Laura De Los Santos
Executive Director Special Education for Instruction
Executive Director Special Education for Compliance
The mission of the Special Education Program at United Independent School District is to provide a free and appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment to any and all students qualifying for special education services. The definition of special education is, “specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and instruction in physical education.” In order for a student to qualify for special education services and instruction, the student must meet the eligibility criteria for at least one of the thirteen disabilities defined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The student must also exhibit an academic need for the services. The thirteen disabilities defined under IDEA are:
Under the federal law, state laws, and district policy the Special Education Program must provide a continuum of services in order to provide for the needs of special education students. At United ISD we strive to provide for the least restrictive environment in the general education classroom to the extent appropriate for each individual student. When the student is better served by removing them from the general education setting, United ISD has a number of settings where the students’ needs can be met. The following are some of the more common options for placement for meeting these students’ needs:
The specialized units that United ISD has are as follows:
The Special Education Program is divided into four separate groups that work together for the same purpose and mission. The four separate groups are:
The United ISD Special Education Program currently serves approximately 5200 students ages 3–21 years of age at all levels and areas of the district. Our goal is to continue to provide quality service to our students to meet all of their academic needs and to prepare them to become productive and successful members of our community in their post–secondary life.
The Special Education Information Center (SPEDTex) provides resources and interactive features for increasing family awareness of disabilities and special education processes, with the goal of improving partnerships between schools and families.
Assistive Technology Coordinator