Skip To Main Content

Logo Image

Programs & Services

The decision to provide services in Special Education is not “placement” into a “one size fits all” program. Special Education is not a “place”; rather it is a specialized set of services designed by the ARD Committee to provide programs based upon the individual needs of the students.

Special Education students are to be placed in individually tailored services to provide the appropriate educational/behavioral/social modifications that assist the student’s learning.

While the first consideration in placing a student with a disability is placement in the “general” educational environment, the major goal of placement in the least restrictive environment is to provide an appropriate educational setting for the individual student. The ARD committee must answer the questions below;

  • Is the setting appropriate for the student?
  • What classroom setting is the student going to thrive in?
  • Are the goals appropriately challenging or too challenging?
  • How is the classroom setting going to prepare the student for the transitions from elementary school to middle school to high school to career or college?
When student with disabilities are scheduled into “general” classes, they may function independently, or be provided assistance from staff on a case to case basis depending on the student’s disability. This is called “Mainstreaming”. This is the target setting for all students. The ARD committee is charged with the task to weigh all options then make an appropriate placement decision based on the needs of the student. (Placement at All CISD Schools)

“Pull Out/Push In”:“Pull Out” The student is “pulled out” of the regular classroom to receive more intense, focused instruction based upon student disability and current needs. “Push In” simply means a student is integrated into the general classroom atmosphere with support from staff.

Inclusion/Co- Teaching ; Inclusion is not a “one size fits all setting”.

The Inclusion/Co-teaching service delivery model allows the student to remain in the General Education classroom without any pull-out services. The Special Education inclusion teacher is responsible for coordinating and collaborating with the General Education teacher to assist with the instruction of the lesson. The model is not designed to replace other effective inclusion or specialized classrooms environments

With this model, it is critical to address the student needs appropriately in the ARD meeting and to delineate the exact amount of Special Education support time that will be provided daily or weekly in the specific subject area.

The Inclusion/Co-Teaching service delivery model may be implemented at most campuses, but is a campus decision based upon student needs and training in the collaborative model. It is also vital for student success that both professionals are viewed as “the teacher” in the classroom. Collaborative Special Education teachers should be introduced as the Co- teacher and are not considered to have any less impact on classroom instruction as the core subject teacher. Teachers and staff are required to keep “inclusion monitoring logs” documenting their contact with students. This form will be a general template provided by the Sped Department. These documents are to be kept up to date and should be available upon request by school administration and central office. Compliance on Service Minutes from the IEP per student may be tracked more effectively utilizing this tool. Inclusion services are located at every CISD campus except NECHS. NECHS Mainstreams students.

Inclusion – Monitoring

Certified teachers and Para-professionals are also utilized as supports in the classroom to monitor students to provide assistance as needed by the student. A best practice when a classroom is enhanced by a para-professional is for the staff member to also support other students as needed. In essence, when assisting the other students in a classroom, the “special education tag” is taken off of one or more students. The students in the classroom merely see the additional staff member as helping all students. We will continue training in this area to serve our students appropriately.

Resource Classroom

Resource Classroom is a “pull out” program of service for students with mild to moderate disabilities. Instruction in this setting is tailored to the individual needs of each student. Students in this setting often require more intensive interventions and time to make the same progress as a student in general education. Students in this program may be placed in general education classes with added accommodations and/or modifications. Resource services are located at every CISD campus. (With the exception of NECHS)

ISC (Instructional Skills Classroom)
The Instructional Skills Class (ISC) is a program of service for students with moderate disabilities. The curriculum includes academics and developmental skills. Students in these classrooms may also be placed in appropriate mainstream classes. ISC services are located at Garcia Elementary, Alderete Middle School, and Canutillo High School.
DSC (Developmental Skills Classroom)
The DSC program has as its foundation emphasis on servicing functional academics and daily living skills. The ARD/IEP committee will individually determine the students with severe challenges who are appropriately served in a more restrictive program such as DSC classes. These decisions are based on evaluation and development of the individual goals and objectives of each student. DSC services are located at Canutillo Elementary, Alderete Middle School, and Canutillo High School.
SLC (Structured Learning Classroom) SLC I, SLC II, SLC III

These classrooms are settings designed to serve the needs of student with severe developmental and communication delays, lack of social interaction, academic, and/or behavioral concerns. Some of the students in these programs may be students with Autism. The programs offer a variety of classroom options that include self-contained, and appropriate
inclusion according to individual student needs. Students are transitioned out of middle school into the Life Skills Classroom at CHS. The SLC I service is located at Bill Childress Elementary. The SLC II service is located at Bill Childress Elementary. The SLC III service is located at Canutillo Middle School.

Early Childhood Special Education Programs ECSE - (Formerly PPCD-Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities)

This program focuses on developmental areas and the goals and objectives determined appropriate by the ARD/IEP committee. If you are aware of a child who may have a need for services, please encourage the family to call the CISD Special Education Office to refer the child. The PPCD offers beginning services for students who are age 3-5. The three ECSE classrooms are located at Jose Damian Elementary. **Note: Parents of students who fit the criteria for ECSE are encouraged to enroll their 2 year old at the child’s home school. This enables CISD to appropriately track the student and initiate testing in compliance with IDEA and TEA Child Find regulations.

ECSE Placement for speech only students

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), previously known as PPCD (Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities) is a service offered through special education. All students between the ages of 3 and 5 fall into the ECSE category. Placement for services is an ARD committee decision. TEA states:  In describing services for Texas Students with Disabilities Ages 3-5 TEA states: Eligible children with disabilities, ages 3-21, are entitled to receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA). In Texas, school district Preschool Programs for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) provide special education and related services for eligible children with disabilities ages 3-5. PPCD refers to the services provided by the school district, not to the place where they are provided. Eligible children may receive PPCD services in a variety of settings such as Pre-Kindergarten, resource, and self-contained classrooms or in community settings such as Head Start and pre-school.

TEA Pre K guidelines state:

The Texas Legislature determines eligibility requirements for free, public prekindergarten in Texas. When the Texas legislature established the prekindergarten program the intent was, and still is, to provide early learning experiences to students who are most at risk for school failure. Therefore, the eligibility is limited. The legislature believed that a high quality prekindergarten program could mitigate the impact of the at-risk characteristics, thereby assisting these students to become school ready when they enter kindergarten. TEC §29.153(b), SAAH, Section 7.2 

ECSE Continued;

IDEA states
§ 300.116 Placements.
In determining the educational placement of a child with a disability, including a preschool child with a disability, each public agency must ensure that -

(a) The placement decision -

(1) Is made by a group of persons, including the parents, and other persons knowledgeable about the child, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options; and
(2) Is made in conformity with the LRE provisions of this subpart, including §§ 300.114 through 300.118;

(b) The child's placement -(1) Is determined at least annually; (2) Is based on the child's IEP; and (3) Is as close as possible to the child's home;
(c) Unless the IEP of a child with a disability requires some other arrangement, the child is educated in the school that he or she would attend if nondisabled;
(d) In selecting the LRE, consideration is given to any potential harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services that he or she needs; and
(e) A child with a disability is not removed from education in age-appropriate regular classrooms solely because of needed modifications in the general education curriculum.
(Approved by the Office of Management and Budget under control number 1820-0030)
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(5))
Students in special education, specifically those with speech and language delays are at risk for academic failure due to their inability to communicate in a clear concise manner. These students benefit from a high quality PK classroom with typically developing peers to offer the opportunity to improve their speech/language skills.
Criteria for placement in PK under Special Education (one or more of the following)

  • Phonological process disorder
  • Articulation disorder of 2 or more sounds
  • Expressive language delay
  • Receptive language delay
  • Mixed receptive/expressive language delay

In accordance with TEA Guidelines related to PK eligibility, the CISD will provide PK as an option for special education services of ECSE students. The final placement is an ARD committee decision.

ALSC (Assisted Living Skills Classroom)

This is a program of service for students with profound disabilities and medical conditions. The curriculum is primarily focused on developmental skills and life skills. The class includes the student into various settings around the school and community to develop social skills and interaction with peers and the community. This service is located at Canutillo High School and a new classroom At Davenport Elementary.

BIC (Behavior Intervention Classroom)
The BIC Program is for students with disabilities whose behavior interferes with their learning or the learning of others to such an extent that a specialized program of instruction in a more structured setting is necessary.

This program addresses the student’s academic needs while providing the student with behavioral coping skills in order to make progress toward return to a less restrictive environment. The overarching goal of the program is to return the student to the mainstream.

The ARD committee will consider up to date assessments, interventions attempted, and other data to address student behaviors at the local campus prior to any decision for placement in a BIC class.
  • A Behavior Intervention Plan containing PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions) must have been given an opportunity to change the student behavior prior to consideration for change in placement to a more structured setting.
  • Assessment, goals, and objectives needed by the student will drive the ARD decision.

BIC services are located at Bill Childress Elementary School, Canutillo Middle School, and Canutillo High School.

Hearing Impaired and Vision Impaired students:

CISD makes a strong effort to provide appropriate local services for Hearing Impaired and Vision Impaired students. If there is a severe disability, students may be recommended for services at EPISD facilities through a Memorandum of Understanding agreement. In rare cases, student may be referred for services to other schools in Texas such as the Texas School for Vision and Hearing as determined by ARD committee decision.


Homebound services are provided to Special Education students who are unable to attend school due to a medical reasons. A parent must provide documentation from the student’s physician that the student’s medical condition will require absence of at least four consecutive weeks. For more information, contact your campus diagnostician or the Special Education Office. The Special Education Department has all the required forms that must be completed prior to ARDs to determine eligibility for services.

School-based Related Services / What are Related Services?
Related services under IDEA are an array of supportive services required to assist children with disabilities in benefiting from special education, 34 CFR 300.34 (a). The list in IDEA is not exhaustive and may include other developmental, corrective, or supportive services if they are required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education.

How does CISD Determine the Need for Related Services?

It is the responsibility of the child's ARD Committee to determine the special education and related services that are necessary for a child to receive FAPE based on evaluation data. 71 Fed. Reg. 46,573 (2006). An evaluation is required to begin related services or exit a student from those services. The evaluation for each related service will include the child's present level of functional performance with regard to the evaluated area; the nature of the disability; the level of severity of the disability; the recommended modifications, goals and objectives based on evaluation and educational need; and the recommended specific frequency and duration of services.

Whether related services are required for a student with a disability and the frequency and duration of those services will depend on the unique circumstances of the child. The standard is not whether the student will benefit from the services. Should the IEP team determine related services are not necessary to enable the child to benefit from special education, the child should be found not eligible for those services.

The role of related service providers is to provide services necessary to assist the child to benefit from special education. The primary focus of school-based related services will be to promote the attainment of educational goals and objectives necessary for the child to receive FAPE. Educational therapy focuses on the student’s IEP goals (rather than treating or remediating the student’s underlying medical condition) and is designed to help the student function in the school setting so that he/she can benefit from the educational program.  Consultation with the teachers and aides to demonstrate how the teachers and aides can work with the student to reach the goals for the classroom is an important part of school-based related services.

The IEP should specify the frequency and duration of related services in the smallest time period possible (e.g., number of minutes weekly if the student will receive weekly services) and should specify whether the services will be direct or consult (e.g., 20 minutes per week direct; 10 minutes per month consult), and if individual sessions are required, the IEP should specify the number of minutes of individual sessions.
Responsibilities of Related Service Personnel

Related service personnel will provide services as stipulated in a student’s IEP and will:

  • perform assessments in areas in which they have appropriate training;
  • participate in ARD Committee meetings;
  • contribute to the development of the IEP;
  • assist teachers and parents in improving student performance within the school setting;
  • provide direct and indirect related services as determined by the ARD Committee;
  • complete progress reports in accordance with the student's IEP (these progress reports are also used to document a child's services for Medicaid reimbursements if applicable); and
  • review outside evaluations and medical information in the related service provider’s area of expertise to make recommendations to the ARD Committee regarding the need for, and recommended frequency and duration of, related services.

Goals and Objectives in each recommended area of related services shall have measurable goals and objectives within the Individualized Education Program (IEP) as approved by the ARD Committee and will include frequency, duration and location of those services in the smallest increment possible.

Speech Therapy

The district has full time certified Speech Language Pathologists who deliver services to students who exhibit speech and language impairment.
The following are services they provide:

  • Case management of an assigned group of students that includes assessment, parent contact, liaison with classroom teachers, scheduling, and conducting ARDs.
  • Working with “Walk in” students who qualify for Early Childhood Intervention
  • Informal “screening” of teacher referrals for possible testing.
  • Informal assessment of students for possible qualification for speech services.
  • Formal assessment of students who may qualify for speech services.
  • ARD meetings for communication of evaluation results.
  • Speech Therapy sessions for individuals, groups and classrooms.
  • RtI – supports and consultation for all tiers of RtI
  • Provide speech and language services for social/pragmatic communication for students with severe disabilities.
  • Assistive/Augumentive Technology for non-verbal students.


CISD maintains a continuous culture of improvement with our transition programs. Our focus is to make sure students transition smoothly from one grade level to the next/one school level to the next and ultimately to preparation for Career or College.
*Transition Planning/ IEP (Secondary)/VAC (Vocational Adjustment Coach)

The CISD Transition Specialist/CISD Job Coach, conducts transition planning activities appropriate for students and their families. The Transition Planning /IEP supplement form is used at the secondary level to discuss the IEP goals and objectives that are related to the suggestions and decisions made while planning with the student about post-secondary outcomes. This Transition Planning/IEP supplement must be included in each annual ARD/IEP meeting for appropriate age students. The Transition Planning supplement must be included annually in the discussion as goals and objectives are determined.

Grade Level Transition:
Schools at each level collaborate with the next school to make sure that students moving to the next academic grade level such as 5th to 6th grade or 8th to 9th grade have the supports necessary to function successfully in a more demanding academic/social environment. It is highly recommended that the sending school have the transition meeting the spring before the student moves. The receiving school should be invited to the transition ARD.
As you can see from our description of the Community Based Instruction on page 17 and 18, our goal is to develop programs that enable student with exceptionalities to develop the skills necessary for success as they move on to College and Careers. We will be working with Region 19 this year to expand our scope of services into the community.
Residential Care and Treatment Facility

In rare cases, students may be recommended to be placed in residential care and treatment facilities to address severe student problems or issues. Placement is usually recommended by outside agencies or resources.