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GENERAL ELIGIBILITY

The following conditions apply to local school districts (LEAs) and only to TSBVI where indicated in this policy.  TSBVI will consider these conditions when determining whether a student referred by an LEA is eligible for services from the LEA and thereby eligible for a referral from that LEA to the TSBVI.  Education Code 30.021

ELIGIBILITY FOR ADMISSION

The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired (TSBVI) is a state agency established to serve as a special school in the continuum of placements for students who:

  1.  Are 21 years of age or younger, and 5 years of age or older on September 1 of any school year;
  2. Are residents of Texas;
  3. Have been determined by their local school districts to be eligible for educational services as students with a visual impairment or DeafBlindness; and
  4. Require specialized or intensive educational or related services related to the visual impairment.

TSBVI is not intended to serve students whose:

  1. Needs are appropriately addressed in a home or hospital setting or in a residential treatment facility; or
  2. Primary, ongoing needs are related to a severe or profound emotional, behavioral or cognitive deficit; or

Education Code 30.021

  1. Conduct resulted in:
    1. a removal to an alternative education program or expulsion the preceding year;
    2. being declared delinquent or in need of supervision and is on probation or other conditional release for that conduct; or
    3. conviction of a criminal offense and is on probation or other conditional release.

Education Code 25.001(d)

DEFINITIONS

Specialized Services:  Substantial components of the student’s individualized educational program require instruction and related services, such as orientation and mobility, that are specifically designed and related to the unique needs of a student with a visual impairment, including DeafBlindness.  The student’s visual impairment also requires the provision of intensive services and oversight from a certified teacher of students with visual impairment.  Education Code 30.021

Intensive Services:  Substantial components of the student’s individualized education program include direct services related to the visual impairment.  The intensity of services is related to the student’s current or projected needs.  A low level of consultative services from a certified teacher of students with visual impairment does not constitute intensive services.  Education Code 30.021

Home Setting:  The student requires a home living situation due to constant medical or intensive physical needs that cannot safely be met in the TSBVI residential setting, or the student requires services in a homebound instructional arrangement due to medical or physical needs that cannot be safely met in the district’s or TSBVI’s campus-based program.  19 TAC 89.63(c)(2)

Hospital Setting:  The student requires services in a hospital instructional arrangement due to medical or physical needs that cannot be adequately or safely met in TSBVI’s campus based program.  19 TAC

89.63(c)(3)

Residential Treatment Facility:  The student requires services in a facility intended to provide psychiatric, alcohol or drug abuse treatment.  19 TAC 89.63(c)(10); 19 TAC 89.1115 (residential facility); 89.1052 (JJAEP), 89.1055(e)(3)

Primary Disability:  The student’s visual impairment is considered to be the primary disability when it is the most disabling condition.  For students with multiple disabilities it may be difficult to discern the most disabling condition.  For eligibility purposes the primary disability can be inferred from a review of the needs and services identified in the student’s individualized education program.  4 C.F.R. 300.306

Ongoing Needs:  The characteristics of the student’s condition must be evident over time and across situations.  There is reason to believe that the characteristics of the condition are likely to continue.  It is not behavior that is a temporary reaction to a situational trauma.

Severe or Profound Emotional, Behavioral or Cognitive Deficit:  The student’s adaptive functioning deficit(s), singularly or jointly, is significant in degree or extent and is acute, pervasive or intense.  Student safety is of utmost concern in this population of vulnerable students.  Therefore, self-injurious, violent or threatening behavior may disqualify an applicant or make a TSBVI student no longer eligible to attend TSBVI.

TSBVI is not intended to serve students whose needs relate to severe disturbances of behavior, mood, thought processes or interpersonal relationships, require one or more of the following:

  • an ongoing level of intensive supervision or therapeutic support;
  • routine use of restraint;
  • intensive medication management by a physician;
  • routine removal from the classroom; or
  • a locked facility

The student must be able to acquire Expanded Core Curriculum Skills, including:

  • compensatory or functional academic skills, including communication modes
  • orientation and mobility
  • social interaction skills
  • independent living skills
  • recreation and leisure skills
  • career education
  • use of assistive technology
  • sensory efficiency skills
  • self-determination

Adaptive and life skill factors which TSBVI may consider in determining the student’s eligibility for placement include the student’s:

  • developmental history
  • educational history
  • achievement to date
  • motor skills
  • communication ability
  • social emotional maturity

TSBVI is not intended to serve students whose assessed intellectual and adaptive functioning are within the severe or profound range.  This includes students who, even when provided specialized, intensive services for the visually impaired, are anticipated to require life-long, intensive support and supervision for all aspects of personal care, including feeding, toileting, and grooming.

Based on these criteria, the TSBVI Referral Committee will determine whether a student meets eligibility for consideration of placement.  In instances where eligibility is unclear, TSBVI may admit the prospective student on a temporary basis for observation and/or further evaluation.  If TSBVI determines that a student referred to TSBVI, either on a continuing or temporary basis, no longer meets eligibility criteria, the student will be returned to the local school district.  TSBVI will work with the local district on transition activities for the student.

REFERRALS TO TSBVI

A student’s admission, review and dismissal (ARD) committee may refer the student for placement at TSBVI in accordance with the provisions of 34 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Part 300, the Texas Education Code 30.021 and 19 TAC 89.1085.  Referrals for consideration for admission must originate from the student’s local school district in collaboration with the student’s parent or the adult student.  The local school district must conduct an ARD Committee Meeting to request admission to TSBVI. 

TSBVI is not authorized to accept direct parent or adult student referrals.

When a student’s ARD committee request placement of a student at TSBVI, the student’s resident school district shall comply with the following requirements:

  1. For each student, the resident school district shall list those services in the student's individualized education program (IEP) which the TSBVI can appropriately provide.
  2. For each student, the resident school district shall include in the student's IEP the criteria and estimated time lines for returning the student to the resident school district. 19 TAC 89.1085

After receiving the student application and other documentation requested, the TSBVI Referral Committee will review all information to determine:

  1. if the student is eligible for services at TSBVI; and if so,
  2. whether it appears that the student is receiving a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) from the local district in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) and is therefore not eligible for TSBVI.
  3. whether a homebound student has reintegrated into the local campus based program and can tolerate TSBVI placement.

PLACEMENT DETERMINATION

The TSBVI Referral Committee determines whether the student is admitted, not admitted or whether additional information is needed. An on-site visit to the local school district may be requested to obtain further information.  When the Committee makes a decision, the local district, parent and adult student receive a letter informing them of the decision.

If the student is admitted, a date and time for an initial joint ARD Committee Meeting between TSBVI, the local district and the parents or adult student will be arranged.  The purpose of this ARD will be to develop the student’s individualized education program (IEP), to discuss the student's placement at TSBVI, and to develop criteria and timelines for the student’s return to the local school district. From the time a student is accepted for admission, TSBVI focuses on developing a strong partnership with the staff of the student’s local school district and with the parent and adult student.

TSBVI, the local school district, and the parents or adult student will review the student's educational placement every year at the annual ARD Committee Meeting.  During the student’s enrollment, TSBVI collaborates intensively with the district, other agencies, the adult student and the student’s family to prepare for the student’s return to the district as soon as the district is prepared to provide a FAPE and/or to prepare for the student’s graduation.

If the student is not admitted, the district representative may contact the TSBVI Director of the Center for School Resources to obtain more information regarding the determination of the Referral Committee.  The district representative and parent may provide additional information to be considered by the Referral Committee.

If mutual agreement about a student’s placement at TSBVI is not obtained, the local district or TSBVI may seek resolution through the mediation procedures adopted by the Texas Education Agency or through any due process hearing to which the resident school district or TSBVI is entitled under the IDEA, 20 USC, §1400.

ENROLLMENT REQUIREMENTS

Pre-Enrollment

Prior to the day the student enrolls in TSBVI, the parent or adult student, the referring school district, and/or another person shall furnish to TSBVI all of the following:

  1. The child's birth certificate or another document suitable as proof of the child's identity as defined by the Commissioner of Education in the Student Attendance Accounting Handbook;
  2. A copy of the child's records from the school the child most recently attended if he or she was previously enrolled in a school in Texas or in another state;
  3. A record showing that the child has the immunizations required by Education Code 38.001, proof that the child is not required to be immunized, or proof that the child is entitled to provisional admission. (See FFAB)
  4. Medical and dietary information and documents necessary to ensure appropriate medical management of the student while attending TSBVI, including disclosure of food allergy that, in the judgment of the parent or other person with legal control shall be disclosed to TSBVI to enable TSBVI to take any necessary precautions regarding the child’s safety [see FB and FFAF]; and specify the food to which the child is allergic and the nature of the allergic reaction.

TSBVI shall maintain the confidentiality of the provided information, and may disclose the information to teachers, school counselors, school nurses, and other appropriate school personnel only to the extent consistent with School policy under Education Code 38.009 and permissible under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, 20 U.S.C. Section 1232g.  [See FL]

“Severe food allergy” means a dangerous or life-threatening reaction of the human body to a food-born allergen introduced by inhalation, ingestion, or skin contact that requires immediate medical attention.

Education Code 25.022(a)-(c)

  1. The TSBVI Health Center Director, with consultation from other specialists as needed, shall ensure that each student admitted to TSBVI has complied with requirements for screening of vision and hearing disorders, special senses and communication disorders, abnormal spinal curvature screening and acanthosis nigricans screening for darkening of skin found in body folds or armpit, navel, etc. or has submitted an affidavit of exemption. The student or minor student’s parent, managing conservator or guardian may substitute professional examinations for those screenings.  Health and Safety Code 36.005(a) and (b), 37.002(a), 95.003(c).
  2. If applicable, documentation of legal guardianship or documentation identifying a person with legal responsibility for the welfare of a minor student not residing with a parent.  If a legal document is not available, other documents such as a power of attorney or signed, notarized authorization from the parent or legal guardian designating an adult caregiver to make medical and educational decisions for the child.
  3. For adult students age 18 and over who are under no guardianship, a signed and notarized Power of Attorney for medical care while attending TSBVI.
  4. Parent contact information and signed permission and consents.

Education Code 25.002(a), 19 TAC 129.1(a),(b)

Enrollment

A child must be enrolled by the child’s parent, guardian, or other person with legal control under a court

order or other legal authorization.  The local district and TSBVI shall record the name, address, and date of birth of the person enrolling the child.  Education Code 25.002(f), Texas Family Code Chapter 34

Legal Surname

A student must be identified by the student’s legal surname as it appears on the student’s birth certificate or other document suitable as proof of the student’s identify, or in a court order changing the student’s name.  Education Code 25.0021

Substitute for Parent or Guardian

The term parent means a biological parent; an adoptive parent; a foster parent; a guardian; an individual acting in the place of a biological or adoptive parent, including a grandparent, stepparent or other relative with whom the child lives; or an individual who is legally responsible for the child’s welfare under a power of attorney or adult voluntary caregiver authorization agreement.   Education Code 25.002(f)

A grandparent may enroll a student if the grandparent resides in the referring district and provides a substantial amount of after-school care for the person.

If another person will enroll the student at TSBVI, the local district will be required to provide documentation of the person’s right to take responsibility to enroll the student. 

If the student must be enrolled by a person who is not the child’s parent, guardian, or other person with legal control under a court order, the local district will be required to provide the enrolling person’s legal documentation.

The TSBVI Board authorizes the Superintendent or his/her designee to decide whether to allow a person showing evidence of legal responsibility for a child other than an order of a court to substitute for a guardian or other person having lawful control of the child under court order. Education Code 25.001(j)

TSBVI shall record the name, address, and date of birth of the person enrolling the child.  Education Code 25.002(f)

Authorization Agreement

“Voluntary Adult caregiver” means an adult person whom a parent has authorized to provide temporary care for a child under Family Code Chapter 34. Family Code 34.0015(1)

A parent, as defined in Family Code 101.024, or both parents of a child may enter into an authorization agreement with a voluntary adult caregiver to authorize the adult caregiver to perform acts described in Family Code 34.002 in regard to the child, such as:

  1. Authorizing medical, dental, psychological, or surgical treatment and immunization of the child, including executing any consents or authorizations for the release of information as required by law relating to the treatment or immunization;
  2. Enrolling the child in the district; and
  3. Authorizing the child to participate in age-appropriate extracurricular, civic, social, or recreational activities, including athletic activities.

Family Code 34.002

A parent may enter into an authorization agreement with a voluntary adult caregiver with whom a child is placed under a parental child safety placement agreement approved by the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) to allow the person to perform the acts described above with regard to the child during an investigation of abuse or neglect or while the department is providing services to the parent.  Family Code 34.0021

The authorization agreement must conform to the requirements of Family Code Chapter 34 and provide the voluntary adult caregiver’s birthdate.  Education Code 25.002(f)

A child who is the subject of an authorization agreement is not considered to be placed in foster care and the parties to the agreement are not subject to any law or rule governing foster care providers.  Family Code 34.0022(b)

An authorization agreement does not affect the rights of the child’s parent or legal guardian regarding the care, custody, and control of the child, and does not mean that the adult caregiver has legal custody of the child.  Family Code 34.007(b)

Only one authorization agreement may be in effect for a child at any time.  Execution of a subsequent authorization agreement does not by itself supersede, invalidate, or terminate a prior authorization agreement.  Revocation or expiration must be achieved pursuant to Family Code.  An authorization agreement is void if it is executed while a prior authorization agreement remains in effect.  Family Code 34.002(d), .008(f)

An authorization agreement is for a term of six months and renews automatically for six-month terms unless an earlier expiration date is stated in the agreement, the agreement is terminated under Family Code 34.008, or a court authorizes continuation.  Family Code 34.0075

Immunity

A person who is not a party to the authorization agreement who relies in good faith on the authorization agreement, without actual knowledge that the authorization agreement is void, revoked, or invalid, is not subject to civil or criminal liability to any person, and is not subject to professional disciplinary action, for that reliance if the agreement is completed as required by Family Code Chapter 34.  Family Code 34.007(a)

Students in Foster Care

A student placed in foster care by an agency of the state or a political subdivision, and whose foster parents reside in the referring local district, shall be permitted to attend TSBVI free of any charge pending a decision by the referring ARD committee.  No durational residency requirement shall be used to prohibit such a student from fully participating in all activities sponsored by TSBVI.  Education Code 25.001(f)

The local school district of a student in foster care may refer a student in foster care to TSBVI for educational purposes when it is determined that placement at TSBVI is the least restrictive environment in which the student can receive a free, appropriate public education.  The student must have an  identified foster residence in place for the student when the student is not at TSBVI, whether enrolled as a day student or a residential student, participating in the School’s Weekends Home Program, or when School is closed.  TSBVI is not intended or authorized to serve as a foster placement.

Students Under 11

On enrollment of a child under 11 years of age in a local district school for the first time at the school, the local district shall:

  1. Request from the person enrolling the child the name of each previous school attended by the child;
  2. Request from each school identified in item #1, the school records for the child and, if the person enrolling the child provides copies of previous school records, request verification from the school of the child’s name, address, date, and grades and dates attended; and
  3. Notify the person enrolling the student that not later than the 30th day after enrollment, or the ninetieth day if the child was not born in the United States, the person must provide:
    1. A certified copy of the child’s birth certificate; or
    2. Other reliable proof of the child’s identity and age and a signed statement explaining the person’s inability to produce a copy of the child’s birth certificate.

If a person enrolls a child under 11 years of age in school and does not provide the valid prior school information or documentation required, the school shall notify the appropriate law enforcement agency before the thirty-first day after the person fails to comply. 

Code of Criminal Procedures 63.019 

The local district with a student enrolled at TSBVI shall provide the School with copies of the information described in this section.

Inconsistent Documentation

If a child is enrolled under a name other than the name that appears in the identifying documents or records, TSBVI shall notify the missing children and missing person’s information clearinghouse of the child's name as shown on the identifying records and the name under which the child is enrolled.

Missing Documentation

If required documents and other records are not furnished to TSBVI within 30 days after enrollment, TSBVI shall request the local district to notify the police department of the city or the sheriff's department of the county in which the local district is located and request a determination of whether the child has been reported as missing.

Education Code 25.002(b)(c), 38.001

PROOF OF RESIDENCY IN THE LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICT

The local district may require evidence that a person is eligible to attend the public free schools of the district at the time it considers a student’s application for admission. The local school board or its designee shall establish minimum proof of residency acceptable to the local district. When admission is sought, the local school board shall determine whether an applicant qualifies as a resident of the local district and may adopt reasonable guidelines for making that determination as necessary to protect the best interest of students.  Education Code 25.001(c)

For students applying for admission or already admitted to TSBVI, whose residence address is different from the residence address of the student’s parent or guardian, TSBVI shall require from the local school district documentation that the student has met the district’s requirements for minimum proof of residency.

The local district may withdraw any student who ceases to be a resident. Daniels v. Morris, 746 F.2d 271 (5th Cir. 1984).  Continued enrollment at TSBVI requires a referral for admission from the new district of residence in accord with the federal, state, and the School’s process for doing so.

If a parent or other person with legal control of a child under a court order requests that a local district or TSBVI transfer a child’s student records, the school to which the request is made shall notify the parent or other person as soon as practicable that the parent or other person may request and receive an unofficial copy of the records for delivery in person to a school in another district.

Education Code 25.002(a-1)

Categories Meeting Residency Requirements

Student and Parent

  1. The student and either parent reside in the local school district.

Conservator

  1. The student does not reside in the local school district, but one of the parents resides in the district and that parent is a joint managing conservator or the sole managing conservator or possessory conservator of the student.

Resident Grandparent

  1. The student does not reside in the local district but the grandparent of the student:
    1. Resides in the local district; and
    2. Provides a substantial amount of after-school care for the student as determined by the local school district

Education Code 25.001(b)(9)

Guardian or Person Having Lawful Control

  1. The student and his or her guardian or other person having lawful control under an order of a court or a Voluntary Adult Caregiver under an Authorization Agreement reside in the local school district. Education Code 25.001(j), Texas Family Code Chapter 34.0015(1)

Students Over 18

  1. The person resides in the local district and is 18 or older. Education Code 25.001(b)(8)

Students Living Separately and Apart (Emancipated Teens)

  1. The student is under the age of 18 and has established a separate residence in the local district apart from his or her parent, guardian, or other person having lawful control under an order of a court and has established that the person’s presence in the local district is not for the primary purpose of participation in extracurricular activities.

Education Code 25.001(a)-(b),(d)

Homeless Students

  1. The student is a homeless child.
      1. A child is "homeless," under the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, if the child lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. This includes:
        1. Children who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; are abandoned in hospitals; or are awaiting foster care placement;
        2. Children who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;
        3. Children who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and
        4. Migratory children living in circumstances described above.
          "Migratory child'' means a child who is, or whose parent, spouse, or guardian is, a migratory agricultural worker, including a migratory dairy worker, or a migratory fisher, and who, in the preceding 36 months, in order to obtain, or accompany such parent, spouse, or guardian in order to obtain, temporary or seasonal employment in agricultural or fishing work:
          1. Has moved from one school district to another; or
          2. Resides in a school district of more than 15,000 square miles, and migrates a distance of 20 miles or more to a temporary residence to engage in a fishing activity.

            20 U.S.C. 6399

      2. A child is homeless, under state law, regardless of the residence of the child, either parent, or the child's guardian or other person having lawful control, if:
        1. The child lacks a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence; or
        2. The child has a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings, including a car, park, abandoned building, bus or train station, airport, or camping ground
        3. The person lives in a supervised publicly or privately operated shelter designated to provide temporary living accommodations (including hotels and motels paid for by government programs for low-income individuals or by charitable organizations, congregate shelters, and transitional housing);
        4. The person resided in a shelter or place not meant for human habitation and is exiting an institution where he or she temporarily resided;
        5. The person will imminently lose their housing, has no subsequent residence identified, and lacks the resources or support networks needed to obtain other housing; and
        6. The person is an unaccompanied youth or part of a homeless family with children and youth defined as homeless under other federal statutes who:
          1. Has experienced a long-term period without living independently in permanent housing;
          2. Has experienced persistent instability as measured by frequent moves over such period; and
          3. Can be expected to continue in such status for an extended period of time because of chronic disabilities, chronic physical or mental health conditions, substance addiction, histories of domestic violence or childhood abuse, the presence of a child or youth with a disability, or multiple barriers to employment.

Education Code 25.001(b)(5); 20 U.S.C. 6399; 42 U.S.C. 11434A(2), .11302

Child in DFPS Possession

  1. A local district shall enroll a child without the required documentation if the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) has taken possession of the child. DFPS shall ensure that the required documentation is furnished to the local district not later than the 30th day after the date the child is enrolled. The student’s local district will provide the DFPS documentation to TSBVI immediately upon their receiving it from DFPS. Education Code 25.002(g)

Undocumented Immigrants

  1. Denying enrollment to otherwise eligible children who are not legally admitted into the United States violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Plyler v. Doe  457 U.S. 202 (1982)

Foreign Exchange Students at TSBVI

  1. TSBVI may accept foreign exchange students into its Comprehensive Programs. To be considered for admission, the foreign exchange student must be placed with a host family in Texas by a nationally recognized foreign exchange program.  The exchange student must meet the eligibility requirements for admission to the School except for those requirements related to “least restrictive environment” provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  The School will not accept a foreign exchange student if:
    1. The student’s admission would impose a financial or staffing hardship on TSBVI;
    2. The admission would diminish the School’s ability to provide high quality education services for the School’s domestic students; or
    3. The admission would require domestic students to compete with foreign exchange students for educational resources.

Education Code 25.001(b)(6), (e)

FALSE INFORMATION PROHIBITED

When referring a child for enrollment, the local district shall inform the parent or other person enrolling the child that presenting false information or false records for identification is a criminal offense under Penal Code 37.10 and that enrolling the child under false documents makes the person liable for tuition or other costs.  Education Code 25.002(d), 25.001(h)(i)

CREDITS AND RECORDS

The local district and TSBVI shall accept all credits earned toward state graduation requirements by students in accredited Texas school districts, including credits earned in accredited summer school programs.  Credits earned in local credit courses may be transferred at the local district’s discretion or TSBVI’s discretion.  19 TAC 74.26(a)(1)

Students who are able to successfully complete only one semester of a two-semester course can be awarded credit proportionally.  19 TAC 74.26(d)

A student who is homeless or in substitute care who successfully completes only one semester of a two-semester course shall be awarded credit proportionally.  19 TAC 74.26(e)

Placement and Transfer Students from Private, Out-of-State and Foreign 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 may be placed promptly in appropriate classes.  TSBVI 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)(2)

PEST CONTROL INFORMATION

At the time a student is registered, School personnel shall inform parents, guardians, or managing conservators through the Parent and Student Handbook that the School periodically applies pesticides indoors and that information on the application of pesticides is available on request.  Occupations Code 1951.455.

Adopted:          7/13/79
Amended:         11/14/97, 1/24/02, 11/18/05, 1/25/08, 9/20/13, 1/26/18
Reviewed: 

NONDISCRIMINATION

TSBVI shall provide equal opportunities to all individuals within its jurisdiction.  Education Code 1.002(a)

No officer or employee of the School shall, when acting or purporting to act in an official capacity, refuse to permit any student to participate in any school program because of the student's race, religion, color, sex, or national origin.  Civil Practice and Remedies Code 106.001

The School may not deny services to any individual eligible to participate in its special education program, but it shall provide individuals with disabilities special educational services as authorized by law.  Education Code 1.002(b)

FEDERAL FUNDING RECIPIENTS

No person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination by the School, on the basis of any of the following protected characteristics:

  1. Sex.
  2. Race, color, or national origin.
  3. Disability, or relationship or association with an individual with a disability.  [See EHB, EHBA Series, and GA]

20 U.S.C. 1681 (Title VI); 42 U.S.C. 2000d (Title IX); 20 U.S.C., 1400 et seq. (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act); 29 U.S.C.794 (Section 504); 42 U.S.C. 12132 (Americans with Disabilities

Act [ADA])

Harassment

Sexual harassment of students is discrimination on the basis of sex under Title IX. Franklin v. Gwinnett County Schools, 503 U.S. 60 (1992)  [See also DIA and FFH]

Human Rights Coordinator

The School designates the following employee to coordinate its efforts to comply with Title IX, Section 504, and the Americans with Disabilities Act for student issues:

Name:  Susan Hauser

Position: Director, Center for School Resources

Address: 1100 W. 45th St., Austin, TX 78756

Office Telephone: (512) 206-9273

Grievance Procedures

The School shall adopt and publish grievance procedures for prompt and equitable resolution of student complaints alleging discrimination under these statutes.  34 CFR 106.8 (Title IX); 34 CFR 104.7 (Section 504)

Retaliation

The School shall not coerce, intimidate, threaten, retaliate against, or interfere with any person who attempts to assert a right protected by the above laws or cooperates with investigation and enforcement proceedings under these laws.  34 CFR 100.7(e) (Title VI), 104.61 (Section 504), 106.71 (Title IX)

STUDENTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES

The Texas Education Agency shall produce and provide to local school districts a written explanation of the options and requirements for providing assistance to students who have learning difficulties or who may need special education.  The explanation must state that a parent is entitled at any time to request an evaluation of the parent’s child for special education services under Education Code 29.004 or for aids, accommodations, or services under Section 504, Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 U.S.C. Section 794).  Each school year, TSBVI shall provide the written explanation in the student handbook by or by another means.  Education Code 26.0081(c)

DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION

ADA

Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), no qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of TSBVI or be subjected to discrimination by the School.  42 U.S.C.A. 12132; 28 CFR 35.130

Section 504

Under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.  29 U.S.C.A. 794(a)

Definitions

‘Student with a Disability’

A “student with a disability” is one who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the student’s major life activities, has a record of having such an impairment, or is being regarded as having such an impairment.

The determination of whether an impairment substantially limits a major life activity shall be made without regard to the ameliorative effects of mitigating measures, such as medication, medical supplies, low-vision devices (which do not include ordinary eyeglasses or contact lenses), prosthetics, hearing aids, mobility devices, oxygen therapy, assistive technology, or learned behavioral or adaptive neurological modifications.

An impairment that substantially limits one major life activity need not limit other major life activities in order to be considered a disability.  An impairment that is episodic or in remission is a disability if it would substantially limit a major life activity when active.

A student meets the requirement of being “regarded as” having an impairment if the student establishes that he or she has been subjected to a prohibited action because of an actual or perceived physical or mental impairment whether or not the impairment limits or is perceived to limit a major life activity.  This provision does not apply to impairments that are transitory or minor.  A transitory impairment is one with an actual or expected duration of 6 months or less.

29 U.S.C. 705(20)(B), 42 U.S.C. 12102(1), (3)–(4)

‘Qualified Individual with a Disability’

The term “qualified individual with a disability” means an individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by the School.  42 U.S.C. 12131(2)

‘Major Life Activities’

“Major life activities” include caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.  “Major life activity” also includes the operation of major bodily functions, including functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, and digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.  42 U.S.C. 12102(2)

REASONABLE MODIFICATION

The School shall make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures when the modifications are necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, unless the School can demonstrate that making the modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of the service, program, or activity.  28 CFR 35.130(b)(7)

DIRECT THREAT

“Direct threat” means a significant risk to the health or safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a modification of policies, practices or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services as provided below.  28 CFR 35.104

The ADA does not require the School 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.

In determining whether an individual poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others, the School must make an individualized assessment, based on reasonable judgment that relies on current medical knowledge or on the best available objective evidence, to ascertain:

  1. The nature, duration, and severity of the risk;
  2. The probability that the potential injury will actually occur; and
  3. Whether reasonable modifications of policies, practices, or procedures or the provision of auxiliary aids or services will mitigate the risk.

28 CFR 35.139

HOMELESS CHILDREN

It is the School’s policy and practice to ensure that homeless children are not stigmatized or segregated on the basis of their homeless status.

Liaison

The Principal of Comprehensive Programs designates a social worker as the School’s official Homeless Liaison.  TSBVI shall inform school personnel, service providers, and advocates working with homeless families of the duties of the Homeless Liaison.  Marcela Contreras, LMSW, serves as the TSBVI Homeless Liaison.   42 U.S.C. 11432(g)(1)(J)(i), (ii), (g)(6)(B)

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

TSBVI may not substantially burden a student’s free exercise of religion, unless the burden is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that interest.  Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code 110.003 [See also DAA and GA]

DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF SEX

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination by any school receiving federal financial assistance.  20 U.S.C. 1681(a)

The School shall not provide any course or otherwise carry out any of its educational programs or activities separately on the basis of sex, or require or refuse participation therein on the basis of sex, including health, physical education, industrial, business, vocational, technical, home economics, music, and adult education courses.  34 CFR 106.34

Separate Facilities

The School may provide separate toilet, locker room, and shower facilities on the basis of sex, but the facilities provided for one sex shall be comparable to the facilities provided for the other sex.  34 CFR 106.33

Human Sexuality Classes

Portions of classes in elementary and secondary school that deal exclusively with human sexuality may be conducted in separate sessions for boys and girls.  34 CFR 106.34

Vocal Music Activities

The School may make requirements based on vocal range or quality that may result in a chorus or choruses of one or predominantly one sex.  34 CFR 106.34

Pregnancy and Marital Status

The School shall not apply any rule concerning a student’s actual or potential parental, family, or marital status that treats students differently on the basis of sex.  34 CFR 106.40 [See FND

Physical Education Classes

The School may group students in physical education classes and activities by ability as assessed by objective standards of individual performance developed and applied without regard to sex.  34 CFR 106.34

Skills Assessment

Where use of a single standard of measuring skill or progress in physical education classes has an adverse effect on members of one sex, the School shall use appropriate standards that do not have such effect.  34 CFR 106.34

Contact Sports

The School may separate students by sex within physical education classes or activities during participation in wrestling, boxing, rugby, ice hockey, football, basketball, and other sports the purpose or major activity of which involves bodily contact.  34 CFR 106.34

Athletic Programs

The School shall not discriminate, on the basis of sex, in interscholastic or intramural athletics or provide any such athletics separately on such basis.

Single-Sex Teams

The School may operate or sponsor separate teams for members of each sex where selection for such teams is based upon competitive skill or the activity involved is a contact sport.  However, where the School operates or sponsors a team in a particular sport for members of one sex but not for members of the other sex, and athletic opportunities for members of that sex have previously been limited, members of the excluded sex must be allowed to try-out for the team offered unless the sport involved is a contact sport.

Equal Athletic Opportunities

If the School operates or sponsors interscholastic or intramural athletics, the School shall provide equal athletic opportunity for members of both sexes.  The following factors shall be considered in determining whether a district provides equal athletic opportunities:

  1. Whether the selection of sports and levels of competition effectively accommodate the interests and abilities of members of both sexes;
  2. Provision of equipment and supplies;
  3. Scheduling of games and practice time;
  4. Travel and per diem allowance;
  5. Opportunity to receive coaching and academic tutoring;
  6. Assignment and compensation of coaches and tutors;
  7. Provision of locker rooms and practice and competitive facilities;
  8. Provision of medical and training facilities and services;
  9. Provision of housing and dining facilities and services; and
  10. Publicity.

34 CFR 106.41

Adopted:         9/27/90

Amended:       1/29/93, 11/14/97, 1/24/02, 11/16/07, 6/5/13, 8/9/18

Reviewed: 9/27/19

REPORTS

School authorities, including the Superintendent, principal, teacher, school health official, or social worker, should report to the local health authority those students attending TSBVI who are suspected of having a notifiable condition, as defined by state law and the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS).  25 TAC 97.2(d), 97.5(a); Health and Safety Code 81.041- .042

“School authority” means the Superintendent or designee.  Health and Safety Code 81.049 

School employees who have information that any student enrolled in the School has a notifiable condition, as set forth in 25 TAC 97.3, shall provide the information to the Health Center Director. If the Health Center Director believes that information reported by a school employee supports a report to the local health authority, the Director shall make the report.  If the Director of Health Services does not believe that the information supports a report to the local health authority, the Director shall so inform the employee.

Sexually Transmitted Disease

School authorities who are not medical directors are exempt from reporting AIDS, chancroid, Chlamydia trachomatis infection, gonorrhea, HIV infection, or syphilis to the local health authority or TDSHS regional director.  25 TAC 97.2(d)  [See FFG(TSBVI) regarding reports to the Department of Family and Protective Services]

Health professionals as defined by 25 Administrative Code 97.131(5) shall report cases and suspected cases of STD(s) in the manner described in 25 Administrative Code 97.133.  25 TAC 97.132(a)(1) 

Penalties

A person commits a Class B misdemeanor if the person knowingly fails to report a reportable disease or health condition under Health and Safety Code Chapter 81, Subchapter B.  Health and Safety Code 81.049

EXCLUSION

The Superintendent or principal shall exclude from attendance any student suffering from a communicable condition, as defined by the Texas Department of State Health Services, until the criteria for readmission are met.  25 TAC 97.7(a)

READMISSION

A student excluded for reason of communicable disease shall be readmitted by one or more of the following methods, as determined by the health authority:

  1. Submitting a release to school form from the attending physician, advanced practice nurse, or physician assistant attesting that the child does not currently have signs or symptoms of a communicable disease or to the disease’s non-communicability in a school setting;
  2. Submitting a permit for readmission issued by the local health authority; or
  3. After a period of time corresponding to the duration of the communicability of the disease, meeting readmission criteria as established by the commissioner of health.

25 TAC 97.7(b)-(c)

____________________________________________________________________________________

Note:  See TDSHS Communicable Disease Chart for Schools and Child-Care Centers at

https://www.dshs.texas.gov/idcu/health/schools_childcare/resouorces/

____________________________________________________________________________________

BACTERIAL MENINGITIS

TEA shall prescribe procedures by which TSBVI shall provide information relating to bacterial meningitis to its students and their parents each school year.  The procedures must ensure that the information is reasonably likely to come to the attention of the parents of each student.  The agency shall prescribe the form and content of the information.

The School shall provide information about bacterial meningitis to its students and their parents in the Parent Student Handbook, which is also available on the TSBVI website.

Education Code 38.0025

Adopted:         1/11/80

Amended:       6/29/84, 1/14/88, 11/17/95, 5/28/03, 1/22/10, 8/9/18

Reviewed:      

ASSIGNMENTS

The Principal may assign and transfer any student from classroom to another.  Education Code 25.031

The Principal must make the decision concerning the assignment or transfer of a student on an individual basis and may not consider as a factor in its decision any matter relating to the national origin of the student or the student’s ancestral language.  Education Code 25.032

Any change in classroom assignment must continue to provide the student with a free, appropriate public education in accord with the student’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP).

MULTIPLE BIRTH SIBLINGS

“Multiple birth sibling” means a twin, triplet, quadruplet, or other sibling resulting from a multiple birth.

“Parent” includes a person standing in parental relation.

Placement

The parent of multiple birth siblings who are assigned to the same grade level and school may request in writing, not later than the 14th day after the first day of enrollment, that the School place the siblings in the same classroom or in separate classrooms if such placement is congruent with each child’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP).

The School shall provide the placement requested.  However the School is not required to place multiple birth siblings in separate classrooms if the request would require the School to add an additional class to the grade level of the siblings.

The School may recommend to a parent the appropriate classroom placement and may provide professional educational advice to assist the parent with the decision.

These provisions do not affect:

  1. A right or obligation regarding the individual placement decisions of the admission, review, and dismissal (ARD) committee with respect to students receiving special education services [see EHBAB]; or
  2.  The right of a teacher to remove a student from a classroom under Chapter 37 [see FOA].

Reassignment by Principal

At the end of the first grading period following the multiple birth siblings’ enrollment in the School, if the principal of the School, in consultation with the teacher of each classroom in which the siblings are placed, determines that the requested classroom placement is disruptive to the School, the principal may determine the appropriate classroom placement for the siblings, subject to the provisions of the student’s IEP.

Appeal

A parent may appeal the principal’s classroom placement by requesting an ARD Committee meeting.  During an appeal, the siblings shall remain in the classroom chosen by the parent.  [See FNG]

Education Code 25.043

STUDENTS WHO ARE VICTIMS OF BULLYING

On the request of a parent or other person with authority to act on behalf of a student who is a victim of bullying, the Principal shall transfer the victim to another classroom if available.

In the event that the School has only one classroom which offers the coursework which both the bully and the victim need, the bully will be placed in the disciplinary alternative education placement.  

STUDENTS WHO ENGAGE IN BULLYING

The transfer of a student with a disability who receives special education services and who engaged in bullying may be made only by a duly constituted ARD committee under Education Code 37.004.

Definition

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

"Bullying" means engaging in written or verbal expression or physical conduct that a board or its designee determines:

  1. 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; or
  2. Is sufficiently severe, persistent, or pervasive that the action or threat creates an intimidating, threatening, or abusive educational environment for a student.

Verification

The Principal shall verify that a student has been a victim of bullying before transferring the student.  The School may consider past student behavior when identifying a bully.

The determination by the Principal is final and may not be appealed.  The procedures set forth at Education Code 25.034 do not apply to a transfer under this provision.

Education Code 25.0342

Note: For bullying rising to the level of prohibited harassment, see FFH.  For all other bullying, see FFI.

CLASS CHANGES

A parent or person standing in parental relation is entitled to reasonable access to the Principal to request a change in the class or teacher to which the parent's child has been assigned, if the reassignment or change would not affect the assignment or reassignment of another student, or would not affect the services in the reassigned student’s IEP. The decision of the Principal regarding such a request is final and may not be appealed.

Education Code 26.002, 26.003(a)(2), (b) [See FNG

Adopted:          9/22/06
Amended:         11/8/13
Reviewed:

SCHOOL SAFETY CHOICE OPTION

TEA shall establish and implement a statewide policy requiring that a student be allowed to attend a safe public elementary or secondary school within a district, including a public charter school, if the student:

  • Attends a persistently dangerous public elementary or secondary school, as defined by TEA; or
  • Becomes a victim of a violent criminal offense, as determined by state law, while in or on the grounds of the public elementary or secondary school that the student attends.

No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, 20 U.S.C. 7912

SEXUAL ASSAULT TRANSFER

For the purposes of the following provisions:

  • "Assailant" means a student who has been adjudicated for a sexual assault or aggravated sexual assault if the assault was committed against another student who, at the time of the offense, was assigned to the same campus as the assailant, regardless of whether the conduct occurred on or off of school property.
  • "Victim" means the victim of the sexual assault.

Transfer of Assailant

On the request of a parent or other person with authority to act on behalf of the victim of the sexual assault, the Principal shall transfer the assailant to the School's disciplinary alternative education program.

To the extent permitted under federal law, the Principal shall notify the parent or other person with authority to act on behalf of the victim that the assailant has been assigned to the School's disciplinary alternative education program.

Education Code 25.034 does not apply to a transfer under this provision.

Education Code 25.0341

Adopted: 9/22/06

Amended:

Reviewed:

GENERAL RULE

Students who are at least six years of age, or who have been previously enrolled in first grade, and who have not yet reached their nineteenth birthday shall attend school each day for the entire period the program is offered, unless exempted as indicated below.  Students enrolled in kindergarten are required to attend school and are subject to compulsory attendance requirements as long as they remain enrolled.

Education Code 25.085(a)-(c)

accelerated/compensatory programs

Unless specifically exempted, a student must also attend:

  1. An accelerated reading instruction program to which the student has been assigned under Education Code 28.006(g) [see EKC];
  2. An accelerated instruction program to which the student is assigned under Education Code 28.0211 [see EIE];
  3. A basic skills program to which the student is assigned under Education Code 29.086 [see EHBC].

Education Code 25.085(d)

EXEMPTIONS

Students who meet one or more of the following conditions shall be exempt from compulsory attendance requirements:

Medical Condition

The student has a temporary and remediable physical or mental condition that renders attendance infeasible and the student has a certificate from a qualified physician that specifies the condition, indicates the prescribed treatment, and covers the anticipated time of absence needed for receiving and recuperating from remedial treatment.

Expulsion

The student has been expelled from the School. [See FOD]

Other Exemption

The student is specifically exempted under another law. Education Code 25.086

EXCUSED ABSENCES

Temporary Absence

A person required to attend school may be excused for temporary absence resulting from any cause acceptable to the teacher, principal, or Superintendent of TSBVI.  A student may not be penalized for excused absences and shall be counted for average daily attendance.

Education Code 25.087(a), (d)

Special Education Matters

Students may be excused for special education assessment procedures and for special education-related services. 19 TAC 129.21(l)

Court Appearances

Attending a required court appearance.  A student who is attending a required court appearance is allowed up to one day of excused travel for traveling to the site where the student will attend the required court appearance and up to one day of excused travel for traveling from that site.

Holy Days

The School shall excuse a student from attending school for the purpose of observing religious holy days, including traveling for that purpose.  Excused days for travel shall be limited to not more than one day for travel to and one day for travel from the site where the student will observe the religious holy days.

Citizenship Proceedings

Appearing at a governmental office to complete paperwork required in connection with the student’s application for United States citizenship.  A student who is appearing at a governmental office to complete such paperwork is allowed up to one day excused travel for traveling to the site where the student will compete the paperwork and up to one day of excused travel for traveling from that site.

Taking part in a United States naturalization oath ceremony.  A student who is taking part in such a ceremony is allowed up to one day of excused travel for traveling to the site where the student will take part in the ceremony and up to one day of excused travel for traveling form that site.

Children in Conservatorship of DFPS

If the student is in the conservatorship of the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), participating, as determined and documented by DFPS, in an activity:

  1. Ordered by a court under Family Code Chapter 262 or 263, provided that it is not practicable to schedule the participation outside of school hours; or
  2. Required under a service plan under Family Code Chapter 263, Subchapter B.

Education Code 25.087(b)(1); 19 TAC 129.21(j)(3)

Health Care Appointments

The School shall excuse a student for temporary absence resulting from an appointment with a health-care professional if that student commences classes or returns to School on the same day of the appointment.  The appointment must be supported by a document such as a note from the health-care professional. “Temporary absence” includes the temporary absence of a student diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder on the day of the student’s appointment with a health-care practitioner to receive a generally recognized service for persons with autism spectrum disorder, including applied behavioral analysis, speech therapy, and occupational therapy.

Education Code 25.087(b)(1), (b)(2), (b)(3); 19 TAC 129.21(j)(3) [See FEB]

Higher Education Visits

TSBVI may excuse a student from attending school to visit an institution of higher education accredited by a generally recognized accrediting organization during the student’s junior and senior years of high school for the purpose of determining the student’s interest in attending the institution of higher education, provided that:

  1. The School may not excuse for this purpose more than two days during the student’s junior year and two days during the student’s senior year; and
  2. The School adopts:
    1. A policy to determine when an absence will be excused for this purpose; and
    2. A procedure to verify the student’s visit at the institution of higher education.

Education Code 25.087(b-2); 19 TAC 129.21(j)(3)

Military Dependents

TSBVI shall excuse a student whose parent, stepparent, or legal guardian is an active duty member of the uniformed services and has been called to duty for, is on leave from, or immediately returned from continuous deployment of at least four months outside the locality where the parent, stepparent, or

guardian regularly resides, to visit with the student’s parent, stepparent, or guardian. TSBVI may not excuse a student under this provision more than five days in a school year.  An excused absence under this provision must be taken not earlier than the 60th day before the date of deployment or not later than the 30th day after the date of return of deployment.  Education Code 25.087(b-4) [See FDD]

Make-Up Work

A student who is excused for a reason described above shall be allowed a reasonable time to make up school work missed on those days.  If the student satisfactorily completes the work, the days of absence shall be counted as days of compulsory attendance.  The student shall not be penalized for the absence.  Education Code 25.087(d)

In the case of a student who has missed class due to court proceedings or human services activities, it is the responsibility of the liaison for court-related children to assist students and teachers to ensure that students are provided the opportunity to complete all missed assignments.  19 TAC 129.22(c)

NOTICES TO PARENTS

Warning Notice

TSBVI shall notify a student's parent in writing at the beginning of the school year that, if the student is absent from school on ten or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year or on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period, the student's parent is subject to prosecution under Education Code 25.093, and the student is subject to prosecution under or to referral to a truancy court under Family Code 65.003(a).

Notice of Absences

TSBVI shall notify a student's parent and the student's local school district if the student has been absent from school, without excuse under Education Code 25.087, on three days or parts of days within a four-week period.  The notice must:

  1. Inform the parent that:
    1. It is the parent's duty to monitor the student's school attendance and require the student to attend school, and
    2. The parent is subject to prosecution under Education Code 25.0951; and
  2. Request a conference between school officials and the parent to discuss the absences.

The fact that a parent did not receive the notices described above is not a defense to prosecution for the parent's failure to require a child to attend school nor for the student's failure to attend school.

Education Code 25.095

NON-ATTENDANCE

Parent Liability

If any parent of or person standing in parental relation to a child who is required to attend school fails to require the child to attend school, the Principal of the School shall inform the student's local district of that truancy. (Education Code requires that the student's local district respond as follows:  The local district's attendance officer shall warn the parent in writing that attendance is immediately required. [See FED]

A parent or person standing in parental relation commits a truancy offense if:

  1. A warning notice is issued;
  2. The parent with criminal negligence fails to require the child to attend school as required by law; and
  3. The child has absences for the amount of time specified under Family Code 65.003(a).

The resident school district’s attendance officer [see FED] or other appropriate school official shall file a complaint against the parent in an appropriate court, as permitted under Education Code 25.093.

Education Code 25.093

Affirmative Defense - Parent

It is an affirmative defense to prosecution that one or more of the absences required to be proven was excused by a school official or should be excused by the court.  A decision by the court to excuse an absence for this purpose does not affect the ability of the School to determine whether to excuse the absence for another purpose.

Education Code 25.093(h)

Student Liability

A student who is 12 years or older and younger than 19 years of age is required to attend school under the compulsory attendance laws and fails to attend school on ten or more days or parts of days within a six-month period in the same school year or on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period may be prosecuted for nonattendance in:

  1. The constitutional county court of the county in which the individual resides or in which the school is located, if the county has a population of 1.75 million or more;
  2. The justice court of any precinct in the county in which the student resided;
  3. The justice court of any precinct in the county in which the resident school is located;
  4. The municipal court in the municipality in which the child resides; or
  5. The municipal court in the municipality in which the school is located.

A truancy court has exclusive original jurisdiction over cases involving allegation of truant conduct.

Education Code 25.094(a)(b); Family Code 65.004(a), (b)

AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE-STUDENT

It is an affirmative defense to prosecution for truancy or to an allegation of conduct in need of supervision that one or more of the absences required to be proven was excused by a school official or should be excused by the court or that one or more of the absences was involuntary, but only if there is an insufficient number.  A decision by the court to excuse an absence for this purpose does not affect the ability of the School to determine whether to excuse the absence for another purpose.

Education Code 25.094(f)(g); Family Code 65.003(a)

SCHOOL COMPLAINT OR REFERRAL

If a student fails to attend TSBVI without excuse on 10 or more days or parts of days within a 6-month period in the same school year, the School shall issue warning notices and loss of credit to the parent and local school district.  The resident school district will then,

  1. File a complaint against the student or the student's parent or both in a truancy court for an offense under Education Code 25.093 or 25.094, as appropriate, or refer the student to a truancy court in a county with a population of less than 100,000; or
  2. Refer the student to a truancy court for conduct indicating a need for supervision under Family Code 65.003(a).

A court shall dismiss a complaint or referral if the resident school district does not comply with these requirements.

Education Code 25.0915(a-4)

Adopted:         11/13/81

Amended:       11/11/83, 10/25/85, 1/26/90, 5/28/92, 3/22/96, 1/24/02, 4/1/05, 1/26/07, 8/9/18

Reviewed:       1/31/03

The School shall maintain records to reflect the average daily attendance (ADA). The Superintendent, principals, and teachers shall maintain accurate, current attendance records.

19 TAC 129.21(a), (e)

The School shall use the standards established by the commissioner to maintain records and make reports on student attendance and student participation in special programs. The official standards are described in TEA's Student Attendance Accounting Handbook (SAAH). Certified attendance records must be preserved on site to be readily available for TEA auditors.

19 TAC 129. 1025, .21 (d)

MINIMUM ENROLLMENT

A student must be enrolled for at least two hours to be considered in membership for a half-day, and for at least four hours to be considered in membership for one full day.

Half-Day Students

Students enrolled on a half-day basis may earn only half-day attendance each school day. Attendance is determined for these pupils by recording absences in a period during the half-day they are scheduled to be present.

ATTENDANCE FOR STATE FUNDING PURPOSES

Attendance for all grades shall be determined by the absences recorded in the second or fifth period of the day, unless the School has obtained permission from TEA for an alternate period to record absences.

The established period in which absences are recorded may not be changed during the school year.

Students absent during the daily period selected by TSBVI for taking attendance shall be counted absent for the entire day. Students present at the time attendance is taken shall be counted present for the entire day.

19 TAC 129.21

Students in an alternative education placement shall be counted in computing the average daily attendance for the student's time in actual attendance in the program.

Education Code 37.008(f)

Exceptions

A student not actually on campus at the time attendance is taken may be considered in attendance if:

Board-Approved Activities

  1. The student is participating in a Board-approved extracurricular activity or public performance, which is under the direction of a member of a School’s professional or paraprofessional staff or an adjunct staff member who has a bachelor's degree. 

Mentorships

  1. The student is participating in a mentorship approved by School personnel to serve as one or more of the advanced measures needed to complete the Distinguished Achievement Program outlined in 19 TAC 74.13. 

Medicaid Students

  1. The student is Medicaid-eligible and participating in the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment Program. Such students may be excused for up to one day at any time without loss of ADA.

Education Code 25.087; 19 TAC 129.21

  1. The student is absent for one of the purposes listed at EXCUSED ABSENCES FOR COMPULSORY ATTENDANCE DETERMINATIONS in Policy FEA.

Parental Consent to Leave Campus

The Board delegates to the Superintendent authority to establish procedures regarding parental consent for a student to leave campus. A student absent from School shall provide a note that describes the reason for absence. The note shall be signed by the student's parent or guardian. If the student is 18 or older or has been declared by a court to be an emancipated minor, the student may sign in place of a parent or guardian.

19 TAC 129.21(l) [See Parent Student Handbook]

disasters

The commissioner shall adjust the average daily attendance of a school all or part of which is located in an area declared a disaster area by the governor under Government Code Chapter 418 if the school experiences a decline in average daily attendance that is reasonably attributable to the impact of the disaster.

The commissioner shall make the adjustment required by this section for the two-year period following the date of the governor’s initial proclamation or executive order declaring the state of disaster.

Education Code 42.0051

Adopted:         4/1/05

Amended:       8/9/18

Reviewed:

90 PERCENT RULE

A student shall be given credit for a class only if the student has been in attendance 90 percent of the days the class is offered, unless the School’s attendance committee gives the student credit because there were extenuating circumstances for the absences. This restriction does not affect a student’s right to excused absences to observe religious holy days [see FEA] and does not apply to a student who receives credit by examination for a class as provided by Education Code 28.023. [See EHDC]

The attendance committee shall consist of the student’s assigned Assistant Principal and two classroom teachers assigned by the Principal. 

EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES

For purposes of reviewing student absences, extenuating circumstances include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. An excused absence.
  2. Days of suspension.
  3. Participation in a court proceeding or a child abuse or neglect investigation. The reason for the absences must be stated in writing by the case worker.
  4. The late enrollment or early withdrawal of a migrant student as defined in 34 CFR 206.1.
  5. Days missed as a runaway as defined by Family Code 51.03(b)(2).
  6. The absences of a teen parent due to caring for his or her child.
  7. Homelessness, as defined in federal law.

Principal’s Plan

A student who is in attendance for at least 75 percent but less than 90 percent of the days a class is offered may be given credit or a final grade if the student completes a plan approved by the School’s principal that provides for the student to meet the instructional requirements of the class. However, a student under the jurisdiction of a court in a criminal or juvenile justice proceeding may not receive credit or a final grade without the consent of the judge presiding over the student’s case.

ATTENDANCE COMMITTEE HEARING

The attendance committee shall hear each case in which a student's attendance falls below the 90 percent threshold and a petition by the student or his or her parent or legal guardian has been filed. The committee may give class credit to a student because of extenuating circumstances according to this policy for a student to make up work or regain credit lost because of absences. Classroom teachers shall comprise a majority of the attendance committee.

Education Code 25.092

Appeal

If a student is denied credit for a class by an attendance committee, the student may appeal the decision to the Board. The Board's decision may be appealed to the district court of Travis County.

Education Code 25.092(d)

ADDITIONAL DUTIES

A certified employee may not be assigned additional instructional duties as a result of the above provision outside of the regular workday unless the employee is compensated for the duties at a reasonable rate of pay.

Education Code 25.092

Adopted:         4/1/05

Amended:       8/9/18

Reviewed:

LOCAL DISTRICT RESPONSIBILITY

Upon notice from TSBVI, pursuant to Policy FEA, the attendance officer in the student's local school district shall perform the legal responsibilities of referral to truancy court or ARD committee.

Referral Prohibited

TSBVI may not refer a student to the local district’s attendance officer if the School determines that the student’s truancy is the result of pregnancy, being in the state foster program, homelessness, or being the principal income earner for the student’s family.  [See TRUANCY PREVENTION MEASURES, below]  Education Code 25.0915(a-3)

truancy prevention measures

TSBVI has adopted truancy prevention measures designed to address student conduct related to truancy in the school setting before the student engages in conduct described by Family Code 65.003, and minimize the need for referrals to attendance officers in the local school district for conduct described by Family Code 65.003(a).  Education Code 25.0915(a)

TSBVI in collaboration with the local school district shall take one or more of the following actions as a truancy prevention measure:

  1. Impose:
    1. A behavior contract for the student that must be signed by an administrator of the School, that TSBVI has made a good faith effort to have signed by the student and the student’s parent or guardian, and that includes:
      1. A specific description of the behavior that is required or prohibited for the student;
      2. The period for which the plan will be effective, not to exceed 45 school days after the date the contract becomes effective; or
      3. The penalties for additional absences, including additional disciplinary action or the referral of the student to a truancy court; or
    2. Resident school-based community service; or
  2. Refer the student to counseling, mediation, mentoring, community-based services, or other in-school or out-of-school services aimed at addressing the student’s truancy. A referral may include participation by the child’s parent or guardian if necessary.

The resident school district shall offer additional counseling to a student and may not refer the student to truancy court if the school determines that the student’s truancy is the result of:

  1. Pregnancy;
  2. Being in the state foster program;
  3. Homelessness; or
  4. Being the principal income earner for the student’s family.

If a student fails to attend school without excuse on three or more days or parts of days within a four-week period but does not fail to attend school for the time described by Education Code 25.0951(a), the resident district shall initiate truancy prevention measures on the student.

Education Code 25.0915

Minimum Standards

The minimum standards for the truancy prevention measures implemented by a district under Education Code 25.0915 include:

  1. Identifying the root cause of the student’s unexcused absences and actions to address each cause;
  2. Maintaining ongoing communication with students and parents on the actions to be taken to improve attendance;
  3. Establishing reasonable timelines for completion of the truancy prevention measure; and
  4. Establishing procedures to notify the admission, review, and dismissal committee or the Section 504 committee of attendance issues relating to a student with a disability and ensure that the committee considers whether the student’s attendance issues warrant an evaluation, a reevaluation, and/or modifications to the student’s individualized education program or Section 504 plan, as appropriate.

19 TAC 129.1043

Adopted:         9/9/83

Amended:       1/14/88, 1/26/90, 3/27/92, 1/24/97, 1/24/02, 4/1/05, 11/15/18

Reviewed:

WELLNESS POLICY

TSBVI establishes this School wellness policy to participate in the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast program under the jurisdiction of TSBVI.

The School wellness policy is a written plan that includes methods to promote student wellness, prevent and reduce childhood obesity, and provide assurance that school meals and other food and beverages sold and otherwise made available on the school campus during the school day are consistent with applicable minimum federal standards. 7 C.F.R 210.30(a) [See EHAA for TSBVI’s coordinated school health program.]

The local health advisory council (SHAC) shall review and consider evidence-based strategies and techniques and shall develop nutrition guidelines and wellness goals as required by law.

“School Day

“School day” means the period from the midnight before, to 30 minutes after the end of the official school day. 7 C.F.R. 210.11(a)(5)

“School Campus”

“School Campus” means all areas of the property under the jurisdiction of the School that are accessible to students during the school day. 7 C.F.R. 210.11(a)(4)

Wellness Plan

At a minimum the School wellness plan must contain:

  1. Specific goals for nutrition promotion and education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that promote student wellness. In developing these goals, TSBVI must review and consider evidence-based strategies and techniques;
  2. Standards for all foods and beverages provided, but not sold, to students during the school day on the school campus under the jurisdiction of TSBVI that:
    1. Are consistent with applicable requirements set forth in 7 C.F.R. 210.10 (meal requirements for lunches and afterschool snacks) and 220.8 (meal requirements for breakfasts);
    2. Are consistent with the nutrition standards set forth under 7 C.F.R 210.11 (competitive food service and standards);
    3. Permit only those foods and beverages that meet the nutrition standards under 7 C.F.R 210.11; and
    4. Promote student health and reduce childhood obesity;
  3. Identification of the position of the school official(s) responsible for the implementation and oversight of the School wellness policy to ensure compliance with the policy;
  4. A description of the manner in which parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, teachers of physical education, school health professionals, the school board, school administrators, and the general public are provided an opportunity to participate in the development, implementation, and periodic review and update of the School wellness policy; and
  5. A description of the plan for measuring the implementation of the School wellness policy, and for reporting school wellness policy content and implementation issues to the public as required below.

TSBVI’S Wellness Plan and SHAC

The Board delegates to the Superintendent the responsibility for ensuring that TSBVI has established and continues to implement a wellness plan for the School that:

  1. Includes measurable goals to promote sound nutrition education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that are designed to promote student wellness in an appropriate manner;
  2. Includes nutrition guidelines for all foods available at the School, both during and after school, with the objectives of promoting student health and reducing childhood obesity;
  3. Provides an assurance that guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than the regulations and guidance issued by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to the federal child nutrition and National School Lunch and Breakfast Acts;
  4. Establishes a plan for measuring implementation of the wellness policy, including designation of one or more school employees charged with operational responsibility for ensuring that the School complies with the wellness policy; and
  5. Involves parents, students, teachers of physical education, representatives of the school food authority, the Board, the School Health Center, administrators, and the public in the development and continued revision, if necessary, of the wellness policy.

Wellness Plan

The School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) shall develop a wellness action plan to implement TSBVI’s nutrition guidelines and wellness goals. The wellness action plan shall, at a minimum, address:

  1. Strategies for soliciting involvement by and input from persons interested in the wellness plan and policy;
  2. Objectives, benchmarks, and activities for implementing the wellness goals;
  3. Methods for measuring implementation of the wellness goals;
  4. TSBVI’s standards for foods and beverages provided, but not sold, to students during the school day on a school campus are in line with USDA requirements; and
  5. The manner of communicating to the public applicable information about the School’s wellness policy and plan by posting to the TSBVI website and in Parent, Student, and Employee Handbooks.

The SHAC shall review and revise the plan if needed on an annual basis and recommend revisions to the wellness policy when necessary.

Nutrition Guidelines: Foods and Beverages Sold and Provided

The School’s nutrition guidelines for reimbursable school meals and all other foods and beverages sold or marketed to students during the school day shall be designed to promote student health and re-duce childhood obesity and shall be at least as restrictive as federal regulations and guidance. [See CO]

TSBVI shall establish standards for all foods and beverages provided, but not sold, to students during the school day. These standards shall be addressed in the School’s wellness plan.

In addition to legal requirements, the School shall:

  1. Establish age-appropriate guidelines for food and/or beverages served during classroom parties, birthdays, or school celebrations or events. Campuses shall follow these guidelines when offering food and/or beverages during events, parties, and celebrations. [See CO]
  2. Provide guidance to campuses requiring that birthday and/or school celebrations shall not occur in the cafeteria during meal serving time. Such events may take place at the end of the school day after the last scheduled class or after school.
  3. Provide guidelines that foods and/or beverages shall not be used as rewards for academic performance, except when provided in a specific student’s individualized education program (IEP) or behavior intervention plan.
  4. Provide teachers with education and guidelines on the use of food for instructional purposes or as a reward in the class-room.
  5. Require that all foods of minimal nutritional value (FMNV), including chocolate and all forms of candy, not be sold, distributed, provided, or made available to students in kindergarten–grade 12 at any time during the school day.
  6. Require that food and/or beverages offered to students and employees of TSBVI during the day as a snack or meal, whether provided by parents or staff, shall be consistent with the goals of the policy and in compliance with the Federal Public School Nutrition Policy. [See CO]

Wellness Goals

Nutrition Promotion and Education

TSBVI shall implement a coordinated school health program with a nutrition education component. [See EHAB] 

TSBVI establishes the following goals for nutrition promotion:

  1. The School’s food service staff, teachers, and other TSBVI personnel shall consistently promote healthy nutrition messages in cafeterias, classrooms, and other appropriate settings.
  2. The School shall share educational nutrition information with families (through handouts, newsletters and progress notes) to promote healthy nutrition choices and positively influence the health of students.

TSBVI establishes the following goals for nutrition education:

  1. The School shall deliver nutrition education that fosters the adoption and maintenance of healthy eating behaviors.
  2. TSBVI shall make nutrition education a Schoolwide priority and shall integrate nutrition education into other areas of the curriculum, as appropriate.
  3. Educational nutrition information shall be shared with families and the general public to positively influence the health of students and community members through the use of print media, newsletters, school lunch menus, and the TSBVI’s website.

Physical Activity

TSBVI shall implement a coordinated health program with physical education and physical activity components and shall offer at least the required amount of physical activity for all grades. [See BDF, EHAA, EHAB and EHAC]

TSBVI establishes the following goals for physical activity:

  1. The School shall provide an environment that fosters safe and enjoyable, and developmentally appropriate fitness activities for all students, including those who are not participating in physical education classes or competitive sports.
  2. The School shall encourage parents to support their children’s participation, to be active role models, to include physical activity in family events, and to participate in before-school and after-school physical activity programs.
  3. The School shall make appropriate training and other activities available to TSBVI employees in order to promote enjoyable, lifelong physical activity.
  4. TSBVI shall encourage students and staff members, to use the School’s recreational facilities such as tracks, playgrounds, and the like, that are available outside of the school day. [See GKD]

Other School-Based Activities

TSBVI establishes the following goals to create an environment conducive to healthful eating and physical activity and to promote and express a consistent wellness message through other school-based activities:

  1. TSBVI shall allow sufficient time for students to eat meals in cafeteria facilities that are clean, safe, and comfortable.
  2. TSBVI shall promote wellness for students and their families at suitable school activities.
  3. TSBVI shall promote employee wellness activities and involvement.

Implementation

The Comprehensive Programs Principal, in conjunction with the Chairperson of the SHAC, shall oversee the implementation and development of this plan and measure and monitor the implementation of the wellness plan and appropriate administrative procedures.

Evaluation

TSBVI shall comply with federal requirements for evaluating this policy and the wellness plan.

Public Notification

TSBVI shall annually evaluate and inform the public about the content and implementation of the wellness policy, including posting on its website copies of the wellness policy, the wellness plan, and the required action plan.

Records Retention

TSBVI shall retain all the required records associated with the wellness policy, in accordance with law and the School’s records management program.  [See CPC and FFA(LEGAL)]

PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT AND NOTIFICATION

TSBVI must:

  1. Permit parents, students, representatives of the school food authority, teachers of physical education, school health professionals, the school board, school administrators, and the general public to participate in the development, implementation, and periodic review and update of the School wellness policy.
  2. Inform the public about the content and implementation of the School wellness policy and make the policy and plan, as well as any update available to the public annually on the TSBVI website.
  3. Inform the public about progress toward meeting the goals of the School wellness policy and compliance with the School wellness plan and action plan, by making the triennial assessment, as required at item 2 under IMPLEMENTATION ASSESSMENTS AND UPDATES below, available to the public in an accessible and easily understood manner on the TSBVI website.

IMPLEMENTATION ASSESSMENTS AND UPDATES

TSBVI must:

  1. Designate one or more school officials to ensure that TSBVI complies with the wellness policy. The Board has designated the Superintendent.
  2. At least once every three years, assess compliance with the School wellness plan, and make assessment results available to the public on the School’s website. The assessment must measure the implementation of the School wellness policy, and include:
    1. The extent to which TSBVI is in compliance with the School wellness plan;
    2. The extent to which the School wellness policy compares to model local school wellness policies; and
    3. A description of the progress made in attaining the goals of the School wellness plan in TSBVI’s Action Plan.
  3. Make appropriate updates or modifications to the School wellness plan, based on the triennial assessment.

RECORDKEEPING

TSBVI must retain records to document compliance with the requirements of the policy. These records include, but are not limited to:

  1. The written School wellness policy and plan;
  2. Documentation demonstrating compliance with community involvement requirements in the Action Plan, including requirements to make the School wellness policy and triennial assessments available to the public and report to the Board as required at IMPLEMENTATION ASSESSMENTS AND UPDATES above; and
  3. Documentation of the triennial assessment of the School wellness policy.

Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-296, sec. 204, 124 Stat. 3183 (2010) [42 U.S.C. 1758b]; 7 C.F.R. 210.30(c)(f)

[See CO for requirements relating to food services management, EHAA for state law requirements relating to health education.]

Adopted:         7/28/06

Amended:       1/26/07, 1/22/10, 8/9/18

Reviewed: