Texas Dyslexia Handbook November 2018

The revisions to the handbook was approved by the SBOE in November 2018. According to TEA “The updates address recent legislative changes and clarify processes regarding identification and services for students, including students with dysgraphia. The updated Dyslexia Handbook is effective immediately.”

Click here to for more information and to download your copy.

Toolbox Tips for Parents #8: Back-To-School

back-to-schoolI was in Wal-Mart earlier this week and noticed that school supplies are already making their way into the shopping carts of parents.  I thought now would be a good time to give some back-to-school tips to help parents be prepared for the upcoming school year. Continue reading

U.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance on Civil Rights of Students with ADHD



According to a press release  from the U.S. Department of Education’s  Office of Civil Rights (OCR) The guidanceContinue reading

Q&A: Section 504


Today, I am going to address three frequently asked questions regarding Section 504 services.

The school says that my child must be failing to be considered for §504 Services.

Your child does not need to be failing his or her classes in order to be considered for eligibility for services under §504. 34 C.F.R. §104.34(c) states that schools should draw upon a variety of sources including “aptitude and achievement tests, teacher recommendations, physical condition, social and cultural background, and adaptive behavior.” Continue reading

Homework Log: A Tool to Help Prepare for School Meetings

Homwork Pic

One way you as a parent can monitor and communicate with your child’s school about the progress your child is making is to keep a Homework Log.  This log should contain the name of the assignment, how long it took them to complete the assignment, accommodations used, the level of parental support and a spot for notes and observations.  You can even add columns for the date the assignment was due, turned in, and the grade.

When filled out on a consistent basis this log can provide valuable information to your child’s team when it comes time to making changes to their accommodations.  This log will show the team if your child is taking longer than expected to complete assignments, how much help they are receiving from you, and if the accommodations are working successfully or not.  Changes to your child’s current accommodations or new accommodations can be made based off this log.

If you are trying a new accommodation at night and your child has been successful using it, this log can help show the school that the accommodation is working and should be implemented in the classroom as well.

More Tools to Help Prepare for School Meetings:

Section 504, Education, and Student Rights

section504outIn my previous blog post I detailed the rights of parents under Section 504.  In today’s post I am going to list the rights students have under Section 504.  This post only applies to elementary and secondary schools.

  1. Your child has the right to an appropriate education designed to meet his or her individual needs as adequately as non-disabled students (34 CFR 104.33)
  2. Your child has the right to free educational services, except for fees that non-disabled students and/or parents are required to pay.  (34 CFR 104.33)
  3. You child has a right to participate in an educational setting (least restrictive environment) with non-disabled students to the maximum extent appropriate to his or her needs.  This includes both academic and non-academic settings.  (34 CFR 104.34)
  4. Your child has a right to facilities, services, and activities that are comparable to those provided for non-disabled students. (34 CFR 104.34)
  5. Your child has a right to an evaluation prior to Section 504 determination of eligibility.  (CFR 104.35)
    1. Evaluation Procedures:
      1. Tests and other evaluation materials have been validated for the specific purpose for which they are used and are administered by trained personnel in conformance with the instructions provided by the provider;
      2. Tests and other evaluation materials including those tailored to assess specific areas of educational need and not merely those which are designed to provide a single general intelligence quotient; and
      3. Tests are selected and administered so as to best ensure that, when a  test is administered to a student with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills, the test results accurately reflect the student’s aptitude or achievement level or whatever other factor the test purports to measure, rather than reflecting the student’s impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills (except where those skills are the factors that the test purports to measure).
    2. Placement Procedures:
      1. The school system will consider information from a variety of sources as appropriate, which may include aptitude and achievement tests, grades, teacher recommendations and observations, physical conditions, social or cultural background, medical records and adaptive behavior;
      2. Procedures are established to ensure information obtained from all such sources is documented and carefully considered; and
      3. Placement decisions are made by a group of persons, including persons knowledgeable about your child, the meaning of the evaluation data, placement options, and the legal requirements for least restrictive environment and comparable facilities and that the placement decision is done in conformity with  CFR 104.34.
  6. If your child is eligible under Section 504, your child has a right to periodic reevaluation. (CFR 104.35)

Section 504, Education, and Parent Rights

section504Parents and children who receive services under Section 504 have several rights though they are not as specific and fewer as the rights of parents and children receiving special education services under the IDEA.  It is important to know both your rights and your child’s rights.  Today’s post will list your rights as a parent.

Your rights as a parent:

  1. You have the right to be informed of your rights under Section 504 by the school district.  (34 CFR 104.32)
  2. You have to right to receive notice of any action taken by the district in regards to identification, evaluation, or placement of your child. (34 CFR 104.36)
    1. Parents do no have to be invited to the Section 504 meeting.  The school only has to notify you that a plan has been developed for your child.   This plan does not have to be in writing.
  3. You have the right to examine relevant records pertaining to your child. (34 CFR 104.36)
  4. You have a right to an impartial hearing. (34 CFR 104. 36)
    1. File a complaint with your district’s Section 504 Coordinator; or
    2. File a complaint with the regional office of the Office of Civil Rights.

Unlike with IDEA if you do not agree with the plan the school develops you are not given an opportunity to disagree at the meeting or on the paperwork.  If you do not agree with what the school district has developed you will need to file a complaint.

If your child is or will be receiving Section 504 services, you should request a copy of your school district’s Section 504 Policies. In Texas, most school districts invite parents to attend Section 504 meetings.  Your school district’s policies should specify whether or not they invite parents to the meetings and how they allow parents to participate.