TEA PARENT COMPLAINTS

Updated December 2, 2020

TEA FINDS 3RD HPISD SCHOOL IMPROPERLY DENIED

SPECIAL EDUCATION SERVICES TO DYSLEXIC STUDENT

COMPLAINT #4

 

A 4th HPISD family, this time from Bradfield Elementary, recently filed a complaint with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) on behalf of their 1st grade dyslexic child. The TEA ruled that HPISD was out of compliance with federal and state law by improperly denying special education services to the student.

The TEA also said students do NOT have to attempt or complete Take Flight before they can be eligible for special education services. Access to special education is crucial for many dyslexic students, as it can provide access to specially designed instruction in reading beyond / different than Take Flight.


The family who filed the TEA complaint wants to share the redacted TEA Investigative Reports to help other families who may be in a similar situation:

 

CLICK HERE to ask questions about the investigations. The families involved are happy to speak directly with other parents, so please ask if you'd like them to contact you.


In addition to steps the district must take for the individual child, the TEA has mandated that HPISD conduct a campus-wide review of evaluations conducted at Bradfield from February through May of 2020 to determine if other students were improperly denied special education services. (This review is in addition to on-going reviews at Hyer and UP Elementary of evaluations conducted between May 2019 to May 2020. All of the evaluations at issue occurred prior to Covid and were not impacted by Covid.) All reviews must be completed by December 31, 2020. 

 

To know if your student may be part of the review, ask yourself:

  1. Was my child evaluated via a Full Individual Evaluation (FIE) while attending Bradfield (Feb - May 2020) or Hyer / UP Elementary (May 2019 - May 2020)?

  2. Was part of the reason for the evaluation a concern about reading / writing / learning differences (called Specific Learning Disability in school evaluations)?

If "yes" to both, review your child’s Full Individual Evaluation and see what decisions were made about eligibility. Look towards the end of the document for this section:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Likely impacted are students who:

  • Were informed that they did not meet eligibility criteria (Ex. Scores too high, grades too high) and were therefore denied special education eligibility

  • Qualified for eligibility in another area, such as Speech or Other Health Impairment for ADHD, but were not given a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) identification despite weakness in reading

  • Were identified as having a Specific Learning Disability, but informed they did not need special education services, possibly because they needed to complete PreFlight or Take Flight first

 
If you have questions, reach out to your campus Special Education Coordinator ASAP as the deadline for HP to complete the review is December 31, 2020.

Find the contact on your campus at Dyslexia in HPISD.

Want to understand the difference between services and support available via special education vs 504? There are many! Visit the Service & Support page.

Also, if your child has only been evaluated via a dyslexia-only 504 evaluation, you may want to learn more about a comprehensive Full Individual Evaluation (FIE) that takes a much broader look at your child’s learning profile. Any parent with concerns may request an FIE in writing, and your school is required to respond to your request in writing within 15 school days. Visit the Evaluations page for more information.

TEA REQUIRES POLICY REVIEW AND STAFF TRAINING

IN HPISD FOLLOWING IMPROPER COVID-19 SERVICES

COMPLAINT #3

 

TEA Findings: HPISD Covid supplements from Spring 2019 are not valid amendments to a student’s plan unless parents helped create them and agreed with them. For any Covid supplement that was not valid, HP was (and is) responsible to implement the services as written in the student’s existing plan to the greatest extent possible if the student moves to virtual learning. 

 

Recent TEA statements about students with disabilities and virtual learning:

“The District’s duty to provide a free and appropriate education (FAPE) to students with disabilities continued during the COVID-19 global pandemic. Neither state or federal law provide flexibility to school districts in times of emergency regarding their obligation to provide FAPE to students receiving special education services.”

“During the COVID-19 global pandemic, the District is obligated, to the greatest extent possible, to ensure each student with a disability can be provided the special education and related services identified in the student’s IEP.”
 

A third HPISD family just received a favorable ruling related to a complaint filed with the TEA, this time related to how their child’s services were improperly (and drastically) reduced in the spring of 2019. In addition to relief for the individual child, the TEA is requiring HPISD to review policies and guidelines that led to improper decisions, plus provide training to the individuals / administrators who contributed to the noncompliance. The family wants others to be aware of the TEA’s findings so that other parents can effectively advocate for their students’ needs. 

As Covid, Covid policies, and the upcoming flu season continue to impact parent and student choices about how to attend school, parents should understand their children’s educational rights and have a clear agreement with the school about how their child will be served if they attend school virtually (whether by choice or because of school closure).

Did you know? 

  • If your child is attending school virtually, the school is still responsible to implement each Individualized Education Plan (IEP) as written (services, accommodations, etc) or to work with you to reach an agreement about how it can be amended for online learning. 

 

What’s not ok?

  • A school changing IEP services and accommodations without an ARD meeting or officially amending the IEP

 

How is an IEP officially amended?

  • Parents and the school work together to agree on which specific services/accommodations will be implemented and how

  • Parents must give written agreement to amend the IEP prior to implementation (typically via a Virtual Contingency Supplement that overrides the IEP when the student is attending virtually)

  • If parents do not give written agreement, the school must provide Prior Written Notice (an official form) that documents what the school plans to implement without the parents’ agreement

This process provides protection for students with an IEP to ensure that parents and the school work together and that the parents are aware of and understand any changes made to their child’s IEP.

What should you do?

  • Make sure you have a Virtual Contingency Supplement created this fall with the school that will support your student in a virtual environment.

  • If you don’t have a Virtual Contingency Supplement, request an ARD meeting in writing so that you can work with the school to create one. This protects your student if the schools close again or if your student needs to move online.

  • Until you have a new Virtual Contingency Supplement from this fall, the plans created in the spring (which the TEA found to be noncompliant) are the plans in place for students.

 

If you have questions, reach out to your campus Special Education Coordinator (listed here).

 

Click here if you have questions for Decoding Dyslexia - Park Cities parent leaders or to request a copy of the redacted complaint.

TEA REQUIRES HPISD TO REVIEW

EVALUATION DATA AT TWO SCHOOLS

COMPLAINTS #1 and #2

Two families, one at Hyer and one at UP Elementary, recently filed complaints with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) on behalf of their dyslexic children. The TEA found HPISD was out of compliance with federal and state law on allegations related to:

 

  • Whether dyslexic students were properly identified as having a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) to qualify for special education

    • This provides access to specially designed instruction in reading beyond / different than Take Flight

  • The lack of services provided during COVID-19 spring learning

 

The families who filed the TEA complaints want to share the redacted TEA Investigative Reports to help other families who may be in a similar situation:

 

CLICK HERE to ask questions about the investigations. The families involved are happy to speak directly with other parents, so please ask if you'd like them to contact you.

 

In addition to steps the district must take for individual students in the complaints, the TEA has mandated that HPISD conduct campus-wide reviews of recent evaluations at both schools. The purpose of the review is to determine if appropriate decisions were made based on evaluations that included reading, writing, learning challenges, etc., which is known as a Specific Learning Disability (SLD) in school evaluations. 

 

If your child underwent a Full Individual Evaluation (FIE) between May 1, 2019 and May 29, 2020 at Hyer or UP Elementary, your student’s evaluation may be part of the review.  

 

To know if your student may be part of the review, ask yourself:

  1. Was my child evaluated via a Full Individual Evaluation (FIE) between May 1, 2019 and May 29, 2020 while attending Hyer or UP Elementary?

  2. Was part of the reason for the evaluation a concern about reading / writing / learning differences (called Specific Learning Disability in school evaluations)?

 

If "yes" to both, review your child’s Full Individual Evaluation and see what decisions were made about eligibility. Look towards the end of the document for this section:

Likely impacted are students who:

  • Were informed that they did not meet SLD criteria (Ex. Scores too high, grades too high) and were therefore denied special education eligibility

  • Qualified for eligibility in another area, such as Speech or Other Health Impairment for ADHD, but were not given an SLD identification despite weakness in reading

  • Were identified as having a SLD, but informed they did not need special education services

 

If you believe your child’s evaluation may be subject to the campus-wide review, follow up with your campus Special Education Coordinator to learn more. Ask how the review process will be implemented to ensure correct eligibility decisions were made for your child. (Find the contact on your campus at Dyslexia in HPISD)

 

Also, if your child has only been evaluated via a dyslexia-only 504 evaluation, you may want to learn more about comprehensive Full Individual Evaluations (FIE) that take a much broader look at your child’s learning profile. Any parent with concerns may request an FIE in writing, and your school is required to respond to your request in writing within 15 school days. Visit the Evaluations page for more information.

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Decoding Dyslexia is a network of parent-led grassroots movements across the country. Decoding Dyslexia & Decoding Dyslexia Park Cities' resources are provided for educational and informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice or individualized professional counsel. An individual should not take action on behalf of their child without consulting multiple resources, taking special care to make sure that any resource reflects current educational laws and policies.