House Bill 657

Dear Parent/Guardian,

The 85th Texas Legislature recently passed legislation (HB 657) which pertains to students who receive special education services under Texas Education Code, Chapter 29, subchapter A.

All students taking state assessment (STAAR), including students receiving special education services, are subject to grade-advancement requirements and participation in an accelerated instruction program. However, HB 657 requires the Admission, Review, Dismissal (ARD) committee to make decisions regarding both grade placement and participation in an accelerated instruction program in certain circumstances.

HB 657 states that if a 5th or 8th grade student receiving special education services does not perform satisfactorily on STAAR in reading or mathematics, the ARD committee must meet prior to the second administration of the test. The ARD committee must determine the manner in which the student will participate in an accelerated instruction program and whether the student will be promoted or retained.

When deciding between promotion and retention, the ARD committee may promote the student if the student made sufficient progress on the measurable academic goals in the student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), despite not performing satisfactorily on the reading or mathematics STAAR test. If promoted, the school district is not required to provide the student additional opportunities to perform satisfactorily on the STAAR test.

Additional information regarding promotion can be found in the Student Success Initiative (SSI) Manual, which can be accessed online at http://tea.texas.gov/student.assessment/ssi/.

If you have questions, please contact Rusty Brawley, Directory of Special Education at 940-663-6321.

In its efforts to promote nondiscrimination, Benjamin ISD does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, or disability in providing education services, activities and programs, including CTE programs, in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended: Tile IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972; and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended, which incorporates and expands upon the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.

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