EHBAB(LEGAL) - SPECIAL EDUCATION: ARD COMMITTEE AND INDIVIDUALIZED EDUCATION PROGRAM
Admission, Review, and Dismissal Committee
Each district must establish an admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee for each eligible student with a disability and for each student for whom a full individual and initial evaluation is conducted. The ARD committee is the individualized education program (IEP) team defined in federal law and regulations, including 34 C.F.R. 300.321.
The district is responsible for all of the functions for which the IEP team is responsible under federal law and regulations and for which the ARD committee is responsible under state law, including the responsibilities listed at 19 Administrative Code 89.1050.
19 TAC 89.1050(a); 34 C.F.R. 300.116(a), .321(a)
A district shall ensure that each ARD committee meeting includes all of the following:
- The parents of a student with a disability;
- At least one regular education teacher of the student (if the student is, or may be, participating in the regular education environment);
- At least one special education teacher or, if appropriate, at least one special education provider of the student;
- A representative of the district who:
- Is qualified to provide or supervise the provision of specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities;
- Is knowledgeable about the general education curriculum; and
- Is knowledgeable about the availability of resources of the district;
- Other individuals who have knowledge or special expertise regarding the student at the discretion of the district or the parent;
- An individual who can interpret the instructional implications of evaluation results, who may be a member of the ARD committee described in items 2–5;
- The student, if appropriate;
- For a student with an auditory impairment, including deaf-blindness, a teacher who is certified in the education of students with auditory impairments;
- For a student with a visual impairment, including deaf-blindness, a teacher who is certified in the education of students with visual impairments;
- For a student with limited English proficiency, a member of the language-proficiency assessment committee (LPAC), who may also be a member as described at items 2 or 3;
- A representative of any participating agency likely to be responsible for providing transition services for a student, as appropriate, and with the consent of the student's parents or a student who has reached the age of majority; and
- When considering initial or continued placement of a student in a career and technical education program, a representative from career and technical education, preferably the teacher.
20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(1)(B); 34 C.F.R. 300.321; 19 TAC 75.1023(d)(1), 89.1050(c)
A district member of the ARD committee shall not be required to attend an IEP meeting, in whole or in part, if the parent and the district agree in writing that the attendance is not necessary because the member's area of the curriculum or related services is not being modified or discussed during the meeting.
A district member of the ARD committee may be excused from attending an IEP meeting, in whole or in part, when the meeting involves a modification to or discussion of the member's area of curriculum or related services if the parent, in writing, and the district consent to the excusal and the member submits, in writing, to the parent and the ARD committee, input into the development of the IEP before the meeting.
20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(1)(C); 34 C.F.R. 300.321(e)
Regular Education Teacher
If an ARD committee is required to include a regular education teacher, the regular education teacher must, to the extent practicable, be a teacher who is responsible for implementing a portion of the child's IEP. Education Code 29.005(a)
A district shall take steps to ensure that one or both parents of a student with a disability are present at each ARD committee meeting or are afforded an opportunity to participate, including:
- Notifying the parents of the meeting early enough to ensure that they will have an opportunity to attend (the notice shall include the purpose, time, and location of the meeting, who will be in attendance, that persons with knowledge or special expertise may be invited by either the parent or the district, and that the Part C service coordinator or other representatives of the Part C system may be invited to the initial meeting for a child previously served under a Part C early childhood intervention program); and
- Scheduling the meeting at a mutually agreed on time and place.
If the purpose of the meeting is to consider transition services, the notice must also indicate this purpose, indicate that the district will invite the student, and identify any other agency that will be invited to send a representative.
34 C.F.R. 300.322(a)–(b); 19 TAC 89.1050(d)
Alternative Means of Meeting Participation
If neither parent can attend an ARD meeting, the district must allow other methods of participation, such as through telephone calls or video conferencing. 20 U.S.C. 1414(f); 34 C.F.R. 300.322(c); 19 TAC 89.1050(d)
An ARD meeting may be conducted without a parent in attendance if a district is unable to convince the parents that they should attend, but the district shall have a record of its attempts to arrange a mutually agreed on time and place, such as detailed records of telephone calls, correspondence, or visits made or attempted and the results of any of those actions. 34 C.F.R. 300.322(d)
A district shall initiate and conduct ARD committee meetings for the purpose of developing, reviewing, and revising the IEP of a child with a disability. The committee shall review each child's IEP periodically, and, if appropriate, revise the IEP. A meeting must be held for this purpose at least once a year. The ARD committee must also determine the child's placement once a year.
A "meeting" does not include informal or unscheduled conversations involving district personnel and conversations on issues such as teaching methodology, lesson plans, or coordination of service provisions if those issues are not addressed in the child's IEP. A "meeting" also does not include preparatory activities that district personnel engage in to develop a proposal or response to a parent proposal that will be discussed at a later meeting.
20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(4); 34 C.F.R. 300.116(b)(1), .324(b), (c)(1), .501(b)(3)
Meeting at Parent's Request
Upon receipt of a written request for an ARD committee meeting from a parent, the school district must schedule and convene a meeting in accordance with the procedures in 19 Administrative Code 89.1050(d) or within five school days, provide the parent with written notice explaining why the district refuses to convene a meeting. 19 TAC 89.1050(e)
If a parent is unable to speak English, a district must provide the parent with a written notice regarding the ARD committee meeting required under 19 Administrative Code 89.1050(d) (notice for purposes of scheduling) or (e)(2) (notice explaining why the district refuses to convene a meeting) in the parent's native language, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so. If the parent's native language is not a written language, the school district must take steps to ensure that the notice is translated orally or by other means to the parent in his or her native language or other mode of communication so that the parent understands the content of the notice. 19 TAC 89.1050(f)
When a student transfers to a new district within the state in the same school year and the parents verify that the student was receiving special education services in the previous district or the previous district verifies in writing or by telephone that the student was receiving special education services, the new school district must meet the requirements of 34 C.F.R. 300.323(e) regarding the provision of special education services. The timeline for completing the requirements outlined in 34 C.F.R. 300.323(e)(1) or (2) is 30 school days from the date the student is verified as being a student eligible for special education services.
Transfers from Another State
When a student transfers from a district in another state in the same school year and the parents verify that the student was receiving special education services in the previous district or the previous district verifies in writing or by telephone that the student was receiving special education services, the new district must meet the requirements of 34 C.F.R. 300.323(f) regarding the provision of special education services. If the new district determines that an evaluation is necessary, the evaluation is considered a full individual and initial evaluation and must be completed within the timelines established by 19 Administrative Code 89.1011(c) and (e). The timeline for completing the requirements in 34 C.F.R. 300.323(f)(2), if appropriate, is 30 calendar days from the date of the completion of the evaluation report. If the school district determines that an evaluation is not necessary, the timeline for completing the requirements outlined in 34 C.F.R. 300.323(f)(2) is 30 school days from the date the student is verified as being a student eligible for special education services.
19 TAC 89.1050(j)
Transfer of Records
The district in which the child enrolls shall take reasonable steps to promptly obtain the child's records, including the IEP and supporting documents and any other records relating to the provision of special education or related services to the child, from the previous district.
The previous district shall take reasonable steps to promptly respond to the request from the new district and must furnish the new school district with a copy of the student's records, including the student's special education records, not later than the tenth working day after the date a request for the information is received by the previous school district.
20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(2)(C)(ii); 34 C.F.R. 300.323(g); 19 TAC 89.1050(j)(3)
Students Who Are Homeless or in Substitute Care
When a student who is homeless or in substitute care transfers into a district after being referred by a previous district for a special education evaluation, the receiving district must accept the referral and ensure that any written report of a full individual and initial evaluation must be completed in accordance with the timelines established in 19 Administrative Code 89.1011 (relating to Full Individual and Initial Evaluation).
When a student who is already eligible for special education and is homeless or in substitute care transfers into a district during the school year, the receiving district must ensure that it meets the student transfer requirements of 19 Administrative Code 89.1050(j) (relating to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Committee).
19 TAC 89.1615
A district shall initially provide comparable services to a military student with disabilities based on his or her current IEP. This does not preclude the district from performing subsequent evaluations to ensure appropriate placement of the student. Education Code 162.002 art. V, C [See FDD]
Individualized Education Program
A district shall develop, review, and revise an IEP for each child with a disability. 20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(4); 34 C.F.R. 300.320(a)
At the beginning of each school year, a district shall have in effect, for each child with a disability in its jurisdiction, an IEP. 20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(2)(A); 34 C.F.R. 300.323(a)
The term "individualized education program" means a written statement for each student with a disability that documents the decisions of the ARD committee with respect to issues discussed at each committee meeting and includes:
- A statement of the student's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance;
- A statement of measurable annual goals, including academic and functional goals;
- A description of how the student's progress toward the annual goals will be measured and when periodic reports on the progress of the student will be provided;
- A statement of the specific special education and related services and supplementary aids and services, based on peer-reviewed research to the extent practicable, to be provided to the student;
- A statement of the program modifications or supports for school personnel that will be provided for the student;
- An explanation of the extent, if any, to which the student will not participate with nondisabled students in the regular class and in extracurricular and nonacademic activities;
- The projected dates for initiation of services and modifications and the anticipated frequency, location, and duration of these services and modifications;
- A statement of any individual appropriate and allowable accommodations that are necessary to measure the academic achievement and functional performance of the student on state or district-wide assessments;
- If the ARD committee determines that the student must take an alternative assessment instead of a particular regular state or district-wide assessment, a statement of why the student cannot participate in the regular assessment and why the particular assessment selected is appropriate for the student;
- If the ARD committee determines that a student is in need of extended school year (ESY) services, identification of the goals and objectives that will be addressed during ESY services;
- Beginning not later than when a student reaches 14 years of age and updated annually thereafter, the ARD committee's consideration and decisions regarding the transition issues under 19 Administrative Code 89.1055(h) [see EHBAD];
- Beginning not later than the first IEP to be in effect when the student is 16, or younger if determined appropriate by the ARD committee, and updated annually thereafter, a statement of appropriate measurable postsecondary goals and transition services needed to assist the student in reaching those goals [see EHBAD];
- Beginning not later than one year before the student reaches the age of 17, a statement that the student has been informed of the rights that will transfer to the student upon reaching the age of majority;
- The date of the meeting;
- The name, position, and signature of each member participating in the meeting; and
- An indication of whether the child's parents, the adult student, if applicable, and the administrator agreed or disagreed with the decisions of the ARD committee.
20 U.S.C. 1414(d); 34 C.F.R. 300.320; Education Code 29.005(b‑1), .011; 19 TAC 89.1055
The written statement of a student's IEP may be required to include only information included in the model form developed by TEA under Education Code 29.0051(a) and posted on the TEA website. A district may use the model form to comply with the requirements for an IEP under 20 U.S.C. 1414(d). Education Code 29.005(f), .0051
For each child who was enrolled in a district's special education program during the 2019–20 school year or the 2020–21 school year, the district is required to prepare a supplement to be included with the written statement of the IEP. For more information about the required supplement, see Education Code 29.0052 and the commissioner rules, when adopted. This requirement expires September 1, 2023. Education Code 29.0052
Supplemental Special Education Services
A student's ARD committee shall develop a student's IEP without consideration of any supplemental special education services that may be provided under the program under Education Code Chapter 29, Subchapter A-1.
The ARD committee of a student approved for participation in the supplemental special education services and instructional materials program shall provide to the student's parent at an ARD committee meeting for the student:
- Information regarding the types of supplemental special education services available under the program and provided by agency-approved providers for which an account maintained under Education Code 29.042(b) for the student may be used; and
- Instructions regarding accessing the account.
The supplemental special education services and instructional materials program expires September 1, 2024.
Education Code 29.048
Behavioral Intervention Plan
The ARD committee may determine that a behavior improvement plan or a behavioral intervention plan (BIP) is appropriate for a student for whom the committee has developed an IEP. If the committee makes that determination, the BIP shall be included as part of the student's IEP and provided to each teacher with responsibility for educating the student. Education Code 29.005(g); 19 TAC 89.1055(g)
If a behavior improvement plan or a behavioral intervention plan is included as part of a student's individualized education program, the committee shall review the plan at least annually and more frequently if appropriate to address the safety of the student or others or changes in a student's circumstances that may impact the student's behavior, such as:
- The placement of the student in a different educational setting;
- An increase or persistence in disciplinary actions taken regarding the student for similar types of behavioral incidents;
- A pattern of unexcused absences; or
- An unauthorized unsupervised departure from an educational setting.
Education Code 29.005(h)
Translation of IEP into Native Language
If the parent is unable to speak English and Spanish is the parent's native language, a district shall provide a written or audiotaped copy of the student's IEP translated into Spanish. If the parent's native language is other than Spanish or English, a district shall make a good faith effort to provide a written or audiotaped copy of the student's IEP translated into the parent's native language. Education Code 29.005(d)
A written copy of the student's IEP translated into Spanish or the parent's native language means that all of the text in the student's IEP in English is accurately translated into the target language in written form. The IEP translated into the target language must be a comparable rendition of the IEP in English and not a partial translation or summary of the IEP in English.
An audio recording of the student's IEP translated into Spanish or the parent's native language means that all of the content in the student's IEP in English is orally translated into the target language and recorded with an audio device. A district is not prohibited from providing the parent with an audio recording of an ARD committee meeting at which the parent was assisted by an interpreter as long as the audio recording provided to the parent contains an oral translation into the target language of all of the content in the student's IEP in English.
If a parent's native language is not a written language, the district must take steps to ensure that the student's IEP is translated orally or by other means to the parent in his or her native language or other mode of communication.
Under 34 C.F.R. 300.322(f), a district must give a parent a written copy of the student's IEP at no cost to the parent. A school district meets this requirement by providing a parent with a written copy of the student's IEP in English or by providing a parent with a written translation of the student's IEP in the parent's native language as provided above.
19 TAC 89.1050(i)
Autism/Pervasive Developmental Disorder
For students with autism/pervasive developmental disorders, the following strategies shall be considered by the ARD committee, based on peer-reviewed, research-based educational programming practices to the extent practicable and, when needed, addressed in the IEP:
- Extended educational programming;
- Daily schedules reflecting minimal unstructured time and active engagement in learning activities;
- In-home training and community-based training or viable alternatives that assist the student with the acquisition of social/behavioral skills;
- Positive behavior support strategies based on relevant information;
- Beginning at any age, futures planning for integrated living, work, community, and educational environments that considers skills necessary to function in current and postsecondary environments;
- Parent/family training and support, provided by qualified personnel with experience in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD);
- Suitable staff-to-student ratio appropriate to identified activities and as needed to achieve social/behavioral progress based on the student's developmental and learning level (acquisition, fluency, maintenance, generalization) that encourages work towards individual independence;
- Communication interventions, including language forms and functions that enhance effective communication across settings;
- Social skills supports and strategies based on social skills assessment/curriculum and provided across settings;
- Professional educator/staff support; and
- Teaching strategies based on peer-reviewed, research-based practices for students with ASD.
If the ARD committee determines that services are not needed in one or more of the areas in 1–11 above, the IEP shall include a statement reflecting that decision and the basis upon which the determination was made.
19 TAC 89.1055(e)–(f)
If a district provides special education services to students with visual impairments, it shall have written procedures as required in Education Code 30.002(c)(10) (staff access to resources). 19 TAC 89.1075(b)
All members of the ARD committee shall have the opportunity to participate in a collaborative manner in developing the IEP. Decisions of the ARD committee concerning the required elements of the IEP shall be made by mutual agreement, if possible. The ARD committee may agree to an annual IEP or an IEP of shorter duration.
When mutual agreement about all required elements of the IEP is not achieved, the parent who disagrees must be offered a single opportunity to recess and reconvene the ARD committee meeting. The period of time for reconvening the ARD committee meeting must not exceed ten school days, unless the parties mutually agree otherwise. The ARD committee must schedule the reconvened meeting at a mutually agreed upon time and place. The opportunity to recess and reconvene is not required when:
- The student's presence on campus represents a danger of physical harm to the student or others;
- The student has committed an expellable offense; or
- The student has committed an offense that may lead to placement in a disciplinary alternative education program. [See FOF]
These requirements do not prohibit the ARD committee from recessing an ARD committee meeting for reasons other than the failure to reach mutual agreement about all required elements of an IEP.
During the recess, the ARD committee members must consider alternatives, gather additional data, prepare further documentation, and/or obtain additional resource persons who may assist in enabling the ARD committee to reach mutual agreement.
Failure to Reach Agreement
If a recess is implemented and the ARD committee still cannot reach mutual agreement, a district shall implement the IEP it has determined to be appropriate for the student. Each member of the ARD committee who disagrees with the IEP developed by the ARD committee is entitled to include a statement of disagreement in the IEP.
If the IEP is not developed by agreement, the written statement of the program must include the basis of the disagreement. Each member of the ARD committee who disagrees with the IEP developed by the committee is entitled to include a statement of disagreement in the written statement of the program.
Education Code 29.005(c); 19 TAC 89.1050(g)
Modification of Existing IEP
Changes to the IEP may be made either by the entire ARD committee or by amending the IEP by agreement, rather than redrafting the entire IEP.
After the annual IEP meeting for a school year, the parent and district may agree not to convene an IEP meeting for the purposes of making changes to the IEP and instead may develop a written document to amend or modify the child's current IEP.
Upon request, a parent shall be provided with a revised copy of the IEP with amendments incorporated.
To the extent possible, a district shall encourage the consolidation of reevaluation meetings for the child and other ARD meetings for the child.
20 U.S.C. 1414(d)(3)(D)–(F); 34 C.F.R. 300.324(a)(4)–(6)
Teacher Access to IEP
Each district must ensure that each teacher who provides instruction to a student with a disability has access to relevant sections of the student's current IEP, is informed of the teacher's specific responsibilities related to implementation of the IEP, and has an opportunity to request assistance regarding implementation of the student's IEP. 19 TAC 89.1075(c)
Teacher Request to Review IEP
Each district shall develop a process to be used by a teacher who instructs a student with a disability in a regular classroom setting:
- To request a review of the student's IEP;
- To provide input in the development of the student's IEP;
- That provides for a timely district response to the teacher's request; and
- That provides for notification to the student's parent or legal guardian of that response.
Education Code 29.001(11); 19 TAC 89.1075(d)