “solely” increase performance so a student with a disability can succeed in advanced courses, the purpose of an IEP or Section 504 plan is to level the playing field, so when given accommodations associated with the disability the student with a disability has a fair chance to access any program the school may have. This includes coursework in advanced level classes.

Read the below article on Twice Exceptional students, guidance from the Office of Civil Rights, and an article about students with disabilities at Harvard.

Gifted and Dyslexic: Identifying and Instructing the Twice Exceptional Student Fact Sheet | International Dyslexia Association

Understand recent guidance given by the Office of Civil Rights on access to advanced courses for students with disabilities.

Read about students with disabilities attending Harvard



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Dyslexia is a See-Saw Disability (Strengths and Weaknesses). Don’t Forget the Strengths!

Dyslexia is a see-saw disability.  While there are basic reading deficits associated with dyslexia, cognitive and academic strengths must also be present for a dyslexia diagnosis to exist.  Read an interesting article below reviewing new research on the brains of people with dyslexia and how dyslexia should be characterized as a difference… not necessarily a disability.  Also, read about how Richard Branson (Virgin, CEO) credits dyslexia as his greatest business advantage!

Dyslexia As a Difference Not Deficit | Dyslexic Advantage Blog

Richard Branson explains why he considers dyslexia his greatest business advantage


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