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TSBVI possesses significant discretion to determine the content of its school libraries.  The School, however, exercises its discretion in a manner consistent with the First Amendment.

REMOVAL OF LIBRARY MATERIALS

Students' First Amendment rights are implicated by the removal of books from the shelves of a school library.  TSBVI shall not remove materials from a library for the purpose of denying students access to ideas with which the School disagrees.  The School may remove materials because they are pervasively vulgar or based solely upon the educational suitability of the books in question.

Board of Education v. Pico, 457 U.S. 853, 102 S. Ct. 2799 (1982)

Note: For provisions regarding inventory and requisition of instructional materials, see CMD.

DEFINITIONS

“Instructional material is defined as content that conveys the essential knowledge and skills of a subject in the public school curriculum through a medium or a combination of media for conveying information to a student.  The term includes a book, supplementary materials, a combination of a book, workbook, and supplementary materials, computer software, magnetic media, DVD, CD-ROM, computer courseware, online services, or an electronic medium, or other means of conveying information to the student or otherwise contributing to the learning process through electronic means, including open-source or open education instructional material.  Education Code 31.002(1)

“Open-source or open education instructional material” is electronic instructional material that is teaching, learning, and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that allows for free use, reuse, modification, and sharing with others, including full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, streaming videos, tests, software, and any other tools, materials, or techniques used to support access to knowledge.  Education Code 31.002(1-a)

“Technology equipment” is hardware, a device, or equipment necessary for instructional use in the classroom, including to gain access to or enhance the use of electronic instructional materials; or professional use by a classroom teacher.  Education Code 31.002(4)

SBOE INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS LIST

For each subject and grade level, the State Board of Education (SBOE) shall adopt a list of instructional materials.

The list includes each instructional material that meets applicable physical specifications and contains material covering at least half of the elements of the essential knowledge and skills of the subject and grade level.  Education Code 31.023(a)

Open-Source Instructional Material

The SBOE shall place open-source or open education instructional material for a secondary-level course submitted for adoption by an eligible institution on the list if it satisfies the requirements described in Education Code 31.0241.  Education Code 31.0241(b)

COMMISSIONER INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS LIST

The Commissioner, with input from the SBOE, shall adopt a list of:

  1. Electronic instructional material; and
  2. Material that conveys information to the student or otherwise contributes to the learning process, including tools, models, and investigative materials designed for use as part of the foundation curriculum for science in kindergarten through grade 5 and personal financial literacy in first through 8th

Education Code 31.0231(a)

SUPPLEMENTAL INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS LIST

The SBOE may adopt supplemental instructional materials that are not on the SBOE instructional materials list.  Supplemental instructional material adopted by the SBOE:

  1. Must contain material covering one or more primary focal points or primary topics of a subject in the required curriculum;
  2. Is not designed to serve as the sole instructional sources for a full course;
  3. Meets applicable physical specifications adopted by the State Board of Education;
  4. Is free from factual errors;
  5. Is suitable for the subject and grade level; and
  6. Is review by academic experts in the subject and grade level.

Education Code 31.035(a)

Selection

The Board shall select instructional materials in an open meeting as required by the Texas Open Meetings Act.  Final selections must be recorded in board minutes.  19 TAC 66.104(a)

Notice to SBOE

Each year, during a period established by the SBOE, the Board shall notify the SBOE of instructional materials selected in accordance with Education Code 31.101.  Education Code 31.101(a)

Foundation Curriculum

For subjects in the foundation curriculum, the Board shall notify the SBOE of the instructional materials it selects from the instructional materials list, including the Commissioner’s instructional materials list.  Education Code 31.101(a)(1)

Enrichment Curriculum

For a subject in the enrichment curriculum, the Board shall notify the SBOE of instructional material it selects from the instructional materials list, including the Commissioner’s instructional materials list, or that it selected instructional materials that do not appear on the list.  Education Code 31.101(a)(2)

Open Education Resource Instructional Materials

In selecting instructional material each year, TSBVI may consider the use of open education resource instructional materials.  Education Code 31.101(b)

TSBVI may adopt state-developed open education resource instructional material at any time, regardless of the instructional material review and adoption cycle.  Education Code 31.073(c)

Supplemental Materials

The Board may requisition supplemental instructional materials adopted by the SBOE, as set forth at Education Code 31.035 [see CMD].  If the Board requisitions supplemental instructional materials, TSBVI shall certify to TEA that the supplemental instructional materials, in combination with any other instructional materials or supplemental instructional materials used by TSBVI, cover the essential knowledge and skills for the course.  Education Code 31.035(d),(f)

Special Education

Adopted instructional materials shall be supplied to a student in special education classes as appropriate to the level of the student’s ability and without regard to the grade for which the instructional material is adopted or the grade in which the student is enrolled.  19 TAC 66.104(m)

Duration of Selection

Listed Materials

When TSBVI selects subscription-based instructional material on the SBOE instructional materials list or electronic instructional material on the Commissioner’s instructional materials list, it may cancel the subscription and subscribe to new instructional material on the SBOE list or electronic instructional material on the Commissioner’s list before the end of the state contract period if:

  1. TSBVI has used the instructional material for at least one school year; and
  2. TEA approves the change based on a written request to TEA by TSBVI that specifies the reasons for changing the instructional material used by the School.

Education Code 31.101(e)

Other Materials

For instructional material that is not on the instructional materials list, TSBVI must use the instructional material for the period of the review and adoption cycle the SBOE has established for the subject and grade level for which the instruction material is used.  Education Code 31.101(d)

Criminal Offense

A board member, administrator, or teacher commits an offense if the person receives any commission or rebate on any instructional materials or technological equipment used in the schools with which the person is associated.

A board member, administrator, or teacher commits an offense if the person accepts a gift, favor, or service that:

  1. Is given to the person or the person’s school;
  2. Might reasonably tend to influence the person in the selection of instructional material or technological equipment; and
  3. Could not be lawfully purchased with state instructional material funds.

 “Gift, favor, or service” does not include:

  1. Staff development, in-service, or teacher training; or
  2. Ancillary materials, such as maps or worksheets, that convey information to the student or otherwise contribute to the learning process.

Education Code 31.152

HUMAN SEXUALITY MATERIALS

Course materials relating to human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) shall be selected by the Board with the advice of the school health advisory council.  Education Code 28.004(e) [see EHAA]

Adopted:         5/28/03

Amended:       11/15/18

Reviewed:

STANDARDS

The School Library Programs: Standards and Guidelines for Texas are adopted by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.  The standards and guidelines are applicable to local Texas school districts.  13 TAC 4.1

TSBVI shall consider the standards in developing, implementing, or expanding library services.  Education Code 33.021

Adopted:         1/26/96

Amended:       1/25/19

Reviewed:       11/22/02

PHILOSOPHY OF INSTRUCTION IN THE COMMUNITY

Based on the following premises, the Board of Trustees is committed to ensuring that students at the School are provided appropriate opportunities for learning within the community:

  1. Students with visual impairments benefit from learning about the concepts of their world by participation in real environmental contexts.
  2. The extent to which a student with a visual impairment may benefit from instruction in real environmental contexts is related to the students prior experiences, knowledge, and ability to generalize and think abstractly.

COMMUNITY INSTRUCTION

The School shall provide to all students appropriate opportunities for learning in natural, community-based contexts such as community businesses, stores and recreational sites when such opportunities are necessary for the student to benefit from instruction.

Opportunities for learning in natural, community-based contexts shall be provided within the school programs and residential programs.

SUPERINTENDENT RESPONSIBILITY

The Superintendent shall ensure that Community-based instruction is provided in a safe, effective and instructive manner.

PROCEDURES

The Superintendent shall ensure that procedures for use by school and residential staff are developed and implemented to address the following areas related to community-based instruction:

  1. Student supervision and safety, including procedures to be used in cases of emergency;
  2. Administrative approval of individual activities;
  3. Appropriate behavior of staff and students during community-based activities;
  4. Parental notification;
  5. Use of transportation;
  6. Relationship of activity to student instructional objectives;
  7. Student medical conditions and implications for community-based instruction; and
  8. Any other area considered important by the Superintendent.

Adopted: 11/14/97

Amended: 5/28/03

Reviewed: 4/5/13

PARENTAL REQUESTS

A parent is entitled to request, with the expectation that the request will not be unreasonably denied:

  1. The addition of a specific academic class in the course of study of the parent's child in keeping with the required curriculum if sufficient interest is shown in the addition of the class to make it economically practical to offer the class.
  2. That the parent's child be permitted to attend an academic class for credit above the child's grade level, whether in the child's school or another school, unless the Superintendent or his/her representative expects that the child cannot perform satisfactorily in the class.

The decision of the Superintendent may be appealed to the Board.

The decision of the Board concerning such a request is final and may not be appealed. (See FNG)

Education Code 26.003(a)(3)(A)(B), (b)

VIDEOTAPE OR RECORDING

A School employee is not required to obtain the consent of a child's parent before the employee may videotape the child or record the child's voice if the videotape or recording is to be used only for a purpose related to regular classroom instruction.

Education Code 26.009(b)(3)

Adopted: 5/24/96

Reviewed: 5/28/03, 1/28/05, 4/5/19

Amended: 1/24/97

PURPOSE

A primary purpose of the public school curriculum is to prepare thoughtful, active citizens who understand the importance of patriotism and can function productively in a free enterprise society with appreciation for the basic democratic values of our state and national heritage.  The School shall foster the continuation of the tradition of teaching United States and Texas history and the free enterprise system in regular subject matter, in reading courses, and in the adoption of textbooks.  Education Code 28.002(h)

As a condition of accreditation, the School shall provide instruction in the essential knowledge and skills at appropriate grade levels in the foundation and enrichment curriculum.  Education Code 28.002(c); 19 TAC 74.1(b)

The School shall ensure that all children in the School participate actively in a balanced curriculum designed to meet individual needs.  Education Code 28.002(g)

Instruction may be provided in a variety of arrangements and settings, including mixed-age programs designed to permit flexible learning arrangements for developmentally appropriate instruction for all student populations to support student attainment of course and grade-level standards.  19 TAC 74.2

REQUIRED CURRICULUM

The School shall offer the following as a required curriculum:

Foundation Curriculum

  1. A foundation curriculum that includes:
    1. English language arts and reading;
    2. Mathematics;
    3. Science; and
    4. Social studies, consisting of Texas, United States, and world history; government; geography; and economics with emphasis on the free enterprise system and its benefits.

Education Code 28.002(a)(1); 19 TAC 74.1(a)(1)

Enrichment Curriculum

  1. An enrichment curriculum that includes:
    1. Languages other than English, to the extent possible. American Sign Language is a language for these purposes and the School may offer an elective course in the language;
    2. Health, with emphasis on:
  2. Physical health, including the importance of proper nutrition and exercise;
  3. Mental health, including instruction about mental health conditions, substance abuse, skills to manage emotions, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and responsible decision-making; and
  4. Suicide prevention, including recognizing suicide-related risk factors and warning signs;
    1. Physical Education;
    2. Fine arts;
    3. Career and technology education;
    4. Technology applications; and
    5. Religious literature, including the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) and New Testament, and its impact on history and literature.
    6. Personal financial literacy

Education Code 28.002(a)(2) (e); 19 TAC 74.1(a)(2)

Digital Citizenship

The State Board of Education by rule requires TSBVI to incorporate instruction in digital citizenship into the School’s curriculum, including information regarding the potential criminal consequences of cyberbullying.

“Cyberbullying” has the meaning assigned by Education Code 37.0832.  [See FFI]

“Digital citizenship” means the standards of appropriate, responsible, and healthy online behavior, including the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and act on all forms of digital communications.

Education Code 28.002(z)

Local Credit

The School may offer courses for local credit, at its discretion, in addition to those in the required curriculum, but it may not delete or omit instruction in the foundation and enrichment curricula specified above.

Education Code 28.002(f); 19 TAC 74.1(b)

EXPANDED CORE CURRICULUM

The Expanded Core Curriculum shall be used as a framework for assessing, planning individual goals and providing instruction to TSBVI students.  The expanded core curriculum shall include all of the following:

  1. Compensatory or functional academic skills, including communication modes. This area of the Expanded Core Curriculum shall include learning experiences such as concept development, spatial understanding, study and organizational skills, speaking and listening skills, and adaptations necessary for accessing all areas of the existing core curriculum. TSBVI students shall receive Instruction based on communication needs, which will vary, depending on degree of functional vision, effects of additional disabilities, and the task to be done.  Students may use braille, large print, print with the use of optical devices, regular print, tactile symbols, a calendar system, sign language, and/or recorded materials to communicate.
  2. Orientation and Mobility
  3. Social interaction Skills
  4. Independent Living Skills
  5. Recreation and Leisure Skills
  6. Career Education
  7. Use of Assistive Technology
  8. Sensory Efficiency Skills (visual, auditory, and tactual)
  9. Self-Determination

LOCAL INSTRUCTIONAL PLAN

The School's local instructional plan may draw on state curriculum frameworks and program standards as appropriate.  The School is encouraged to exceed minimum requirements of law and State Board rule.

Major Curriculum Initiatives

Before the adoption of a major curriculum initiative, including the use of a curriculum management system, TSBVI must use a process that:

  1. Includes teacher input;
  2. Provides School employees with the opportunity to express opinions regarding the initiative; and
  3. Includes a meeting of the Board at which information regarding the initiative is presented, including the cost of the initiative and any alternatives that were considered and member of the public and School employees are given the opportunity to comment regarding the initiative.

Education Code 28.002(g)

scope and sequence

In adopting a recommended or designated scope and sequence for a subject in the required curriculum under Education Code 28.00(a) in a particular grade level, TSBVI shall ensue sufficient time is provided for teachers to teach and students to learn the essential knowledge and skills for that subject and grade level [see DG].  Education Code 28.007(a)

COORDINATED HEALTH PROGRAMS

TEA shall make available to the School one or more coordinated health programs or allow the development of School programs designed to prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes in elementary, middle, and junior high school students.  Each program must provide for coordinating:

  1. Health education including oral health education;
  2. Physical education and physical activity;
  3. Nutrition services; and
  4. Parental involvement.

Education Code 38.013; 19 TAC 102.1031(a)

The School shall participate in appropriate training to implement TEA’s coordinated health program and shall implement the program in each elementary, middle, and junior high school in the School.  Education Code 38.014

Coordinated school health programs that are developed by the School and that meet TEA criteria may be approved and made available as approved programs.  The School must use materials that are proven effective, such as TEA-approved textbooks or materials developed by nationally recognized and/or government-approved entities.  19 TAC 102.1031(c)

PHYSICAL EDUCATION

The School shall establish specific objectives and goals the School intends to accomplish through the physical education curriculum.  The physical education curriculum must be sequential, developmentally appropriate, and designed, implemented, and evaluated to enable students to develop the motor, self-management, and other skills, knowledge, attitudes, and confidence necessary to participate in physical activity throughout life.

A physical education course shall:

  1. Offer students an opportunity to choose among many types of physical activity in which to participate;
  2. Offer students both cooperative and competitive games; and
  3. Be an enjoyable experience for students.

On a weekly basis, at least 50 percent of a physical education class shall be used for actual student physical activity and the activity shall be, to the extent practicable, at a moderate or vigorous level.

Student/Teacher Ratio

The objectives and goals shall include, to the extent practicable, student/teacher ratios that are small enough to enable the School to:

  1. Carry out the purposes and requirements for the physical education curriculum; and
  2. Ensure the safety of students participating in physical education.

Education Code 25.114, 28.002(d); 19 TAC 74.37

Classification for Physical Education

The School shall classify students for physical education on the basis of health into one of the following categories:

  1. Unrestricted—not limited in activities.
  2. Restricted—excludes the more vigorous activities. Restricted classification is of two types:
    1. Permanent—A member of the healing arts licensed to practice in Texas shall provide written documentation to the school as to the nature of the impairment and the expectations for physical activity for the student.
    2. Temporary—Students may be restricted from physical activity of the physical education class. A member of the healing arts licensed to practice in Texas shall provide written documentation to the school as to the nature of the temporary impairment and the expected amount of time for recovery.  During recovery time, the student shall continue to learn the concepts of the lessons but shall not actively participate in the skill demonstration.
  3. Adapted and remedial—specific activities prescribed or prohibited for students as directed by a member of the healing arts licensed to practice in Texas.

19 TAC 74.31

SCHOOL HEALTH ADVISORY COUNCIL (SHAC)

The Board shall establish a local school health advisory council (SHAC) to assist the School in ensuring that community values and health issues are reflected in the School's health education instruction.  Education Code 28.004(a)  [See BDF regarding composition of SHAC and FFA regarding federal wellness requirements.]

Duties

The SHAC’s duties include recommending:

  1. The number of hours of instruction to be provided in health education;
  2. Policies, procedures, strategies, and curriculum appropriate for specific grade levels designed to prevent obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes, and mental health concerns, including suicide, through coordination of:
    1. Health education,
    2. Physical education and physical activity,
    3. Nutrition services,
    4. Parental involvement,
    5. Instruction to prevent the use of e-cigarettes, as defined by Health and Safety Code 161.081, and tobacco,
    6. School health services,
    7. Counseling and guidance services,
    8. A safe and healthy school environment, and
    9. School employee wellness;
  3. Appropriate grade levels and methods of instruction for human sexuality instruction.
  4. Strategies for integrating the curriculum components specified by item 2, above, with the following elements in a coordinated school health program:
    1. School health services,
    2. Counseling and guidance services,
    3. A safe and healthy school environment, and
    4. School employee wellness;
  5. If feasible, joint use agreements or strategies for collaboration between the School and community organizations or agencies. Any agreement entered into based on a recommendation of the SHAC must address liability for the School and the community organization;
  6. Appropriate grade levels and curriculum for instruction regarding opioid addiction and abuse and methods for administering an opioid antagonist; and
  7. Strategies to increase parental awareness regarding:
    1. Risky behaviors and early warning signs of suicide risks and behavioral health concerns, including mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders; and
    2. Available community programs and services that address risky behaviors, suicide risks, and behavioral concerns.

Education Code 28.004(c)(n)

Policy Recommendations

The SHAC shall consider and make policy recommendations to the School concerning the importance of daily recess for elementary school students.  The SHAC must consider research regarding unstructured and undirected play, academic and social development, and the health benefits of daily recess in making the recommendations.  The SHAC shall ensure that local community values are reflected in any policy recommendations made to the School concerning the importance of daily recess for elementary school students.  Education Code 28.004(l)

The SHAC shall make policy recommendations to the School to increase parental awareness of suicide-related risk factors and warning signs and available community suicide prevention services.  Education Code 28.004(o)

CONTENT OF HUMAN SEXUALITY INSTRUCTION

The Board shall determine the specific content of the School’s instruction in human sexuality.  Education Code 28.004(h)

Any instruction relating to human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) shall be selected by the Board with the advice of the SHAC.  The instruction must:

  1. Present abstinence as the preferred choice of behavior for unmarried persons of school age;
  2. Devote more attention to abstinence than to any other behavior;
  3. Emphasize that abstinence is the only method that is 100 percent effective in preventing pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, infection with HIV or AIDS, and the emotional trauma associated with adolescent sexual activity;
  4. Direct adolescents to a standard of behavior in which abstinence before marriage is the most effective way to prevent pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, infection with HIV or AIDS; and
  5. Teach contraception and condom use in terms of human use reality rates instead of theoretical laboratory rates, if instruction on contraception and condoms is included in the curriculum.

Education Code 28.004(e)

Condoms

The School may not distribute condoms in connection with instruction relating to human sexuality.  Education Code 28.004(f)

Separate Classes

If the School provides human sexuality instruction, it may separate students according to sex for instructional purposes.  Education Code 28.004(g) [See FB regarding single-sex classes under Title IX]

Notice to Parents

Before each school year, the School will provide written notice to a parent of each student enrolled of the Board’s decision regarding whether human sexuality instruction will be provided to students.  If instruction will be provided, the notice must include:

  1. A summary of the basic content of the School’s human sexuality instruction to be provided to the student, including a statement informing the parent of the instructional requirements under state law;
  2. A statement of the parent’s right to:
    1. Review curriculum materials as provided by Education Code 28.004(j); and
    2. Remove the student from any part of that instruction without subjecting the student to any disciplinary action, academic penalty, or other sanction imposed by the School; and
  3. Information describing the opportunities for parental involvement in the development of the curriculum to be used in human sexuality instruction, including information regarding the local school health advisory council.

A parent may use the grievance procedure at FNG concerning a complaint of a violation of notice requirements.

Education Code 28.004(i)-(i-1)

Availability of Materials

The School shall make all curriculum materials used in human sexuality instruction available for reasonable public inspection.  Education Code 28.004(j)  [See EFA] regarding selection of curriculum materials for human sexuality instruction]

Character EDUCATION

TSBVI must adopt a character education program that includes the following positive character education traits:

  1. Courage;
  2. Trustworthiness, including honesty, reliability, punctuality, and loyalty;
  3. Integrity;
  4. Respect and courtesy;
  5. Responsibility, including accountability, diligence, perseverance, and self-control;
  6. Fairness, including justice and freedom from prejudice;
  7. Caring, including kindness, empathy, compassion, consideration, patience, generosity, and charity;
  8. Good citizenship, including patriotism, concern for the common good and the community, and respect for authority and the law;
  9. School pride; and
  10.  Gratitude.

In developing or selecting a character education program under Education code 29.906, TSBVI shall consult with a committee selected by the School that consists of parents of TSBVI students, educators, and other members of the community, including community leaders.

The provisions above do not require or authorize proselytizing or indoctrinating concerning any specific religious or political belief.

Education Code 29.906

Adopted:                     11/13/81

Amended:                   9/21/84, 1/29/93, 1/26/96, 3/21/97, 5/28/03, 1/28/05, 9/22/06, 11/16/07, 11/9/12, 9/20/13, 4/5/19, 1/31/20

Reviewed:

ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS

The School must provide instruction in the required curriculum related to kindergarten through grade 5 as specified in 19 TAC 74.1 (relating to Essential Knowledge and Skills).

The School shall ensure that sufficient time is provided for teachers to teach and students to learn English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, fine arts, health, physical education, technology applications, and to the extent possible, languages other than English.

19 TAC 74.2

DAILY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

In accordance with Education Code 28.002, all students enrolled in kindergarten or grades 1-5 in an elementary school setting are required to participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes throughout the school year, as part of the School’s physical education program or through structured activity during daily recess.

If the School determines, for any particular grade level, that requiring moderate to vigorous daily physical activity is impractical due to scheduling concerns or other factors, it may as an alternate require a student in that grade level to participate in moderate or vigorous physical activity for at least 135 minutes during the school week.

A student who is unable to participate in the required physical activity because of illness or disability is exempt from this requirement.

Education Code 28.002(l)

Recess

If appropriate under a student’s IEP, students in full-day kindergarten-grade 5 shall participate in daily, unstructured physical activity for 30 minutes throughout the school year as part of daily recess.  Implementation of 30 minutes of unstructured recess time each day is in addition to the 135 minutes of structured physical activity.

Recess, while separate and distinct from physical education, is an essential component of the total educational experience for elementary-aged children; therefore, students may not be denied recess as a means of punishment, to complete work, or to attend tutorials.

GRADE 6 FINE ARTS

A school that provides instruction for grade 6 in a self-contained elementary class as part of elementary school shall provide instruction for students in grade 6 in all of the Middle School 1 TEKS for art, dance, music, and theatre as specified in 19 Administrative Code Chapter 117.  Education Code 28.002(c-1); 19 TAC 74.2(b)

GRADES 1-3 READING PROGRAM

TSBVI shall provide for the use of a phonics curriculum that uses systematic direct instruction in first through third grade to ensure all students obtain necessary early literacy skills.

TSBVI shall certify to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) that the School prioritizes placement of highly effective teachers in first through second grade and has integrated reading instruments used to diagnose reading development and comprehension to support each student in first through third grade.

Education Code 28.0062(a)(1), (a)(3) [See DMA for early literacy personnel requirements]

Adopted:                     11/13/81

Amended:                   9/21/84, 9/27/90, 5/30/91, 9/27/91, 5/24/96, 1/24/97, 1/30/04, 9/22/06, 11/16/07, 1/25/13, 4/5/19, 1/31/20

Reviewed:                   1/28/05

PROVISION OF REQUIRED CURRICULUM

For any TSBVI student whose IEP includes instruction in required curriculum as described in this policy, TSBVI will either:

  1. offer the course to the student; or
  2. arrange for the student to take the course in a local public school setting.

GRADES 6-8

The School must provide instruction in the required curriculum as specified in 19 TAC 74.1, relating to essential knowledge and skills.  The School shall ensure that sufficient time is provided for teachers to teach and for students to learn English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, fine arts, health, physical education, technology applications, and to the extent possible, languages other than English.  The School may provide instruction in a variety of arrangements and settings, including mixed-age programs designed to permit flexible learning arrangements for developmentally appropriate instruction for all student populations to support student attainment of course and grade level standards. 19 TAC 74.3(a)(1)

Physical Activity Requirements

Students in grades 6–8 are required to participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes for at least four semesters during those grade levels as part of the School’s physical education curriculum.

TSBVI may as an alternative require a student enrolled in a grade level for which the School uses block scheduling to participate in moderate or vigorous physical activity for at least 225 minutes during each period of two school weeks.

Exemptions

The School must provide an exemption for:

  1. A student who is unable to participate in the required physical activity because of illness or disability; and
  2. A student who participates in an extracurricular activity with a moderate or vigorous physical activity component that is considered a structured activity and meets the requirements for extracurricular activity as defined at 19 Administrative Code 76.1001.

The School may allow an exemption for a student on a middle or junior high school campus participating in a school-related activity or an activity sponsored by a private league or club only if that activity meets each of the following requirements:

  1. The activity must be structured;
  2. The Board must certify the activity; and
  3. The student must provide proof of participation in the activity.

A “structured activity” is an activity that meets, at a minimum, each of the following requirements:

  1. The activity is based on the grade appropriate movement, physical activity and health, and social development strands of the essential knowledge and skills for physical education specified in 19 Administrative Code Chapter 116; and
  2. The activity is organized and monitored by school personnel or by appropriately trained instructors who are part of a program that has been certified by the Board.

Education Code 28.002(l)-(l-1); 19 TAC 103.1003

Fine Arts Requirement

The School will ensure that, beginning with students who enter grade 6 in the 2010-11 school year, each student completes one Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills-based fine arts course in grade 6, grade 7, or grade 8.  Education Code 28.002(c-1); 19 TAC 74.3(a)(2)

Instruction in High School, College, and Career Preparation

TSBVI shall provide instruction to students in grade 7 or 8 in preparing for high school, college, and a career.  The instruction must include information regarding:

  1. The creation of a high school personal graduation plan under Education Code 28.02121;
  2. The distinguished level of achievement described by Education Code 28.025(b-15);
  3. Each endorsement described by Education Code 28.025 (c-1);
  4. College readiness standards; and
  5. Potential career choices and the education needed to enter those careers.

TSBVI may provide the instruction as part of an existing course in the required curriculum; provide the instruction as part of an existing career and technology course designated by the State Board of Education (SBOE) as appropriate for that purpose; or establish a new elective course through which to provide the instruction.

Education Code 28.016

HIGH SCHOOL COURSES AT EARLIER GRADES

The School may offer courses designated for grades 9-12 in earlier grade levels.  19 TAC 74.26(b)

GRADES 9-12 COURSE OFFERINGS

The School shall provide instruction in the required curriculum as specified in 19 TAC 74.1, relating to the essential knowledge and skills.  According to each student's IEP, the School shall ensure that sufficient time is provided for teachers to teach and for students to learn the essential knowledge and skills.  19 TAC 74.3(b)(1)

The School shall offer the courses listed below in grades 9-12 and shall maintain evidence that students have the opportunity to take these courses:

  1. English language arts - English I, II, III, IV.
  2. Mathematics - Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Pre-Calculus and Mathematical Models with applications.
  3. Science - Integrated Physics and Chemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and at least two additional science courses selected from:
    1. Aquatic Science;
    2. Astronomy
    3. Earth and Space Science
    4. Environmental Systems;
    5. Advanced Animal Science;
    6. Advanced Biotechnology;
    7. Advanced Plant and Soil Science;
    8. Anatomy and Physiology;
    9. Engineering Design and Problem Solving;
    10. Food Science;
    11. Forensic Science;
    12. Medical Microbiology;
    13. Pathophysiology;
    14. Scientific Research and Design; and
    15. Principals of Engineering

The requirement to offer two additional courses may be reduced to one by the Commissioner upon application of TSBVI as a school with a total high school enrollment of less than 500 students.

Science courses shall include at least 40 percent hands-on laboratory investigations and fieldwork, using appropriate scientific inquiry.

  1. Social studies - United States History Studies Since 1877, World History Studies, United States Government, World Geography Studies, Personal Financial Literacy, and Economics with Emphasis on the Free Enterprise System and its Benefits.
  2. Physical education - At least two of the following:
    1. Foundations of Personal Fitness;
    2. Adventure/Outdoor education;
    3. Aerobic Activities; or
    4. Team or Individual sports.
  3. Fine arts - courses selected from at least two of the four fine arts areas (art, music, theatre and dance) as follows:
    1. Art I, II, III, IV;
    2. Music I, II, III, IV;
    3. Theatre I, II, III, IV; or
    4. Dance I, II, III, IV.
  4. Career and technology education [see EEL] – coherent sequences of courses selected from at least three of the following 16 career clusters:
    1. Agricultural, Food, and Natural Resources;
    2. Architecture and Construction;
    3. Arts, Audio/Video Technology, and Communication;
    4. Business Management and Administration;
    5. Education and Training;
    6. Finance;
    7. Government and Public Administration;
    8. Health Science;
    9. Hospitality and Tourism;
    10. Human Services;
    11. Information Technology;
    12. Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security;
    13. Manufacturing;
    14. Marketing;
    15. Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; and
    16. Transportation, Distribution, and Logistics.
  5. Languages other than English - Levels I, II and III or higher of the same language.
  6. Technology applications Computer Science I and Computer Science II or Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science and - at least two of the following:
    1. Computer Science III;
    2. Digital Art and Animation;
    3. Digital Communications in the 21st Century;
    4. Digital Design and Media Production;
    5. Digital Forensics;
    6. Digital Video and Audio Design;
    7. Discrete Mathematics;
    8. Fundamentals of Computer Science;
    9. Game Programming and Design;
    10. Independent Study in Evolving/Emerging Technologies;
    11. Independent Study in Technology Applications;
    12. Mobile Application Development;
    13. Robotics Programming and Design;
    14. 3-D Modeling and Animation;
    15. Web Communications;
    16. Web Design; and
    17. Web Game Development.
  7. Speech - Communications Applications.
  8. The School shall provide to a student instruction in personal financial literacy in any course meeting a requirement for an economics credit, using materials approved by the State Board of Education (SBOE). The instruction in personal financial literacy must include instruction on completing the application for federal student aid provided by the Department of Education. In fulfilling the requirement to provide financial literacy instruction, the School may use an existing state, federal, private, or nonprofit program that provides students without charge the described instruction.  The School shall ensure that a student enrolled at an institution of higher education in a dual credit course meeting the requirements for an economics credit receive the personal financial literacy instruction. 

19 TAC 74.3(b)(2); Education Code 28.0021(b)

Students shall be given the opportunity each year to select courses in which he or she intends to participate from a list that includes all courses listed above.  If the School will not offer all required courses every year, but intends to offer particular courses only every other year, it must notify all enrolled students of that fact. 

TSBVI shall teach any course a student is specifically required to take for high school graduation at least once in any two consecutive school years.  For a subject that has an end-of-course assessment, the School shall either teach the course every year or use alternate delivery systems, as described in 19 Administrative Code Chapter 74, Subchapter C, to enable students to earn credit for the course and shall maintain evidence thereof.

19 TAC 74.3(b)(4)

TSBVI may offer additional courses from the complete list of courses approved by the SBOE to satisfy graduation requirements.  19 TAC 74.3(b)(3)

TSBVI shall either teach, or provide access to instruction in a local public school any course a student is required to take for graduation, or any course in which:

  1. for local public school courses, ten or more students indicate they will participate;
  2. for TSBVI courses, three or more students indicate they will participate.

APPLIED COURSES

The School may offer the foundation curriculum required by the Recommended and Advanced/Distinguished Achievement High School Programs in an applied manner.  The course must cover the essential knowledge and skills, and the student shall be administered the applicable end-of-course assessment instrument.  Education Code 28.025(b-4)

RESEARCH WRITING COMPONENT

For students entering grade 9, the School must ensure that one or more courses offered in the required curriculum for the Recommended and Advanced/Distinguished Achievement High School Programs include a research writing component.  19 TAC 74.3(b)(5)

PARENTING AWARENESS PROGRAM

High School

The School shall use the parenting and paternity awareness program developed by the SBOE in its high school health curriculum.

Middle and Junior High School

The School may use the program in the district’s middle or junior high school curriculum.

Program Requirements

Implementation of this requirement shall comply with the requirement that the board establish a local school health advisory council to assist the School in ensuring that local community values are reflected in the School’s health education instruction.

The School may add elements at its discretion but must include the following areas of instruction:

  1. Parenting skills and responsibilities, including child support;
  2. Relationship skills, including money management, communication, and marriage preparation; and
  3. Skills relating to the prevention of family violence, only if the School’s middle, junior high, or high school does not have a family violence program.

At the discretion of the School, a teacher may modify the suggested sequence and pace of the program at any grade level.

Programs and Materials

The School may develop or adopt research-based programs and curriculum materials for use in conjunction with the program developed by the SBOE.  The programs and curriculum materials may provide instruction in:

  1. Child development;
  2. Parenting skills, including child abuse and neglect prevention; and
  3. Assertiveness skills to prevent teenage pregnancy, abusive relationships, and family violence.

Parent Permission

A student under 14 years of age may not participate in the program without the permission of the student’s parent or person standing in parental relationship to the student.

Education Code 28.002(p); 19 TAC 74.35(a)

ALCOHOL AWARENESS PROGRAM

The School shall incorporate instruction in the dangers, causes, consequences, signs, symptoms, and treatment of binge drinking and alcohol poisoning into any course meeting a requirement for a health education credit.

The School shall choose an evidence-based alcohol awareness program to use in the School’s middle school, junior high school, and high school health curriculum from a list of programs approved by the Commissioner for this purpose.

“Evidence-based alcohol awareness program” means a program, practice, or strategy that has been proved to effectively prevent or delay alcohol use among students, as determined by evaluations that use valid and reliable measures and that are published in peer-reviewed journals.

Education Code 28.002(r); 19 TAC 74.35(b)

CPR INSTRUCTION

For all students who entered grade 7 in the 2010–11 school year and thereafter, TSBVI shall provide instruction to students in grades 7–12 in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).  The instruction may be provided as a part of any course.  A student shall receive the instruction at least once before graduation from high school.

CPR instruction must include training that has been developed by the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross or using nationally recognized, evidence-based guidelines for emergency cardiovascular care and incorporating psychomotor skills to support the instruction.

The School may use emergency medical technicians, paramedics, police officers, firefighters, representatives of the American Heart Association or the American Red Cross, teachers, other school employees, or other similarly qualified individuals to provide instruction and training. Instruction is not required to result in CPR certification.  If instruction is intended to result in certification, the course instructor must be authorized to provide the instruction by the American Heart Association, the American Red Cross, or a similar nationally recognized association; otherwise, an instructor is not required to be certified in CPR.

Waivers for Students with Disabilities

TSBVI may waive this requirement for a student who, due to a disability, is unable to complete the instruction. The determination regarding a student's ability to complete the CPR requirement must be made by:0.

The student's admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee if the student receives special education services under Education Code, Chapter 29, Subchapter A; or

The committee established for the student under Section 504, if the student does not receive special education services, but is covered by Section 504.

Education Code 28.0023 (c)–(e), (g); 19 TAC 74.38

Donations

TSBVI may accept from TEA donations the agency receives under Education Code 7.026 for use in providing instruction to students in the principles and techniques of CPR.  The School may accept other donations, including donations of equipment, for use in providing CPR instruction. Education Code 29.903

PROPER INTERACTION WITH A PEACE OFFICER

For any student entering grade 9 in the 2018–19 school year and thereafter, a district shall provide instruction in one or more courses to students in grades 9–12 on proper interaction with peace officers during traffic stops and other in-person encounters.  The required instruction may be provided as part of any course or courses and must be provided to each student at least once before graduation from high school.

The instruction must include all the information required by 19 Administrative Code 74.39(b).  TSBVI shall use materials developed through a memorandum of understanding among the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, the State Board of Education, and the Texas Education Agency.  The School may

tailor the instruction developed under this section as appropriate for the district’s community. In tailoring the instruction, the School shall solicit input from local law enforcement agencies, driver training schools, and the community.

The School shall clearly indicate on the transcript or academic achievement record the year in which the instruction was provided to the student.

19 TAC 74.39; Education Code 28.012

Adopted:          3/7/80

Amended:        6/14/80, 11/13/81, 9/21/83, 10/25/85, 2/14/86, 1/26/90, 5/30/91, 1/29/93, 1/24/97, 11/19/99, 1/30/04, 9/22/06, 11/16/07, 1/25/13, 4/5/19

Reviewed:

LIFE SKILLS PROGRAMS

The School may provide an integrated program of educational and support services for students who are pregnant or who are parents.  If the School provides such a program, the program shall include all of the following:

  1. Individual counseling, peer counseling, and self-help programs.
  2. Career counseling and job readiness training.
  3. Day care for the students' children on the campus or at a day-care facility in close proximity to the campus.
  4. Transportation for children of students to and from the campus or day-care facility.
  5. Transportation for students, as appropriate, to and from the campus or day-care facility.
  6. Instruction related to knowledge and skills in child development, parenting, and home and family living.
  7. Assistance to students in the program in obtaining available services from government agencies or community service organizations, including prenatal and postnatal health and nutrition programs.

The School shall solicit recommendations for obtaining community support for the students and their children in the life skills programs.

The School may operate a shared services arrangement program to operate a life skills program for student parents.

Education Code 29.085 [See EHBC, FNE]

LOCAL CREDIT COURSES

The School may offer one, or more, courses in addition to those in the required curriculum for local credit.

The State Board of Education shall be flexible in approving such courses for credit for high school graduation and approve courses in cybersecurity for high school graduation credit.  Education Code 28.002(f) [See EIF]

APPRENTICESHIPS

TSBVI may offer a course or other activity, including an apprenticeship or training hours needed to obtain an industry-recognized credential or certificate, that is approved by the Board for credit without obtaining State Board of Education approval if the School meets the requirements in Education Code 28.002(g-1) and (g-2).

TSBVI must annually report to TEA the names of the locally developed courses, programs, institutions of higher education and internships in which the School’s students have enrolled under this section.  TEA shall make information provided under this section available to other districts.

Education Code 28.002(g-1)-(g-2); 19 TAC 74.11(l)

CYBERSECURITY

TSBVI may offer a course in cybersecurity that is approved by the Board for credit without obtaining State Board of Education approval if the School partners with a public or private institution of higher education that offers an undergraduate degree program in cybersecurity to develop and provide the course.  Education Code 28.002(g-3)

TSBVI shall annually report to TEA the names of cybersecurity courses approved by the Board for credit and institutions of higher education where the students are enrolled.  TEA shall make this information available to other districts.  19 TAC 74.11(m)

Adopted:         7/12/85

Amended:       10/25/85, 2/14/86, 1/26/90, 1/29/93, 1/24/97, 11/19/99, 1/30/04, 11/9/12, 1/25/19, 8/9/19

Reviewed:

DYSLEXIA AND RELATED DISORDERS

The Board shall ensure that procedures are implemented for identifying and providing appropriate instructional services to students for dyslexia and related disorders, in accordance with the State Board of Education’s Dyslexia Handbook:  Procedures Concerning Dyslexia and Related Disorders.

Screening, Identification and Testing

Screening should be done only by individuals who are trained to assess students for dyslexia and related disorders, and will include an LSSP and/or a certified diagnostician who is familiar with assessment considerations for blind and visually impaired students.  

Before an identification or assessment procedure is used selectively with an individual student, local district shall notify the student's parent or guardian or another person standing in parental relation to the student through the student’s ARD meeting.

A process for early identification, intervention, and support for students at risk for dyslexia and related disorders must be available, as outlined in the Dyslexia Handbook.

Intervention

The School shall provide each identified student access to instructional programs required at Reading Program below and to the services of a teacher trained in visual impairment and dyslexia and related disorders.  A local ISD may, with the approval of each student’s parents or guardians, offer additional services at a centralized location, but centralized services shall not preclude each student from receiving services at his or her campus.

Reading Program

TSBVI shall purchase a reading program or develop its own reading program that is aligned with the descriptors in the Dyslexia Handbook and consistent with recommendations for students with visual impairments.

Teachers who screen provide intervention to these students must be trained in instructional strategies that utilize individualized, intensive, multisensory, phonetic methods and a variety of writing and spelling components described in the Dyslexia Handbook.  The professional development activities specified by the ARD committee shall include these instructional strategies.

Reassessment

Unless otherwise provided by law, a student determined to have dyslexia during screening or testing or accommodated because of dyslexia, may not be rescreened or retested for dyslexia for the purpose of reassessing the student’s need for accommodations until the School reevaluates the information obtained from previous screening or testing of the student.

Notice to Parents

The local school district shall inform parents and guardians of students eligible under Section 504 [see FB] of all services and options available to the student under the law th.

Parent Education

The local school district shall provide a parent education program for parents and guardians of students with dyslexia and related disorders.  This program should include awareness of characteristics of dyslexia and related disorders; information on testing and diagnosis of dyslexia; information on effective strategies for teaching dyslexic students; and awareness of information on modifications, especially modifications allowed on standardized testing.  TSBVI will share information regarding testing accommodations for dyslexic and/or blind and visually impaired students.

Education Code 38.003; 19 TAC 74.28

Adopted:         7/12/85

Amended:      

NOTE:  The EHBA series of policies are statements of principals governing special education programs in Texas and parents are encouraged to refer to the local school district policies regarding certain topics below:

  • NONDISCRIMINATION
  • FREE APPROPRIATE PUBLIC EDUCATION (FAPE)

LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT

TSBVI will not accept for admission or, if the student has already been enrolled at TSBVI, continued enrollment, unless the local school district has conducted an appropriate Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee meeting to ensure that to the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions, or other care facilities, shall be educated with children who are not disabled and prepared an appropriate Individualized Education Program (IEP) evidencing such determination.  Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment shall occur only when the nature, or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.  20 U.S.C. 1412(a)(5); 34 CFR 300.114(a)(2)

DISCIPLINE

All disciplinary actions regarding students with disabilities shall be in accordance with federal requirements and Education Code Chapter 37, and 19 TAC 89.1053.  19 TAC 89.1050(g) (See FOF)

PLACEMENT OPTIONS

In determining instructional arrangements/settings local school districts shall base decisions on the individual needs and IEPs of eligible students receiving special education services.  Students for whom placement at TSBVI is determined by an Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) Committee to be the appropriate assignment for delivery of the IEP, are considered to be placed in the least restrictive environment for instructional services.

INSTRUCTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS AND SETTINGS

TSBVI is a special school within the public education system of Texas established to provide specialized and intensive services to students related to a visual impairment.  The School is a separate and unique instructional setting that provides services by special education teachers and related service staff.  The School is not intended to provide the full array of instructional arrangements and settings provided by local school districts.  Education Code 30.021(a)

OTHER PROGRAM OPTIONS

TSBVI may arrange for identified students to attend one or more classes in the regular education setting at a campus or a neighboring school district, with the consent of that district. 19 TAC 89.63(c), (f)

PERSONNEL ASSIGNED TO STUDENTS WITH VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS

TSBVI shall ensure that certified teachers of students with visual impairments provide special education services to enrolled students.

RELATED SERVICES

Definition

“Related services” means transportation, and such developmental, corrective, and other supportive services as may be required to assist a child with a disability to benefit from special education, including the early identification and assessment of disabling conditions in children.

The term includes speech-language pathology and audiology services, interpreting services, psychological services, physical and occupational therapy, recreation, including therapeutic recreation, social work services, school nurse services designed to enable a child with a disability to receive FAPE as described in the child’s IEP, counseling services, including rehabilitation counseling, orientation and

mobility services, and medical services, except that medical services shall be for diagnostic and evaluation purposes only.

The term does not include a medical device that is surgically implanted, the optimization of the device’s functioning, or the replacement of such device.

20 U.S.C. 1401(26); 34 CFR 300.34

Transportation

A student’s local district shall provide special transportation to day students when the ARD committee determines that the condition of the student warrants the service in order for the student to receive the special education and related services (if any) set forth in the IEP.  The student’s local district shall provide transportation at the beginning and end of the TSBVI school year and for school holidays when TSBVI is closed.  19 TAC 89.1090

The student’s ARD Committee shall determine students’ special needs related to transportation to and from the School including the need for an adult escort.

Extended School Year (ESY) Services

Extended school year (ESY) services are defined as individualized instructional programs beyond the regular school year for eligible students with disabilities.

The student’s local school district shall ensure that extended school-year (ESY) services are available as necessary to provide a student with a disability with FAPE.  TSBVI may provide regression and recoupment data to the ARD Committee to assist a local district to make decisions regarding a student’s need for ESY services.  TSBVI is not responsible for ESY services and such services, if needed by a student, must be conducted or sponsored by the local district.

ESY services must be provided by the local district only if the ARD committee determines, on an individual basis, that the services are necessary for FAPE.  A local district may not limit ESY services to particular categories of disability or unilaterally limit the type, amount, or duration of ESY services. 

34 CFR 300.106; 19 TAC 89.1065

Adopted:      5/8/81

Amended:     3/12/82, 11/11/83, 6/29/84, 1/26/90, 9/27/90, 9/27/91, 3/26/93, 1/26/99, 1/24/02, 1/30/04, 1/26/07, 6/5/13, 4/7/17, 11/15/18

Reviewed: