Special Education is a new world filled with many opportunities to support you and your child’s academic, physical and social emotional growth. It is also a world that can feel overwhelming to our families. Clear Creek ISD is here to help navigate the formalities and unfamiliar vocabulary that can seem complicated in the beginning.
In accordance with federal and state laws, CCISD provides special education to students who are evaluated with a Full, Individual Evaluation (FIE) and determined by an Admissions, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee to meet the Texas Education Agency (TEA) eligibility criteria as having a disability condition and to need specialized instruction to receive a free and appropriate education (FAPE) in the student’s least restrictive environment (LRE).
Special Education in CCISD provides resources to campuses which support meaningful learning opportunities for eligible students with disabilities in accordance with state, federal, and local policies.
Special Education services are specially designed to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities. They are provided in special education or general education settings with accommodations, modifications, special education support, and/or supplementary aids and services.
Students ages 3-21 must meet one or more of the eligibility requirements listed below in order to receive special education services:
- Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Emotional Disturbance
- Intellectual Disability
- Non-categorical Early-Childhood
- Orthopedic Impairment
- Other Health Impairment
- Specific Learning Disability
- Speech or Language Impairment
- Traumatic Brain Injury or
- Visual Impairment
- Child Find & Evaluation
- Early Childhood Intake Center
- Assurance Statement of Educational Rights
- Special Education Programs and Services
- Parent Student Engagement
- Transition & Employment Guide
The Clear Creek Independent School District has special services available to eligible infants, children, and young adults identified with a disability.
Federal and State laws require that school districts maintain a Child Find system and processes for identifying, locating and evaluating individuals with disabilities (birth through 21 years of age) within its jurisdiction who are in need of special education or related services.
CCISD’s Child Find efforts include advertising the availability of services through the media, public notices, community health fairs and letters to private schools, physicians and public gathering places such as community libraries.
Who does Child Find apply to?
Child Find is a federal mandate under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It requires local education agencies (LEAs), which include public school districts and charter schools, to identify, locate, and evaluate all children with disabilities residing within their jurisdictions who need special education and related services. (34 CFR §300.111—Child find)
The above-described persons are entitled to a comprehensive evaluation to determine if their disability qualifies them for special education and related services to be provided through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) and to rules of the Texas State Board of Education.
Autism means a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experience. Autism does not apply if a child’s education performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an emotional disturbance.
Deaf-blindness means concomitant hearing and visual impairments, the combination of which causes such severe communication and other developmental and educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for children with deafness or children with blindness.
Deafness means a hearing impairment that is so severe that the child is impaired in processing linguistic information through hearing, with or without amplification that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
Deaf or Hard of Hearing means an impairment in hearing, whether permanent or fluctuating, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance but that is not included under the definition of deafness in this section.
Emotional Disturbance means a condition exhibiting one or more of the following characteristics over a long period of time and to a marked degree that adversely affects a child’s educational performance:
- An inability to learn that cannot be explained by intellectual, sensory, or health factors.
- An inability to build or maintain satisfactory interpersonal relationships with peers and teachers.
- Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances
- A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression
- A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems. Emotional disturbance includes schizophrenia. The term does not apply to children who are socially maladjusted, unless it is determined that they have an emotional disturbance.
Intellectual Disability means significantly sub-average general intellectual functioning, existing concurrently with deficits in adaptive behavior and manifested during the developmental period, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
Multiple Disabilities means concomitant impairments (such as mental retardation-blindness or mental retardation-orthopedic impairment), the combination of which causes such severe educational needs that they cannot be accommodated in special education programs solely for one of the impairments. Multiple disabilities do not include deaf-blindness.
Non-categorical Early Childhood (NCEC), under the Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEA), younger students (ages 3-9) may be eligible for special education and related services under a broader disability category called “Developmental Delay.” States can choose what to call this general category, how they define it, and what age range it applies.
In Texas, this category is called “Non-Categorical Early Childhood (NCEC)”. It is for students aged 3-5 who have general delays in their physical, cognitive, communication, social, emotional, or adaptive development; and who, because of these delays, need special education and related services. In Texas, a child between the ages of 3-5 may be described as “NCEC” if he or she has been diagnosed as having one of the following:
- Intellectual Delay, NCEC-ID
- Emotional Disturbance, NCEC-ED
- Specific Learning Disability, or NCEC-SLD
- Autism, NCEC-AU
A determination of NCEC must comply with criteria set forth in federal and state law as described in the Non-Categorical Early Childhood framework of the Legal Framework for the Child-Center Process.
Orthopedic impairment means a severe orthopedic impairment that adversely affects a child’s education performance. The term includes impairments caused by a congenital anomaly, impairments caused by disease (e.g., poliomyelitis, bone tuberculosis), and impairments from other causes (e.g., cerebral palsy, amputations, and fractures or burns that cause contractures).
Other health impairment means having limited strength, vitality, or alertness, including a heightened alertness to environmental stimuli, that results in limited alertness with respect to the education environment, that is due to chronic or acute health problems such as asthma, attention deficit disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, diabetes, epilepsy, a heart condition, hemophilia, led poisoning, leukemia, nephritis, rheumatic fever, sickle cell anemia, and Tourette syndrome; and adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
Specific learning disability means a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations, including conditions such as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental apahsia. Specific learning disability does not include learning problems that are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
Speech or language impairment means a communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
Traumatic brain injury means an acquired injury to the brain caused by an external physical force, resulting in total or partial functional disability or psychosocial impairment, or both, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance. Traumatic brain injury applies to open or closed head injuries resulting in impairment in one or more areas, such as cognition; language; memory; attention; reasoning; abstract thinking; judgment; problem-solving; sensory, perceptual, and motor abilities; psychosocial behavior; physical functions; information processing; and speech. Traumatic brain injury does not apply to brain injuries that are congenital or degenerative, or to brain injuries induced by birth trauma.
Visual impairments including blindness means an impairment in vision that, even with correction, adversely affects a child’s educational performance. The term includes both partial sight and blindness.
Contact for Evaluation
If you are concerned your child may be learning differently and may be in need of an evaluation, please contact the Principal or Assistant Principal on your child's campus or Dr. Pam Ellis, CCISD Director of Support Services.
If your student is already in special education but you suspect additional concerns, contact your student’s special education campus Team Leader and ask for a meeting to discuss concerns.
If you do not live in the CCISD zone, contact the Special Services office for the district where you live. Every public school district is required to provide Child Find services under federal and state law.
TEA Child Find Resources
TEA Resources for Delayed or Denied Resources for Compensatory Services
The Early Childhood Intake Center (ECIC) evaluates children between the ages of 2 and 5, who are not in a district Pre-K program and are not yet kindergarten age, to determine if a child has a special education disability and if there is a need for special education services.
The Early Childhood Intake Center is located at:
Learner Support Center
2903 Falcon Pass Dr.
Houston, Texas 77062
In 2019, the 86th Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 139 (SB 139), which requires CCISD and other local education agencies (LEAs) in Texas to distribute the information below regarding updates in Special Education to all parents:
- Changes made from 2016 to 2017 in reporting requirements for local education agencies regarding special education enrollment in the Performance Based Monitoring Analysis System
- The rights of a child regarding the provision of special education services under both state and federal law
- The process and procedures for initiating a referral for evaluation for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and TEC Sec. 29.004
- Where to find local policies and procedures related to initiating a referral for evaluation under IDEA
TEA Resources on Special Education in Texas
For more information about dyslexia, the Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) intervention method, and important laws in place visit, https://tea.texas.gov/academics/special-student-populations/special-education/resources.
Clear Creek ISD provides a continuum of special education services and placement options for students with disabilities in order to meet their individual needs. This continuum includes services such as advance support, accommodations and modifications, in-class support, specialized support, home instruction and instruction in hospitals and institutions.
Special education services are provided at all Clear Creek ISD campuses. Specialized programs are strategically located throughout CCISD for students who need a district class placement. If your child's home campus does not offer the specialized program you need, the district will provide transportation to the appropriate campus.
The following descriptions explain the instructional arrangements which may be considered for students with disabilities:
- Mainstream is an instructional arrangement for providing special education services in the general education setting which may include in-class support, accommodations and modifications.
- Speech Therapy is an instructional arrangement for providing speech therapy services. Resource is an instructional arrangement for providing special education instruction and related services in a setting other than the general education classroom.
- Self-contained, mild/moderate/severe, regular campus is an instructional arrangement for providing special education instruction and related services for 50 percent or more of the school day on a regular school campus.
- Homebound is an instructional arrangement for providing special education instruction to eligible students with disabilities who are medically unable to attend school at the campus site.
- Non-public day school is an instructional arrangement for providing special education instruction to students through a contractual arrangement with an approved non-public school for special education services.
- Vocational Adjustment Class is an instructional arrangement for high school students providing special education, academic, or job-related instruction to students who are placed on a job with regular supervision by the Transition teacher.
- Residential is an instructional arrangement for providing special education instruction to students with a contractual arrangement with an approved residential non-public school.
- Alternative Academics (AA)
- Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE)
- Extended School Year Service
- Galveston-Brazoria Coop Deaf/Hard of Hearing
- Positive Approach to Student Success (PASS)
- Section 504
- Social Development (SD)
- Structured Learning Labs – SLL
- 18+ Services
Students in the Alternative Academics (AA) setting receive modified academic instruction in a structured, consistent, small group setting, accessing the TEKS through pre-requisite skills. Alternative Academic services are designed to provide students with cognitive disabilities a curriculum that encompasses functional and academic skills for communication, social, vocational and independent living skills to support post-secondary school goals.
ECSE provide special education and related services for eligible children with disabilities ages 3-5. ECSE refers to the services provided by the district, not to the place where they are provided. Eligible children may receive ECSE services in a variety of settings such as pre-kindergarten and self-contained classrooms or in community settings such as Head Start and pre-school.
Extended School Year (ESY) services are available, through CCISD, to all children with disabilities. By definition, they extend beyond the normal school year and are consistent with the child's individualized education program (IEP) at no cost to the child.
ESY services are provided according to the student’s educational needs and do not prevent other public agencies in continuing to provide care and treatment even when those services are similar to those in the child's IEP. No child will be denied ESY services because he/she receives care and treatment services from other agencies.
The Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee decides whether a child needs extended school year services on a case-by-case basis. If needed, each school district must make sure that services are available as necessary to provide free appropriate public education. If the district does not propose ESY services for discussion at the annual review of a child's individualized education program, the parents may request that the ARD committee discuss the possibility of providing them.
The ARD committee will use formal and/or informal evaluations provided by CCISD or the parents to decide whether ESY services are needed. For a child enrolling in the school district during the school year, information from the previous school as well as information collected during the current year may be used to make that determination.
What is severe or substantial regression?
Severe or substantial regression means that the child has been, or will be, unable to maintain one or more acquired critical skills if he/she is not using ESY services. Sometimes, students may experience severe and substantial regression in their development after the school year ends. The ARD committee must identify the critical areas addressed in the child’s current IEP in which the child has exhibited, or may be expected to exhibit, this type of regression that cannot be recovered within a reasonable amount of time.
What is the definition of a critical skill?
A skill is critical when the loss of that skill results, or is reasonably expected to result, in any of the following occurrences during the first eight weeks of the next regular school year:
- Placement in a more restrictive instructional arrangement;
- Significant loss of acquired skills necessary for the child to appropriately progress in the general curriculum;
- Significant loss of self-sufficiency in self-help skill areas shown by an increase in the number of direct service staff and/or amount of time required to provide special education or related services;
- Loss of access to community-based independent living skills instruction or an independent living environment provided by non-educational sources as a result of regression in skills; or
- Loss of access to on-the-job training or productive employment as a result of regression in skills
Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge (Adopted by the International Dyslexia Association Board of Directors, November 12, 2002).
In Texas, we have a guiding document known as The Dyslexia Handbook. (On September 3rd, 2021, the State Board of Education (SBOE) gave final approval for updates to the Dyslexia Handbook.) Additional information can be found at the TEA website.
In Clear Creek ISD, all of our dyslexia and dysgraphia evaluations are conducted as an IDEA evaluation, meaning that we seek fully informed parental consent, which contains proper prior written notice and is accompanied by the notice of procedural safeguards for a Full Individual Initial Evaluation (FIIE) under the IDEA. For all initial evaluations, parents are also provided a copy of the Guide to ARD Process. If you have concerns about your student, please contact your campus administrator.
The Galveston-Brazoria Cooperative for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GBCDHH) is a cooperative of nine school districts: Alvin, Clear Creek, Dickinson, Friendswood, Galveston, Hitchcock, Pearland, Santa Fe, and Texas City.
The Cooperative provides a continuum of services for students with a variety of needs related to a student's hearing loss, which are determined by the ARD Committee.
General Education Homebound Services
Students served on homebound services or hospital bedside basis are expected to be confined for a minimum of four weeks (not necessarily consecutive weeks) as documented by a physician licensed to practice in the United States.
Special Education Homebound Services
CCISD offers this instructional arrangement/setting in order to provide special education and related services to students who are served at home or in the hospital.
Students served on homebound services or hospital bedside basis are expected to be confined for a minimum of four weeks (not necessarily consecutive weeks) as documented by a physician licensed to practice in the United States. The student's ARD committee shall determine the amount of services to be provided in accordance with federal and state laws, rules, and regulations.
Home instruction may also be used for services to infants and toddlers (birth through age 2) and young children (ages 3-5) if the child's Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP) committee or ARD committee decide it is appropriate.
The PASS program provides educational services within general education settings to students who have difficulty managing their behaviors. The focus of the PASS program is to teach social skills that replace inappropriate behaviors and motivate students to implement positive social skills while learning in the general education classroom. Collaboration between the general education teachers, PASS staff and administration is an integral part of a successful PASS program.
Section 504 is a part of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 that prohibits discrimination based upon disability.
The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a non-discrimination statute enacted by the United States Congress. The purpose of the Act is to prohibit discrimination and it applies to all programs and entities that receive federal funding. However, school districts do not receive federal money specifically for this Act. This Act was amended in 1990 to substitute “individual with disabilities” for “handicapped.” Thus, Section 504 is an anti-discrimination, civil rights statute that requires the needs of students with disabilities to be met as adequately as the needs of the non-disabled are met. Specifically, § 504 of this act applies to students in public schools to ensure that students with disabilities have educational opportunities and benefits equal to students without disabilities.
Section 504 states that: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States, as defined in section 706(8) of this title, shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...." [29 U.S.C. §794(a), 34 C.F.R. §104.4(a)].
If you have concerns about your student, please contact your campus administrator.
Social Development services are designed to meet the needs of students with significant emotional and behavioral disabilities. A consistent and highly structured environment is necessary to provide an adequate framework for this service design. The focus of the program is to address the student’s school behavior by teaching pro-social, behavioral and academic skills the student has not previously mastered.
Structured Learning Labs are intensive educational program for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental disorders that require highly structured and individualized intervention for the development of functional communication skills and socially appropriate behaviors. CCISD offers three different programs under the umbrella of SLL.
Structured Learning Lab SLL- Adaptive Behavior (AB)
The purpose of SLL-AB is to provide an intensive educational program for students in Kindergarten-8th grade in need of a highly structured environment focusing on social communication, social and behavioral instruction, and socially appropriate behaviors.
Structured Learning Lab (SLL) - Learning to Learn (LtoL)
The purpose of SLL-LtoL is to provide a highly structured, predictable environment for early elementary students with disabilities who require a more restrictive setting to meet their specific communication, social and behavioral needs. Students in SLL-LtoL require intensive instruction to increase functional communication and social skills while working to address problematic behavior interfering in the learning of the student and/or others.
Structured Learning Lab SLL - Social Communication (SC)
The purpose of SLL-SC is to provide specific social skills instruction in areas such as turn taking, social initiation, etc. Students in this setting require explicit social skills training and practice to meet significant deficits in communication, social, behavioral, and interaction excesses and/or deficits.
CCISD offers a campus-based 18+ service model and a community-based model. While both service models are results driven, the community based model reflects best practices and is the true research-based model. Most students beginning 18+ services in the campus-based model will typically be referred to the community-based model when, in collaboration with the student and family. Following is a description of the campus-based and community-based models:
Helping Each Adult Reach Transition Services (HEARTS)
HEARTS is provided for any adult student who has completed state credits and assessment but did not meet graduation criteria for employment, employability skills, or agency connection. HEARTS is a non-traditional service model where students receive transition services both on campus and in the community. Students do not follow the bell schedule at their campus nor do they attend elective or other courses for required credit. The goal is to move services from the campus into the community. Students receive instruction directly in the community-based environment where they will be using their skills as an adult upon completion of high school.
Adult Community Education Services (ACES)
ACES represents the best practice, research based model for 18+ services. The focus of ACES is on instruction completely in the community as directed by the student’s adult schedule, post-secondary goals, sustainability, and transition-based IEP goals.
Clear Creek ISD Special Olympics
The mission of Special Olympics is to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in the sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
The Special Olympics program is compromised of 22 Olympic-type sports. The team, Clear Creek Challengers, participate in aquatics and softball in the fall, bowling in the winter, and basketball, soccer, and track & field in the spring. We practice once or twice weekly at various locations around the district. During competition event divisions are based on age, gender and ability level in order to give athletes an equal chance to win. Each participant receives a medal or ribbon following his/her event. Special Olympics athletes train for eight weeks prior to each sport’s competition. Each sport has an Area Competition and Chapter Games. Both may require travel as well as overnight stay. Funding is mainly generated through donations and fundraising.
Eligibility: To be eligible to participate in Special Olympics your child must be 8 years of age or older with intellectual disabilities. An Athlete Enrollment/Medical Release Form must be submitted to the Head of Delegation or an event coach prior to competition. This form can be filled out by a parent or guardian, but must be signed by a physician, physician assistant, or registered nurse recognized as an advanced practice nurse. Students whose functional limitations are based only on a physical, behavioral, emotional, specific learning or sensory disability are not eligible for Special Olympics.
Clear Creek ISD's Special Education PTA (SEPTA) is a great way to make a difference in your child's education. SEPTA welcomes families, school, faculty, students, and community members to join in supporting all CCISD students.
Adapted PE Day
Don't miss this year's district-wide Adapted PE Day at Walter Hall Park. Students will be able to participate in the annual APE Day Fun Run, take pictures in a photo booth, get their faces painted, and wrap up the exciting day with a dance. Teachers, PALs, Best Buddies, students and their parents are all welcome to take part in the games and activities arranged by the CCISD PALs program. Lunch will be provided. Come out on this day of fun for everyone! More details to come soon!
Transferring from another Texas Public School
If your child transfers to Clear Creek ISD from another public or charter school in Texas, the district will verify the child was receiving special education services in the previous district and will provide the child with a free appropriate public education including services comparable to those described in the IEP. Clear Creek ISD may either adopt the IEP from the previous district or develop and implement a new IEP. The district has 30 school days from the date the child is verified as being eligible for special to develop a new IEP, if needed.
Transferring from Out of State
If your child transfers to Clear Creek ISD from another state, the district will verify the child was receiving special education services and will provide the child with a free appropriate public education including services comparable to those described in the IEP from the previous district. If Clear Creek ISD determines a new Full Individual Evaluation is necessary, an evaluation will be conducted within 30 school days from the date the child is verified as being a child eligible for special education services and develop a new IEP.
Transferring from Private School
If your child transfers to Clear Creek ISD from a private school, the district will verify the child was receiving special education services and will provide the child with a free appropriate public education including services comparable to those described in the IEP from the previous district. If Clear Creek ISD determines a new Full Individual Evaluation is necessary, an evaluation will be conducted within 30 school days from the date the child is verified as being a child eligible for special education services and develop a new IEP
The Transition and Employment Guide is for you, the student in Texas public schools, who may have received special education services due to a disability. It also provides helpful information for your parents. This guide has steps you and your parents can take to make sure you are able to find the right work or educational options for you after high school. It also tells you where to get the services you will need after high school. Each section has phone numbers, emails, and websites to help you find what you need. At the end of each section and at the end of the guide, you will find a timeline of steps that you and your parents can take as you make the transition from student to adult.
The Gulf Coast Center provides services and supports for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities that enhance their lives and highlight their strengths.
If you need assistance registering your child with the Gulf Coast Center, you may contact our Transition Specialist, Kim Rodgers.