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TRAUMA-INFORMED CARE POLICY

TSBVI adopts and implements this policy requiring the integration of trauma-informed practices in each school environment. TSBVI must include this policy in the district improvement plan required under Education Code 11.252 [see BQ].

The policy uses:

  1. Resources developed by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to:
    1. Increase staff and parent awareness of trauma-informed care; and
    2. Implement trauma-informed practices and care by TSBVI staff; and
  2. Available counseling options for students affected by trauma or grief.

Education Code 38.036(a)–(b)

TRAINING

The methods for increasing awareness and implementation of trauma-informed care must include training as provided below.  The training must be provided:

  1. Through a program selected from the list of recommended best practice-based programs and research-based practices established under Health and Safety Code 161.325;
  2. As part of any new employee orientation for all new TSBVI educators; and
  3. To existing educators at the School on a schedule adopted by TEA that requires educators to be trained at intervals necessary to keep educators informed of developments in the field.

For any training under this provision, TSBVI shall maintain records that include the name of each staff member who participated in the training.

If TSBVI determines that the School does not have sufficient resources to provide the training required under this provision, TSBVI may partner with a community mental health organization to provide training that meets the requirements at no cost to the School.

Education Code 38.036(c)–(d), (f)

REPORTING TO TEA

TSBVI shall report annually to TEA the following information for the School as a whole:

  1. The number of teachers, principals, and counselors employed who have completed training under this provision; and
  2. The total number of teachers, principals, and counselors employed by TSBVI.

Education Code 38.036(e)

Adopted:         1/31/20

Amended:      

Reviewed:

SCHOOL COUNLELOR DUTIES

The primary responsibility of a school counselor is to counsel TSBVI students to fully develop each student’s academic, career, personal, and social abilities.  In addition, a school counselor shall:

  1. Participate in planning, implementing, and evaluating a comprehensive developmental guidance program to serve all students and to address the special needs of students who are:
    1. At risk of dropping out of school, becoming substance abusers, participating in gang activity, or committing suicide; or
    2. In need of modified instructional strategies.
  2. Consult with students’ parents or guardians and make referrals as appropriate in consultation with parents or guardians;
  3. Consult with school staff, parents, and other community members to help them increase the effectiveness of students’ education and promote student success;
  4. Coordinate people and resources in the school, home, and community;
  5. With the assistance of school staff, interpret standardized test results and other assessment data that help a student make educational and career plans;
  6. Deliver classroom guidance activities or serve as a consultant to teachers conducting lessons based on the school’s guidance curriculum; and
  7. Serve as an impartial, non-reporting resource for interpersonal conflicts and discord involving two or more students, including accusations of bullying under Education Code 37.083.

Nothing in item 7, above, exempts a school counselor from any mandatory reporting requirements imposed by other provisions of law.

Education Code 33.006

Program Design

The School counselor shall design the developmental guidance and counseling program to include:

  1. A guidance curriculum to help students develop their full educational potential, including the student’s interests and career objectives.
  2. A responsive services component to intervene on behalf of any student whose immediate personal concerns or problems put the student’s continued educational, career, personal, or social development at risk.
  3. An individual planning system to guide a student as the student plans, monitors, and manages the student’s own educational, career, personal, and social development.
  4. System support to support the efforts of teachers, staff, parents, and other members of the community in promoting the educational, career, personal, and social development of students.

Education Code 33.005

Parental Consent and Review

The Board shall adopt guidelines to ensure that written consent is obtained from the parent, legal guardian, or other person entitled to enroll the student under Education Code 25.001(j) for the student to participate in those activities for which parental consent is required.  Education Code 33.003

TSBVI shall obtain, and keep as part of the student’s permanent record, this written consent by the parent or legal guardian.  The consent form shall include specific information on the content of the program and the types of activities in which the student will be involved.

Each school, before implementing a comprehensive and developmental guidance and counseling program, shall annually conduct a preview of the program for parents and guardians.  All materials, including curriculum to be used during the year, must be available for a parent or guardian to preview.  Materials or curriculum not included in the materials available on the campus for preview may not be used.

Education Code 33.004

HIGHER EDUCATION cOUNSELING

 The School counselor for elementary and middle school shall advise students and their parents or guardians regarding the importance of postsecondary education, coursework designed to prepare students for postsecondary education, and financial aid availability and requirements.

During the first school year a student is enrolled in high school, and again during each year of a student’s enrollment in high school, a school counselor shall provide information about higher education to the student and the student’s parent or guardian.  The information must cover:

  1. The importance of postsecondary education:
  2. The advantages of earning an endorsement and a performance acknowledgment and competing the distinguished level of achievement under the foundation high school program;
  3. The disadvantages of taking courses to prepare for high school equivalency examination relative to the benefits of taking courses leading to a high school diploma;
  4. Financial aid eligibility requirements for state tuition exemption and other financial aid for post-secondary education and training;
  5. Instruction on how to apply for federal financial aid;
  6. The center for financial aid information established under Education Code 61.0776;
  7. The automatic admission of certain students to general academic teaching institutions as provided by Education Code 51.803;
  8. The eligibility and academic performance requirements for the TEXAS Grant;
  9. The availability of programs at TSBVI or in the local district under which a student may earn college credit, including advanced placement programs, dual credit programs, joint high school and college credit programs, and international baccalaureate programs; and
  10. The availability of education and training vouchers and tuition and fee waivers to attend an institution of higher education as provided by Education Code 54.366 for a student who is or was previously in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services.

When providing information under item 10, above, the school counselor must report to the student and the student’s parent or guardian the number of times the counselor has provided the information to the student.

Automatic Admission Requirements

At the beginning of grades 10 and 11, a certified school counselor shall explain the requirements of automatic admission to a general academic teaching institution to each student who has a grade point average in the top 25 percent of the student’s high school class.  [See EIC]

Education Code 51.803

Notice of Grant Programs

In a manner that assists TSBVI in implementing the School’s improvement plan, the School counselor shall notify students in middle school and high school and those student’s teachers alternate and parents of:

  1. The TEXAS Grant and the Teach for Texas Grant programs for students interested in education as a career path;
  2. The eligibility requirements of each program;
  3. The need for students to make informed curriculum choices to be prepared for success beyond high school; and
  4. Sources of information on post-secondary and higher education admissions, trade or technical schools, admission and financial aid.

Education Code 56.308(b)(1)

Adopted:         11/15/19

Amended:

Reviewed:

LIAISON FOR HOMELESS STUDENTS

As a condition of receiving funds under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (McKinney-Vento Act), TSBVI shall designate an appropriate staff person, able to carry out the required duties, as the School liaison for homeless children. TSBVI will adopt policies and practices to ensure participation by the liaison in professional development and other technical assistance activities provided and approved by the statewide coordinator for education of homeless children and youths. 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(1)(J)

Notice

The Superintendent designates Marcela Contreras, LMSW, (Social Worker) as the liaison for homeless children. TSBVI shall inform school personnel, service providers, and advocates working with homeless families, parents and guardians of homeless children, and homeless children of the duties of the liaison. [See FB, FD (for definition of “homeless children”) and Parent Student Handbook]

Duties

The liaison shall ensure that:

  1. Homeless children are identified by school personnel and through outreach and coordination activities with other entities and agencies;
  2. Eligible homeless children with visual impairments are enrolled in, and have a full and equal opportunity to succeed in at TSBVI;
  3. Homeless families and homeless children receive referrals to health care, dental, mental health and substance abuse, housing, and other appropriate services;
  4. The parents or guardians of homeless children are informed of the available educational and related opportunities and are provided meaningful opportunities to participate in the education of their children;
  5. TSBVI coordinates with local school districts to provide public notice of the educational rights of homeless children and this notice is disseminated in locations frequented by parents or guardians of such children, and unaccompanied youths, including schools, shelters, public libraries, and soup kitchens, in a manner and form understandable to the parents and guardians of homeless children, and unaccompanied youths;
  6. Enrollment disputes are mediated;
  7. The parent or guardian of a homeless child, and any unaccompanied youth, are fully informed of all transportation services, including transportation to the school of origin, and are assisted in accessing transportation to the school of enrollment;
  8. School personnel providing services under the McKinney-Vento Act receive professional development and other support; and
  9. Unaccompanied youths:
    1. Are enrolled in school;
    2. Have opportunities to meet the same challenging state academic standards as the state establishes for other children; and
    3. Are informed of their status as independent students under section 480 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 and that the youths may obtain assistance from the liaison to receive verification of such status for purposes of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(6)(A), (B)

Determination of Homeless Status

A liaison who receives training under 42 U.S.C. 11432(F)(6) may affirm, without further action by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, that a child who is eligible for and participating in a local school district program, or the immediate family of such a child, who meets the eligibility requirements of the McKinney-Vento Act for an authorized program of service under Title IV of the Act, is eligible for such program or service. 42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(6)(D)

LIAISON FOR CHILDREN IN STATE CONSERVATORSHIP

TSBVI shall appoint at least one employee to act as a liaison officer to facilitate the enrollment in or transfer to the School of a child who is in the conservatorship of the State and submit the liaison’s name and contact information to TEA in a format and under the schedule determined by the commissioner of education.  Marcela Contreras (LMSW) is the appointed liaison.

TEA shall provide information to the liaisons on practices for facilitating the enrollment in or transfer of such children who are in the conservatorship of the State.

Education Code 33.904

TRANSITION TO HIGHER EDUCATION

The School, in coordination with the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), shall facilitate the transition of each child enrolled in TSBVI who is eligible for a tuition and fee waiver under Education Code 54.366, and who is likely to be in the conservatorship of DFPS on the day preceding the child’s 18th birthday to an institution of higher education by:

  1. Assisting the child with the completion of any applications for admission or financial aid;
  2. Arranging and accompanying the child on campus visits;
  3. Assisting the child in researching and applying for private or institution-sponsored scholarships;
  4. Assisting the child in registering and preparing for college entrance examinations, including, subject to the availability of funds, arranging for the payment of any examination fees by DFPS; and
  5. Coordinating contact between the child and a liaison designated by the Higher Education Coordinating Board for students who were formerly in the conservatorship of DFPS.

Family Code 264.1211 [See EJ]

CHILD WELFARE CONTACT

Schools receiving Title 1, Part A funds must collaborate with the state or local child welfare agency to designate a point of contact if the child welfare agency notifies TSBVI, in writing, that the agency has designated an employee to serve as a point of contact for the School. 20 U.S.C. 6312(c)(5)(A)

Adopted:         8/9/18

Amended:

Reviewed:

THREAT ASSESSMENT

Definitions

“Harmful, threatening, or violent, behavior” includes behaviors, such as verbal threats, threats of self-harm, bullying cyberbullying, fighting, the use or possession of a weapon, sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating violence, stalking, or assault, by a student that could result in:

  1. Specific interventions, including mental health or behavioral supports;
  2. In-school suspension;
  3. Out-of-school suspension; or
  4. The student’s expulsion or removal to a disciplinary alternative education program (DAEP) or a juvenile justice alternative education program (JJAEP).

“Team” means a threat assessment and safe and supportive school team established by the Board under Education Code 37.115.

Education Code 37.115(a)

Threat Assessment Team

The Board establishes a threat assessment and safe and supportive school team to serve the School and the team shall adopt procedures.

The team is responsible for developing and implementing the safe and supportive school program in compliance with Texas Education Agency (TEA) rules.

The policies and procedures adopted under Education Code 37.115 must:

  1. Be consistent with the model policies and procedures developed by the Texas School Safety Center (TxSSC) [see Education Code 37.220];
  2. Require each team to complete training provided by the TxSSC or a regional education service center (ESC) regarding evidence-based threat assessment programs; and
  3. Require each team established under this section to report the required information regarding the team’s activities to TEA [see Reporting to TEA, below].

Membership

The Superintendent shall ensure that the members appointed to the team have expertise in counseling, behavior management, mental health and substance use, classroom instruction, special education, school administration, school safety and security, emergency management, and law enforcement. 

Oversight Committee

The Superintendent may establish a committee, or assign to an existing committee the duty to oversee the operations of the team.  A committee with oversight responsibility must include members with expertise in human resources, education, special education, counseling, behavior management, school administration, mental health and substance use, school safety and security, emergency management, and law enforcement.

Team Duties

Each team shall:

  1. Conduct a threat assessment that includes assessing and reporting individuals who make threats of violence or exhibit harmful, threatening, or violent behavior in accordance with TSBVI policies and procedures; and gathering and analyzing data to determine the level of risk and appropriate intervention, including;
    1. Referring a student for mental health assessment; and
    2. Implementing an escalation procedure, if appropriate, based on the team’s assessment, in accordance with School policy.
  2. Provide guidance to students and school employees on recognizing harmful, threatening, or violent behavior that may pose a threat to the community, school, or individual; and
  3. Support the School in implementing TSBVI’s multihazard emergency operations plan [see CKC].

Consent for Mental Health-Care Service

A team may not provide a mental health-care service to a student who is under 18 years of age unless the team obtains written consent from the parent of or the person standing in parental relation to the student before providing the mental health-care service.  The consent must be submitted on a form developed by TSBVI that complies with all applicable state and federal law.  The student’s parent of person standing in parental relation to the student may give consent for student to receive ongoing services or may limit consent to one or more services provided on a single occasion.

Education Code 37.115(d)-(g)

Determination of Risk

On determination that a student or other individual poses a serious risk of violence to self or others, the team shall immediately report the team’s determination to the Superintendent.  If the individual is a student, the Superintendent shall immediately attempt to inform the parent or person standing in parental relation to the student.  These requirements do not prevent an employee of the School from acting immediately to prevent an imminent threat or respond to an emergency.

The team identifying a student at risk of suicide shall act in accordance with TSBVI’s suicide prevention program.  If the student at risk of suicide also makes a threat of violence to others, the team shall conduct a threat assessment in addition to actions taken in accordance with the School’s suicide prevention program.

In connection with an assessment of serious risk of violence to self or others, the team identifying a student using or possessing tobacco, drugs, or alcohol shall act in accordance with TSBVI policies and procedures related to substance use prevention and intervention.

Education Code 37.115(h)-(j)

Reporting to TEA

The team must report to TEA in accordance with TEA-developed guidelines the following information regarding the team’s activities and other information:

  1. The occupation of each person appointed to the team;
  2. The number of threats and description of the type of threats reported to the team;
  3. The outcome of each assessment made by the team, including;
    1. Any disciplinary action taken, including a chance in school placement;
    2. Any action taken by law enforcement; or
    3. A referral to or change in counseling, mental health, special education, or other services;
  4. The total number, disaggregated by student gender, race, and status as receiving special education services, being at risk of dropping out of school, being in foster care, experiencing homelessness, being a dependent of military personnel, being pregnant or a parent, having limited English proficiency, or being a migratory child, in connection with an assessment or reported threat by the team;
    1. Citations issued for Class C misdemeanor offenses;
    2. Arrests;
    3. Incidents of uses of restraints;
    4. Changes in school placement, including placement in a JJAEP or DAEP;
    5. Referrals to or changes in counseling, mental health, special education, or other services;
    6. Placements in in-school suspension or out-of-school suspension and incidents of expulsion;
    7. Unexcused absences of 15 or more days during the school year; and
    8. Referrals to juvenile court for truancy; and
  5. The number and percentage of school personnel trained in:
    1. A best-practices program or research-based practice under Health and Safety Code 161.325, including the number and percentage of school personnel trained in suicide prevention of grief and trauma-informed practices;
    2. Mental health or psychological first aid for schools;
    3. Training relating to the safe and supportive school program; or
    4. Any other program relating to safety identified by the commissioner.

Education Code 37.115(k)

RECOMMENDED PROGRAMS

The Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS), in coordination with TEA and regional education service centers (ESCs), shall provide and annually update a list of recommended best practice-based programs and research-based programs and research-based practices in the areas specified below.  TSBVI may select from the list a program or programs appropriate for implementation.  The list is available on the websites of TEA, ESC 13 and TDSHS.

The list must include programs and practices in the following areas:

  1. Early mental health intervention;
  2. Mental health promotion;
  3. Substance abuse prevention and intervention;
  4. Building skills to manage emotions, establishing and maintaining positive relationships, and responsible decision-making;
  5. Suicide prevention;
  6. Grief-informed and trauma-informed practices;
  7. Positive behavior interventions and supports and positive youth development; and
  8. Safe, supportive, and positive school climate.

“School climate” means the quality and character of school life, including interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures, as experienced by students enrolled in TSBVI, parents of those students, and personnel employed by the School.

The programs on the list must include components that provide for training counselors, teachers, nurses, administrators, and social workers who regularly interact with students, to:

  1. Recognize students at risk of committing suicide, including students who are or may be the victims of or who engage in bullying;
  2. Recognize students displaying early warning signs and a possible need for early mental health or substance abuse intervention, which warning signs may include declining academic performance, depression, anxiety, isolation, unexplained changes in sleep or eating habits, and destructive behavior toward self and others; and
  3. Intervene effectively with students described by items 1 or 2 above, by providing notice and referral to a parent or guardian so appropriate action, such as seeking mental health or substance abuse services, may be taken by a parent or guardian.

TRAINING

TSBVI shall provide training described in the components set forth above for teachers, school counselors, principals, and all other appropriate personnel.  The School is required to provide the training at an elementary school campus only to the extent that sufficient funding and programs are available.  The School may implement a program on the list to satisfy the training requirements so that every school employee with direct student contact receives the training at least once.  [See DMA]

POLICY AND PROCEDURES

The Board hereby adopts this policy concerning mental health promotion and intervention, substance abuse prevention and intervention, and suicide prevention and TSBVI may develop practices and procedures that:

  1. Provide educational material to all School parents and families that contains information on identifying risk factors, accessing resources for treatment or support provided on and off campus, and accessing available student accommodations provided on campus;
  2. Provide notice of a recommendation for early mental health or substance abuse intervention regarding a student to a parent or guardian of the student within a reasonable amount of time after the identification of early warning signs, which may include declining academic performance, depression, anxiety, isolation, unexplained changes in sleep or eating habits, and destructive behavior toward self and others;
  3. Provide notice of a student identified as at risk of committing suicide to a parent or guardian of the student within a reasonable amount of time after the identification of early warning signs through the Health Center and team meetings;
  4. Establish that TSBVI may develop a reporting mechanism and may designate the Special Education Director to act as a liaison officer for the purposes of identifying students for referral and evaluation of early mental health or substance abuse intervention or suicide prevention; and
  5. Set out available alternatives for a parent or guardian to consider when his or her child is identified as possibly being in need of early mental health or substance abuse intervention or suicide prevention by TSBVI working in collaboration with the resident school district and local mental health resources.

These practices and any necessary procedures adopted must be included in the annual student handbook and the TSBVI annual improvement plan under Education Code 11.252.  [See BQ]

Without the prior consent of a student’s parent/guardian, this policy prohibits the use of a medical screening of the entire student population as part of the process of identifying whether a student is possibly in need of early mental health or substance abuse intervention or suicide prevention.  Upon suspicion or demonstration of individual student concern or need, appropriate evaluation with the Health Center will occur to assist the student and parents will be notified.

Crisis Intervention

TSBVI provides services to improve students’ mental, emotional, and social health.  These services include multidisciplinary school based evaluations, counseling and social skills groups.  Evaluations may include recommendations for follow up services from community based mental health providers. Social workers, licensed specialists in school psychology, and school nurses contribute to the team process of monitoring the behavior, health and wellbeing of students in the School and residential setting.

TSBVI policy and procedures are not intended to interfere with the rights of parents or guardians and the decision-making regarding the best interest of the child.  School policy and procedures are intended to notify a parent or guardian of a need for mental health or substance abuse intervention so that a parent or guardian may take appropriate action.  TSBVI does not have the authority to prescribe medications.  Any and all medical decisions are to be made by a parent or guardian of a student.

Health and Safety Code 161.325

IMMUNITY

These requirements do not waive any immunity from liability for TSBVI, its officers or employees, create any liability for a cause of action against TSBVI, its officers or employees, or waive any immunity from liability under Civil Practice and Remedies Code 74.151.  Health and Safety Code 161.326

Adopted:         8/9/18

Amended:       1/31/20

Reviewed:                  

Note:   The following provisions are from federal law with clarification for visitors to our campus, as distinguished from enrolled students.  ___________________________________________________________________________________

SERVICE ANIMAL

Service Dogs

“Service animal” means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability.  Other species of animals, whether wild or domestic, trained or untrained, are not service animals for the purposes of this definition.

The work or tasks performed by a service dog must be directly related to the individual’s disability.  Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, providing non-violent protection or rescue work, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, alerting individuals to the presence of allergens, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric and neurological disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors.

The crime deterrent effects of an animal’s presence and the provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.  Family pets are not service animals.

28 C.F.R. 35.104

Policies, Practices, or Procedures

TSBVI shall modify its policies, practices, or procedures to permit the use of a service dog guide by an individual with a disability, unless the School can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity.  28 C.F.R. 35.130(b)(7), .136(a) [See FB and Comprehensive Programs Departmental Procedures]

Access

Individuals with disabilities shall be permitted to be accompanied by their service dogs in all areas of

TSBVI’s facilities where members of the public, participants in services, programs or activities, or invitees are allowed to go.  28 C.F.R. 35.136(g)

Exceptions

TSBVI may ask an individual with a disability to remove a service dog from the premises if:

  1. The dog is out of control and the animal’s handler does not take effective action to control it; or
  2. The dog is not housebroken.

28 C.F.R. 35.136(b)

The ADA does not require TSBVI to permit an individual to participate in or benefit from the services, programs, or activities of the School when that individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others.  28 C.F.R. 35.139  [See FB]

If TSBVI properly excludes a service dog, it shall give the individual with a disability the opportunity to participate in the service, program, or activity without having the service dog on the premises.  28 C.F.R. 35.136(c)

Animal Under Handler’s Control

A service dog shall be under the control of its handler.  A service dog shall have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless either the handler is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash, or other tether, or the use of a harness, leash, or other tether would interfere with the service animal’s safe, effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the service dog must be otherwise under the handler’s control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means).  28 C.F.R. 35.136(d)

Inquiries

TSBVI shall not ask about the nature or extent of a visitor’s disability, but may make two inquiries to determine whether a dog qualifies as a service animal.  TSBVI may ask if the dog is required because of a disability and what work or task the dog has been trained to perform.

TSBVI shall not require documentation, such as proof that the dog has been certified, trained, or licensed as a service animal for a visitor to the campus.

Generally, TSBVI may not make these inquiries about a service dog when it is readily apparent that the dog is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability (e.g., the dog is observed guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, pulling a person’s wheelchair, or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with an observable mobility disability).

28 C.F.R. 35.136(f)

Care or Supervision of Dog

TSBVI is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service dog.  28 C.F.R. 35.136(e)

Surcharges

TSBVI shall not ask or require an individual with a disability to pay a surcharge, even if people accompanied by pets are required to pay fees, or to comply with other requirements generally not applicable to people without pets.

If TSBVI normally charges individuals for the damage they cause, an individual with a disability may be charged for damage caused by his or her service dog.

28 C.F.R. 35.136(h)

___________________________________________________________________________________

Note:   The following provisions are from state law.  ___________________________________________________________________________________

ASSISTANCE ANIMALS

“Assistance animal” and “service animal” mean a canine that is specially trained or equipped to help a person with a disability and that is used by a person with a disability.  Human Resources Code 121.002(1)

Assistance Dog Access

No person with a disability may be denied admittance to any public facility in the state because of the person's disability or may be denied the use of an assistance dog.

Regulations relating to the use of public facilities by any designated class of persons from the general public may not prohibit the use of particular public facilities by persons with disabilities who, except for their use of an assistance dog, would fall within the designated class.

A service dog in training shall not be denied admittance to any public facility when accompanied by an approved trainer.

Human Resources Code 121.003(c), (e), (i)

Duties under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or IDEA may require a psychological evaluation or assessment for anxiety or PTSD in order to determine whether the student has a disabling condition in need of an assistance dog.  [See FB]

Harassment and Harm Prohibited

A person may not assault, harass, interfere with, kill, or injure in any way, or attempt to assault, harass, interfere with, kill, or injure in any way, an assistance dog.

“Harass” means any conduct that is directed at an assistance dog that impedes or interferes with, or is intended to impede or interfere with, the animal’s performance of its duties or places a person with a disability who is using an assistance dog, or a trainer who is training an assistance dog, in danger of injury.

A person is not entitled to make demands or inquiries relating to the qualifications or certifications of a service dog for purposes of visiting a public facility except to determine the basic type of assistance provided by the service dog to a person with a disability.  If a person’s disability is not readily apparent, a staff member or manager of the facility may inquire about whether the service dog is required because the person has a disability and what type of work or task the service dog is trained to perform.

Human Resources Code 121.002, .003(j)–(l)

Transportation

No public conveyance or mode of transportation operating within the state may refuse to accept as a passenger a person with a disability solely because of the person's disability, nor may a person with a disability be required to pay an additional fare because of his or her use of an assistance dog.  Human Resources Code 121.003(b)

Responsibilities of Persons with Disabilities

A person with a disability who uses an assistance dog for assistance in travel is liable for any damages done to the premises or facilities by the animal.

A person with a disability who uses an assistance dog for assistance in travel or auditory awareness shall keep the animal properly harnessed or leashed, and a person who is injured by the dog because of the failure of a person with a disability to properly harness or leash the animal is entitled to maintain a cause of action for damages in a court of competent jurisdiction under the same law applicable to other causes brought for the redress of injuries caused by animals.

Human Resources Code 121.005

Penalties

A person, including a firm, association, corporation, or other public or private organization, or the agent of the person, who violates the provisions of Human Resources Code 121.003:

  1. Commits a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not more than $300 and 30 hours of community service to be performed for a governmental entity or nonprofit organization that primarily serves persons with visual impairments or other disabilities, or for another entity or organization at the discretion of the court, to be completed in not more than one year; and
  2. Is deemed to have deprived a person with a disability of his or her civil liberties. Subject to Human Resources Code 121.0041 (pertaining to notice of claim and opportunity for cure), if applicable, the person with a disability deprived of his or her civil liberties may maintain an action for damages in a court of competent jurisdiction, and there is a conclusive presumption of damages in the amount of at least $300 to the person with a disability.

Human Resources Code 121.004

Adopted:         1/26/18

Amended:       1/25/19

Reviewed:

NOTICE REGARDING STEROIDS

Education Code 38.008

Anabolic steroids are for medical use only. State law prohibits the possession, dispensing, delivery, or administering of an anabolic steroid in any manner not allowed by state law. State law provides that body building, muscle enhancement, or increasing muscle bulk or strength through the use of an anabolic steroid or human growth hormone is not a valid medical purpose. Only a medical doctor may prescribe an anabolic steroid or human growth hormone for a person. A violation of state law concerning anabolic steroids or human growth hormones is a criminal offense punishable by confinement in jail or imprisonment in the Texas Department of Corrections.


Note: To be in compliance with Education Code 38.008, the notice regarding legal restrictions on steroids must be posted in the gymnasium of each school in which there is a grade level of seven or higher, and in each other place in a building where physical education classes are conducted.


Adopted:    1/26/90

Amended: 11/14/97

Reviewed:  5/25/05

RECOGNITION OF FAMILY

The Board recognizes the following Congressional findings contained in the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA):

  1. It is in the best interest of our Nation to preserve, strengthen, and maintain the family.  20 U.S.C. 1491(1).
  2. Families are the greatest natural resource available to their children and are the major providers of support, care, and training of their children. 20 U.S.C. 1491(2).
  3. Families of children with disabilities enrich the lives of all citizens through the contributions of such families to the economic, health, and social fabric of their community, State, and Nation. 20 U.S.C. 1491(3).
  4. A growing number of families are searching for ways to empower themselves to raise their children with disabilities at home and in their communities. Supporting such families to enable them to care for their children with disabilities at home is efficient and can be cost-effective. 20 U.S.C. 1491(4).
  5. 5.     Children, including children with disabilities, benefit from enduring family relationships in a nurturing home environment. 20 U.S.C. 1491(5).

SCOPE OF POLICY

This policy applies to students enrolled in the residential program of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI).  It is not applicable to day students whose local school districts provide transportation to and from TSBVI on a daily basis.

STUDENTS RETURNING HOME

Beginning and End of Term and Regularly Scheduled School Holidays (School Closings)

The resident school district of a TSBVI student shall be responsible for transportation at the beginning and end of the term and for school holidays scheduled in the School’s annual school calendar when students are expected to leave the School to return home.  Transportation shall be arranged using the most cost efficient means. When it is necessary for the safety of the student, as determined by the ARD committee, for an adult designated by the ARD committee to accompany the student, round-trip transportation for that adult shall also be provided.  The resident school district and the School shall coordinate to ensure that students are transported safely, including the periods of departure and arrival. 19 TAC 89.1090

The “resident school district” is the local education agency (LEA) in which the student resides when TSBVI is not in session.

Weekends During the School Year that Are Not School Holidays (Weekends Home Program)

The School shall designate weekends during the school year for each student enrolled in the School to return to their homes and communities. The frequency of each student’s participation shall be determined according to procedures established by the Superintendent that consider distance, duration of travel, and cost efficiency.

METHOD OF TRANSPORTATION

The School may use the following methods to transport students to their homes and back to the School on weekends:

  1. Commercial air transportation
  2. Commercial bus transportation
  3. TSBVI-operated buses and vans
  4. Transportation of the student by the student's parent, or parent representative

TRANSPORTATION COSTS FOR WEEKENDS HOME PROGRAM

The School shall assume all costs for commercial air transportation, commercial bus transportation and school-operated buses and vans, including costs for escort travel, where an Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) Committee has determined that the student requires an escort for travel.

Where, with School approval, the student's parent, or parent representative, provides any portion of the ground transportation of the student's trip between home and school, the parent, or parent representative, shall be reimbursed at a rate, determined by the Superintendent, to cover vehicle operating costs.

PROCEDURES

The Superintendent shall develop procedures to implement this policy.

Adopted:          5/21/98

Amended:        1/15/08, 1/23/15

Reviewed:        3/21/03

CREDITS AND RECORDS

Credits earned in local credit courses may be transferred at the enrolling district's discretion. Transfer students shall not be prohibited from attending school pending receipt of transcripts or academic records from the district the student previously attended. 19 TAC 74.26(a)(1)

NONPUBLIC SCHOOLS

Records and transcripts of students from Texas nonpublic schools or from out of state or out of the country (including foreign exchange students) shall be evaluated, and students shall be placed promptly in appropriate classes. A district may use a wide variety of methods to verify the content of courses for which a transfer student has earned credit.
19 TAC 74.26(a)

Adopted: 11/8/13
Amended:
Reviewed:

DEFINITIONS

"Bullying":

  1. Means a single significant act or a pattern of acts by one or more students directed at another student that exploits an imbalance of power and involves engaging in written or verbal expression, expression through electronic means, or physical conduct that satisfies the applicability requirements below and that:
    1. Has the effect or will have the effect of physically harming a student, damaging a student’s property, or placing a student in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s person or of damage to the student’s property;
    2. Is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive enough that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student;
    3. Materially and substantially disrupts the educational process or the orderly operation of a classroom or school; or
    4. Infringes on the rights of the victim at school; and
  2. Includes cyberbullying

Cyberbullying

“Cyberbullying” means bullying that is done through the use of any electronic communication device, including through the use of a cellular or other type of telephone, a computer, a camera, electronic mail, instant messaging, text messaging, a social media application, an Internet website, or any other Internet-based communication tool.

Applicability

These provisions apply to:

  1. Bullying that occurs on or is delivered to school property or to the site of a school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school property;
  2. Bullying that occurs on a publicly or privately owned school bus or vehicle being used for transportation of students to or from school or a school-sponsored or school-related activity; and
  3. Cyberbullying that occurs off school property or outside of a school-sponsored or school-related activity if the cyberbullying:
    1. Interferes with a student’s educational opportunities; or
    2. Substantially disrupts the orderly operation of a classroom, school, or school-sponsored or school-related activity.

POLICY

The Board shall adopt a policy, including any necessary procedures, concerning bullying that:

  1. Prohibits the bullying of a student;
  2. Prohibits retaliation against any person, including a victim, a witness, or another person, who in good faith provides information concerning an incident of bullying;
  3. Establishes a procedure for providing notice of an incident of bullying to
    1. A parent or guardian of the alleged victim on or before the third business day after the date of the incident is reported; and
    2. A parent or guardian of the alleged bully within a reasonable amount of time after the incident;
  4. Establishes the actions a student should take to obtain assistance and intervention in response to bullying;
  5. Sets out the available counseling options for a student who is a victim of or a witness to bullying or who engages in bullying;
  6. Establishes procedures for reporting an incident of bullying, including procedures for a student to anonymously report an incident of bullying, investigating a reported incident of bullying, and determining whether the reported incident of bullying occurred;
  7. Prohibits the imposition of a disciplinary measure on a student who, after an investigation, is found to be a victim of bullying, on the basis of that student’s use of reasonable self-defense in response to the bullying; and
  8. Requires that discipline for bullying of a student with disabilities comply with applicable requirements under federal law, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (20 U.S.C. Section 1400 et seq.).

The policy and any necessary procedures must be included annually in the student and employee handbooks and in the district improvement plan under Education Code 11.252. [See BQ]

INTERNET POSTING

The procedure for reporting bullying must be posted on TSBVI’s Internet Website and included in the Parent Student Handbook. 

Prevention and Mediation

TSBVI may establish a policy to assist in the prevention and mediation of bullying incidents between students that:

  1. Interfere with a student’s educational opportunities; or
  2. Substantially disrupt the orderly operation of a classroom, school, or school-sponsored or school-related activity.

 

Education Code 37.0832 (a)–(e)

Adopted: 9/21/12

Amended: 1/26/18

Reviewed:

PolicyTitleUpdate
  Index 3/22/96, 9/27/96, 11/15/96, 1/24/97, 5/23/97, 9/26/97, 11/14/97, 1/23/98, 3/31/98, 5/21/98, 9/25/98, 11/6/98, 11/19/99, 1/28/00, 1/24/02, 11/22/02, 1/31/03, 3/21/03, 5/28/03, 1/30/04, 3/26/04, 11/19/04, 4/1/05, 5/25/05, 11/18/05, 9/22/06, 1/26/07, 9/28/07, 11/16/07, 1/25/08, 11/20/09, 1/22/10, 11/9/12, 1/25/13, 6/5/13, 11/8/13, 9/20/13, 1/31/14, 6/4/14, 10/3/14, 11/21/14, 1/23/15, 4/10/15, 11/20/15, 1/29/16, 4/8/16, 6/3/16, 11/18/16, 4/7/17, 6/2/17, 9/29/17, 1/26/18, 8/9/18. 9/28/18, 11/15/18, 1/25/19, 8/9/19, 9/27/19, 11/15/19, 1/31/20
FB (TSBVI) EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES Reviewed 9/27/19
FBA EQUAL EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY:  SERVICE AND GUIDE ANIMALS Amended 1/25/19
FD ADMISSIONS Amended 1/26/18
FDA ADMISSIONS: TRANSFER OF RECORDS Deleted 1/26/18
FDB Admissions: Transfers and Classroom Assignments Amended 11/8/13
FDD ADMISSIONS: SCHOOL SAFETY TRANSFERS Adopted 9/22/06
FEA(TSBVI) ADMISSIONS AND ATTENDANCE: COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE Amended 8/9/18
FEB(TSBVI) ATTENDANCE: ATTENDANCE ACCOUNTING Amended 8/9/18
FEC(TSBVI) ATTENDANCE: ATTENDANCE FOR CREDIT Amended 8/9/18
FED ADMISSIONS AND ATTENDANCE: ATTENDANCE ENFORCEMENT Amended 11/15/18
FFA(TSBVI) STUDENT WELFARE: WELLNESS AND HEALTH SERVICES Amended 8/9/18
FFAA(TSBVI) HEALTH REQUIREMENTS AND SERVICES: PHYSICAL EXAMINATIONS Amended 8/9/18
FFAB(TSBVI) WELLNESS AND HEALTH SERVICES: IMMUNIZATIONS Amended 8/9/18
FFAC(TSBVI) FFAC - WELLNESS AND HEALTH SERVICES:  MEDICAL TREATMENT Amended 8/9/18
FFAD(TSBVI) FFAD - WELLNESS AND HEALTH SERVICES:  COMMUNICABLE DISEASES Amended 8/9/18
FFAF(TSBVI) WELLNESS AND HEALTH SERVICES:  CARE PLANS FOR DIABETES AND FOOD ALERGIES Amended 1/31/20
FFB (TSBVI) STUDENT WELFARE: CRISIS INTERVENTION Adopted 1/31/20
FFBA (TSBVI) CRISIS INTERVENTION: TRAUMA-INFORMED CARE Adopted 1/31/20
FFC (TSBVI)

STUDENT WELFARE: STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES

Adopted 8/9/18
FFD STUDENT WELFARE: STUDENT INSURANCE Reviewed 3/21/03
FFE STUDENT WELFARE: STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS/COUNSELING Amended 1/31/20
FFEA (TSBVI) STUDENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS/COUNSELING COMPREHENSIVE GUIDANCE PROGRAM Adopted 11/15/19
FFF STUDENT SAFETY Amended 8/9/18
FFFA STUDENT SAFETY: SUPERVISION OF STUDENTS Amended 11/20/15
FFG STUDENT WELFARE: CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT, EXPLOITATION, AND IMPROPER CHILD CARE PRACTICE Amended 8/9/19
FFH (TSBVI) STUDENT WELFARE: FREEDOM FROM HARASSMENT Amended 11/20/15
FFHA (TSBVI) STUDENT WELFARE: SEXUALITY Amended 3/21/03 
FFI STUDENT WELFARE – FREEDOM FROM BULLYING Amended 1/26/18
FFJ STUDENT WELFARE: WEEKENDS HOME Amended 1/23/15
FJ GIFTS AND SOLICITATIONS Amended 1/25/19
FL STUDENT RECORDS Amended 8/9/18
FM (TSBVI) STUDENT ACTIVITIES Amended 1/31/20
FMA STUDENT ACTIVITIES: PUBLICATIONS AND PRIOR REVIEW Amended 3/26/04
FMB STUDENT ACTIVITIES: STUDENT GOVERNMENT Reviewed 5/25/05
FMF-E STUDENT ACTIVITIES: CONTESTS AND COMPETITIONS Amended 5/25/05
FMH STUDENT ACTIVITIES: COMMENCEMENT Amended 3/26/04
FNA STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: STUDENT EXPRESSION Amended 5/25/05
FNA2 STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: STUDENT EXPRESSION Adopted 9/28/07
FNAA STUDENT EXPRESSION: DISTRIBUTION OF NONSCHOOL LITERATURE Amended 6/5/13
FNAB STUDENT EXPRESSION: USE OF SCHOOL FACILITIES FOR NONSCHOOL PURPOSES Amended 8/9/18
FNC STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: STUDENT CONDUCT Amended 8/9/19
FNCA STUDENT CONDUCT: DRESS CODE Reviewed 11/19/99
FNCB (TSBVI) STUDENT CONDUCT: CARE OF SCHOOL PROPERTY Amendd 5/25/05
FNCC STUDENT CONDUCT: PROHIBITED ORGANIZATIONS AND HAZING Amended 3/21/03
FNCD (TSBVI) STUDENT CONDUCT: USE OF TOBACCO Amended 8/9/19
FNCE STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: Personal Telecommunication/Electronic Paging Devices  Amended 9/27/19
FNCF STUDENT CONDUCT: ALCOHOL AND DRUG USE Amended 8/9/19
FNCF-E STUDENT ACTIVITIES: CONTESTS AND COMPETITION Ameended 1/26/07
FNCG STUDENT CONDUCT: WEAPONS Amended 3/21/03
FNCH STUDENT CONDUCT: ASSAULTS Amended 5/25/05
FNCI STUDENT CONDUCT: DISRUPTIONS Amended 1/26/18
FND STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: MARRIED STUDENTS Amended 1/26/07
FNE (TSBVI) STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: PREGNANT STUDENTS Amended 1/26/07
FNF STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES INTERROGATIONS AND SEARCHES Amended 11/15/19
FNG STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: STUDENT AND PARENT COMPLAINTS Amended 8/9/19
FO STUDENT DISCIPLINE Amended 1/26/18
FOA PLACEMENT IN ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL SETTING: REMOVAL BY TEACHER Amended 8/9/19
FOB STUDENT DISCIPLINE: OUT-OF-SCHOOL SUSPENSION Amended 1/26/18
FOC STUDENT DISCIPLINE: PLACEMENT IN DISCIPLINARY ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION PROGRAMS Amended 11/15/18
FOCA PLACEMENT IN ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION SETTING: DISCIPLINARY ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION PROGRAMS Deleted 1/26/18
FOC-E STUDENT DISCIPLINE: PLACEMENT IN DISCIPLINARY ALTERNATIVE EDUCATION PROGRAMS Amended: 11/15/18
FOD(TSBVI) STUDENT DISCIPLINE: EXPULSION Amended 11/15/18
FOE STUDENT DISCIPLINE: EMERGENCY AND ALTERNATIVE PLACEMENT Amended 1/26/18
FOF(TSBVI) STUDENT DISCIPLINE- STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES Amended 11/15/18
FP STUDENT FEES, FINES, AND CHARGES Deleted 4/6/18