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A TVI account allows you to have all of your students managed under your personal account.  If you only want to submit a referral to a school year class then registering is optional. If your student has been accepted into a school year class or you are ready to fill out or edit an application for a summer program and you do not already have an existing account you will need to register for one.

  • Locate “Register” link at the top of the application site and click it.
  • You will be directed to a page that will ask you to provide relevant information, once completed hit “Submit” button at the bottom of the page.
  • You will be signed in to the home screen of the application site.Partial screenshot of page to create a new account.

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Log In

This is for TVIs who have registered and need access to their existing account. This link will take you to a page for you to enter your username and password.

How to Change Your Password

Once you have logged in there will be a new option in the top of the page “Change Password for…” Click this link and follow the instructions provided.

Forgot Your Password?

  • Click on the “Login” link.
  • Locate and follow link titled “forgot your password” just beneath where you normally sign in.
  • Enter you username, hit “recover” button.

If you need more “detailed instructions” follow the link.  If you do not remember your password follow the “Contact Us” button.

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Go to How to Register

The TSBVI calendar for Short-Term Summer Programs is published in January each year. Please check back again.

video about short term programs

Short-Term Programs offers year-round group and individualized classes for students with visual impairments. Students travel to Austin and participate in classes and activities with peers from across the State of Texas. 

We offer both school year and summer programs at TSBVI. 

Our School Year Programs (August - May) include a wide range of classes addressing needs from academic to recreational for students on or near grade level. Students are able to quickly learn independent living skills in a relaxed, positive environment that focuses on the unique needs of students with visual impairments. Students must be referred by their local Teacher of the Visually Impaired (TVI) and should be submitted as early as possible. Please refer to the School Year course list for links to our current school year class descriptions. You may also contact the Short-Term Programs office at 512-206-9241 or 512-206-9332 for further questions.

All courses in the fall semester will be online. Each course will occur during the dates listed on the schedule but the exact times will be determined based on a consensus of student availability. We are excited to learn together, build community, and have a lot of fun!

We Can Do This Together!

School Year Course List

Printable 2020-2021 Course Schedule 

2020-2021 School Year Referral (opens August 3, 2020)

Summer Programs (June - July) include a variety of enrichment classes for VI students of all ability levels. Classes vary in length from 5 days to 4 weeks. The Summer Programs schedule changes each year. The deadline for Summer Program applications is February 14 and should be submitted by the local TVI as early as possible. Please refer to the current summer programs (published each January) for details, or contact the Summer Programs Administration Team at , Phoebe Williams at 512-206-9241, or Nichelle White at 512-206-9332.

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School Year Short-Term Programs are only for students functioning on or close to grade level.
Learn more about the School Year Short-Term programs or to see a calendar of classes

You will not have access to your student’s application until he or she has been officially accepted to at least one class during that school year. The referral form is used as the first step in applying for a school-year class (described in the website above).


Summer Short-Term Programs are available to school-age students who are learning in Life Skills through Academic programs. Applications must be submitted between the first week of January and February 14 of each school year. After February 14, the site will be closed.
Learn more about Summer programs or to see a calendar of classes.

After reading about the summer classes, you can apply by logging in at the top right corner of this page. If you do not yet have a TVI account (from an earlier year), you should “Register” in the top right corner of this page before logging in. Logging in will return you to this page, and you can then select “Student” to begin filling out an application for your student.

Log In

How to Change Your Password

Forgot Your Password?

How to Register

School Year Referrals

School Year Application

Summer Application

Application Overview


Application Part 2: STUDENT CONTACTS


Application Part 4: Medical Dietary Form

SUMMER APPLICATION ONLY Application Part 5: Program Descriptions & Choices 


Concerns About Attending a School Year Short-Term Programs Class

Q: Should I be worried that my student will miss school and fall behind?

There is a rational concern that if a student attends a School Year Programs class, s/he could fall behind in classroom instruction. In our experience, however, the opposite can occur. Many students report that sitting in the classroom does not help them learn, but an explanation from a Short-Term Programs teacher finally makes things clear. 

Once students learn the special adaptations needed to access the curriculum, their subsequent learning is faster and more efficient. In addition, participating in instruction with other bright visually impaired students and adults can provide a tremendous transformation in a student’s personal motivation to succeed in school. This change in motivation can have an impact on their success in mastering the TEKS as well. 

We encourage districts to evaluate the impact of a School Year Short-Term Programs class not by how far behind the student is during the week after the class, but by whether the student can not only catch up but employ newly acquired skills for improved subsequent learning.


More About Who Can Attend

Q: Why do you only have classes for academic students? The weekend, non-academic classes look like they would be great for my student who is functioning below grade level. Do you ever make exceptions?

Short-Term Programs was started in the 2000-2001 school year to meet the needs of academic students who attend school in their local districts. There are many reasons why we must limit the classes to only this population:

  • TSBVI provides many different kinds of programs, for different populations of students, at various times during the year. Each is uniquely constructed for the specific students it is designed to serve. School Year Short-Term Program classes are based upon a curriculum that is targeted at a high academic level, even if the classes have titles that reflect enrichment themes. The skills and instructional strategies infused into our activities are developed for students who learn easily and quickly.
  • School Year Short-Term Programs are designed to teach students who can easily transition to a new setting, learn quickly and independently, and return home to explain newly acquired skills to their teacher and parents (as appropriate to their age).
  • School Year Short-Term Program classes fill to capacity using our current criterion level. If we also accepted Practical Academic students we would not have space for the Academic students for whom the classes were developed.
  • We work hard to apply this criterion as equitably and fairly as possible to all applicants. It would not be OK to make an exception for one student and not for others.

Q: How do you determine the student’s academic level?

  • If a student has taken the regular or accommodated TAKS/STAAR and passed either the math or language arts test, we assume that the student is falling within a normal distribution of academic function. If a student has taken all TAKS/STAAR-M tests, we will want to know why, as apparently somebody was concerned about his or her level of academic ability. If the student has easily passed all TAKS/STAAR-M tests and the district is considering the regular test in the future, we might make an exception.

  • If the district has standardized test scores in language arts or math that indicate the student is functioning on or close to grade level, we would accept those scores as verification.

  • We look at how much support a student needs in order to keep up at a given grade level. If a student is keeping up only because s/he always has an adult right there to help with answers (i.e., support that extends beyond the needs related to just the vision loss), we will want more explanation.

  • If a student has recently been through a life change that has affected his or her ability to score well on tests, but it is projected that s/he has the potential to function academically in the future, we will give that consideration. Examples of this could include: recent loss of vision, lack of educational opportunity due to illness, unavailable services.

  • If, after applying all the above criteria, we are unable to determine whether a student can learn in a School Year Short-Term Programs model, we will typically bring the student to a class and see how well s/he does.

Q: Do you serve students who are home schooled or who are not U.S. citizens?
Yes. For students who are home schooled but receive some vision services from their district, we would like the student’s TVI to make the referral in collaboration with the parent. If there are no school services, the parent can make the referral. A student is not required to be a U.S. citizen in order to attend a Short-Term Program.
Q: Can the local TVI or the parent attend parts of the class?
  • TVIs are permitted to attend during certain classes when it is prearranged as a component of the student’s transition back to the district. In such cases, the TVI must work with our staff in advance and commit to ongoing communication with our Short-Term Programs teacher to assure that the student is benefiting from the teacher’s training at TSBVI.

  • In order to encourage students' independence, we ask that parents not attend during a Short-Term Programs class. Other students are also impacted when a parent is present. We will offer support for parents and students who have specific concerns. We have extensive experience providing a warm and nurturing environment.


More About Transportation

Q: What kinds of transportation are available for students and what is their cost?

Questions about transportation methods and costs are described in our Transportation Guidelines for School Year Short-Term Programs classes.

Q: Are there any other costs for a student to attend?

There are no costs for a student to attend a School Year Short-Term Programs class.


More About Requesting a Class (Make a Referral)

Q: How do I apply for a class?

See the section 'How and When to Refer' under 'Referral, Admission, and Attendance Procedures'.

Q: What’s the difference between a Referral and an Application?

  • Referral: The Referral form is a request for your student to attend one or more School Year Short-Term Programs class. A referral is required, but does not mean your student will be accepted. The referral provides contact information and helps us determine student eligibility and appropriateness. Only one referral form is required each year. If you later wish to add a class, send an email to .

  • Application: If your student is accepted, we will ask you to go online to create or update your student’s application information (this is the information we maintain about your student in our database). Students who have been here before for a School Year or Summer Short-Term Programs class will already be in our database and only require an update to make sure the information is current. We will tell you when it is time to do this and help direct you to that site.

Q: How soon should I submit a Referral, and what do I need in order to make the Referral?

You can refer at any time you know your student wants to attend. Please be sure that there is a commitment from the family, student and school that the student will actually attend if accepted. Because our instruction is so individualized, students who are accepted for a class and later drop out cause us to totally revise our instructional plans. Also, another student might have attended, but was not accepted because we thought the class was full. Therefore a student may jeopardize future acceptance if we believe that a referral is not dependable.

Q: I’ve heard that students must have basic keyboarding skills before they can attend a technology class. Can that be defined more specifically?

Yes. Students must be able to touch type ten 5-letter words in one minute with about an 85% accuracy rate. To fully benefit from the class, your student should be able to type sentences using all letters and basic punctuation using correct finger position with developing speed and accuracy. Students should also have a working knowledge of where number, function, arrow, and modifier keys (e.g., Control, Caps Lock, Insert) are located on the keyboard. If you need support with this, you can obtain Talking Typer, a free program from APH, which will allow a student to practice this skill independently.

Q: When do you make your decision about accepting a student? Is it first come, first served?

To assure that your student is considered in the first round of acceptance, we recommend that you submit a referral at least two months before a class begins. Approximately two months before each class, we review all the referrals and select those students who we believe would most benefit. This includes a range of factors, such as prior attendance at TSBVI, adaptations needed for vision loss, instructional support needed, ability to benefit, age, ability to meet medical-dietary needs, and other considerations. After we accept this first round of students, additional students may be added if space permits.

Q: When is it too late to apply for a class?

Two weeks before a class begins is usually the very latest we can admit a student. If there is space left in a class we may occasionally be able to work with extremely diligent TVIs and parents who are willing to process all admission forms very quickly! Many of our classes have more referrals than we can accept up to 6 months before the class begins, so please don’t wait too long to apply.

Q: What if I want my student to register for another class, after I've already submitted the initial online Referral?

You do not have to send another Referral within the same school year. Just send an email to the requesting the additional class(es): . We request only one official referral per school year. (This does not include applying for Summer Short-Term Programs).

Q: How do I know my referral got to you?

You will receive an automatic confirmation after clicking 'Submit' on the referral form. There are times when a referral is not received at TSBVI, either due to network connectivity issues or individual restrictions put in place by your district. You should receive a response to your referral within 5 working days after submitting it. If you do not receive this confirmation of receipt, please send an email to .


Dropping Out After Acceptance

Q: What if your student is accepted and you later learn that s/he cannot attend?

We understand that life happens and circumstances occur unexpectedly, such as illness or a death in the family. However we want teachers and parents to understand that it is extremely difficult for us when one student drops out of an existing group. Because our instruction is so individualized, students who are accepted for a class and later drop out cause us to totally revise our instructional plans. Therefore a student may jeopardize future acceptance if we believe that a referral is not dependable.

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Residential Activities

Residential Programming video

Residential Programming video with audio descriptions

Every student who attends a School Year Short-Term Program class receives residential instruction during their after-school hours. They are also given one hour to work on assignments they bring from home. Our program maximizes every opportunity to provide instruction in the Expanded Core Curriculum skills described below.

  1. Independent Living Skills

    • Food Management (purchasing food, preparing simple foods, eating, setting the table, cleaning up)

    • Self-Management (homework, personal hygiene, time management, organization, clothing care and laundry)

    • Money Management (shopping, purchasing, money concepts)

  2. Social Skills and Self-Determination

    • Getting along with others, having and being a friend

    • Increasing independence

    • Social appropriateness and manners

    • Planning, problem solving and decision making

    • Self-esteem and dealing with emotions

    • Self-advocacy

  3. Recreation and Leisure

    • Enjoyable activities for free time, at home and in the community

    • Enjoying life while alone or with others

    • Physical fitness and nutrition

Residential Staff

Short-Term Programs has a highly dedicated staff that works consistently in all our classes (as opposed to rotating staff). Students attending a Short-Term Programs class are never unsupervised, including an overnight staff person who is awake and making regular room checks throughout the night. Our Health Center is also open at all times.


Short-Term Programs students live in their own dorm while attending a class. Our dormitory was built in 2004, and is especially adapted for visually impaired learners (e.g., kitchen tools, appliances and equipment are marked in braille).

Contacting the Dorm

To reach the dormitory during after-school hours (3:00 PM – 8:00 AM)

Dorm Phone:    512-371-8636

Residential Staff

  • Dorm Manager: Bethany Johnson

  • Residential Instructors: Becky Hill, Hannah Harkey, Karen Poston

  • Overnight Residential Instructor: Rosland Neal



How and When to Refer Your Student

Students can be referred at any time during the year. Refer early, as many classes fill quickly. To be considered in the first round of selections you must submit a referral at least two months before the class. After that we can add more students if any slots remain. It is extremely difficult to admit a student at the last minute (1-2 weeks before the class).

Students can be referred for more than one class, and they may repeat most classes. In fact, it is often very helpful when students learn skills, integrate them at home, and then return to increase their skills in a later program.

Spring ARDs are an especially good time to consider an upcoming School Year class.

Checklist Prior To Referring:

  • Confirm that your student is functioning on or close to grade level. There are no exceptions for any class, including weekends.

  • Confirm that the student, family and school all commit to attending if accepted. Students who accept and later drop out create significant unnecessary work. Even worse, it often means that another student, who was denied because of a full class, can no longer fill that slot and we end up with a class that is not full.

  • Make sure that some form of transportation will be available.

  • If applying for a technology class, be sure your student has basic keyboarding skills.

Online Referral Process:

  • Referrals must come from the local school district (usually the VI teacher). Interested parents should confer with their local school representative to discuss classes or objectives their child might work on in a STP class, and then work with the district in making a referral. Exception: Parents of home-schooled students may directly submit a referral (if their child meets eligibility requirements described under 'Who Can Attend')

  • A representative from the local district (usually the student's teacher of the visually impaired - TVI) should get the process started by completing the online referral form .

  • When filling out the online referral form, list every class you want your student to attend. If you want to add another class, just send an email to the Short-Term Programs Administrative Team at . You only have to submit one new referral form each school year. Summer Short-Term Programs requires a separate application.

  • You should receive email acknowledgement that your referral was received within 5 school days. If you do not, please contact Administrative Teams at  because an error may have occurred during transmission.

Confirmation of Acceptance

  • When a referral is received, students are listed under all classes they apply for. Then two months before each class, all applicants for the class are reviewed and students are accepted based on appropriateness and need. If slots remain, additional students can be admitted until the class is full.

  • TVIs are notified by email when their student is accepted (or not accepted). TVIs and parents of accepted students then receive additional materials needed to complete the application.

Your Student Has Been Accepted. Now What?

After the TVI receives notice that the student is accepted, the TVI will be contacted by the following people from TSBVI.

  1. Administrative Assistant: Nichelle White, 512-206-9332 or Office Manager, Phoebe Williams, 512-206-9241.

    • Discuss the process for completing or updating the student’s online application information. Except in extenuating, prearranged circumstances, the application must be completed at least two weeks before the program begins. Students cannot attend the program if their application has not been received.

    • Finalize transportation arrangements if needed.

    • Send email including all other forms necessary for attendance.

    • Send emails about travel information, what to pack, registration and driving directions, when to arrive/depart, staff contact info, etc.

  2. The class coordinator will call or email the TVI to discuss the student. Returning students may be handled by email whereas new students probably require a telephone discussion. Other persons may be included in this conversation, as preferred in each individual situation (e.g., parent, math teacher).

    • Obtain specific information about the student’s present level of performance in the instructional areas selected.

    • Obtain information about modifications, materials and strategies for working effectively with the student.

    • Discuss homework and other assignments that the student will bring if attending a week-long program.

    • Discuss various activities to be performed by TSBVI and by the local district to maintain skills after a Short-Term program.

    • Confirm plans for mode of transportation to and from the program.

Coming To Campus

As the student prepares to come to TSBVI, please remember:

  • Students should arrive on campus between 3:00 and 6:00 pm on the first day of the program.

  • When a student arrives at our campus, he or she must first check in at the Health Center before going to the dorm, even if the student does not have medications. If the student is bringing medication, all medication must be brought in their original, labeled containers, as received from the pharmacy.

  • Be sure the student brings appropriate clothing and toiletries.

  • Make sure to include a list of all textbooks and technology (including all components) that the student is bringing. This will help us get all belongings back to you after the class.

If driving:

  • Bring the campus map, registration information and driving directions included in the Parent Travel Mailer.

  •   For assistance with getting through campus arm gates or directions, call Security at 512-844-5173.
  • The closest parking lot to the Health Center can be reached by turning north into the campus from West 45th St. onto Miller Drive. Go straight until the road dead ends at Wildcat Run. Make a right turn into the parking lot.  Park in this lot behind the Business Building, #608. Walk south (towards W. 45th Street) to the Health Center Building, #603 to register.  Leave luggage in the car for the time being, but take medications and anything medically related with the student to the Health Center.

  • After the student finishes checking in at the Health Center, the Health Center staff can call our dormitory staff to pick you up at the parking lot to take you to the dormitory, or you may drive to the dorm, using the instructions below.

    Walk back to your car to the parking lot behind the Business Building #608. Go right, driving east on Wildcat Run, which dead-ends to Sunshine Drive. Take a left going north on Sunshine, then a left going west on W. 49th. Take a left on Grover, heading south, to our Short-Term Programs dormitory, which is on your left at 4715 Grover, Dormitory #577.


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Access to Academic Skills

“Access to Academics” classes have the potential to improve academic success because they address skills that help students access the regular curriculum (TEKS) and consequently increase their learning and achievement scores. Students attend TSBVI for 3-5 days of intensive instruction to learn tools and strategies that support curricular success. They are taught in small groups of 2:1 or 3:2. “Access” classes typically address various aspects of technology (to access all aspects of the curriculum) and math tools and concepts. “Access to Academic” classes are designed to meet the needs of both print and Braille readers.

Despite understandable concern about missing several days of school, students frequently say that instruction at TSBVI was the first time they ever really understood what the teacher was trying to explain. They report being able to catch up when they return, and say that the short-term loss is worth the long-term benefit of finally understanding the content. (To help with this, students are provided at least two hours a day to work on assignments they bring from home.) While students are attending a program at TSBVI, they also benefit from informal instruction in independent living skills (domestic and recreational) and social skills, especially during the residential instruction period each day between 3:00 and bedtime.

Following the class, teachers and families receive a detailed report with recommendations, including a pre- and post-assessment that can function as a useful guide for skills that local TVIs can reinforce and target in future lessons. Our staff is available to collaborate with local teachers in order to continue progress, and students are encouraged to return to advance their skills even further. While the following list is not comprehensive, it describes the types of skills that are often addressed during these classes:

  • Technology Concepts, Tools, and Skills for Visual and Nonvisual Learners(1) Using computers (basic concepts; navigating the Windows or Macintosh OS environment; using software to create, edit, organize, and print word documents and spreadsheets; accessing the Internet for research or recreation); (2) Using a screen reader or screen enlargement software; (3) Using Braille notetakers; (4) Using iDevices nonvisually; (5)Using available assistive technology to access print (e.g., refreshable Braille display, Bookshare, scan-read technologies).

  • Math Concepts, Tools, and Skills: (1) Practicing practical, real-life applications; (2) Reviewing basic math concepts such as place value or fractions; (3) Performing computations of whole numbers, fractions, or decimals, on the braillewriter, abacus, or print; (4) Reading and writing Nemeth Code; (5) Writing and solving algebraic equations in Nemeth Code or large print; (6) Graphing on the coordinate plane; (7) Creating and reading tactile graphics; (8) Using adapted measurement devices; (9) Reviewing concepts and tools for geometry; (10) Using math hardware and software (e.g., the Orion Talking Scientific Calculator and the Audio Graphing Calculator). These are foundational math concepts that are typically taught in the regular classroom using visual learning media.
  • List of Access to Academic Skills classes:
    • Elementary Access to Academic Skills
    • Junior Access to Academic Skills
    • High School Access to Academic Skills

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Independence Weekends

Independence Weekend classes are usually taught over an extended weekend so students only miss one day of school. While participating in high interest, enjoyable activities, students are challenged to practice skills from the Expanded Core Curriculum, such as social interaction and self-determination skills, assistive technology, self-advocacy, organization, compensatory academic skills, spatial-motor skills, orientation and mobility in the community, visual efficiency, career education, recreation and leisure, and skills of independent living. Most importantly, the weekend classes provide an opportunity for students to interact, learn and share their unique experiences as individuals with vision impairment, with their peers.

Different class themes target different age groups and relate to their specific interests and needs. Some of the class topics vary from year to year, to keep them fresh and interesting. However the essential part of the instruction (i.e., the infused ECC skills) is included in every class, with certain classes emphasizing some skills more than others.

List of Independence Weekend classes (not all are offered every year):

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Classes Specifically for Students with Low Vision

Approximately 90% of students who are visually impaired have some usable vision. Many would benefit from services, but heavy caseloads can reduce their access to the time and attention they need. Learning to maximize one’s use of vision is an important way to increase access to the curriculum and extra-curricular interests. Ease of viewing allows the student to place primary attention on the content of instruction, and expend less energy on accessing the information. Whether reading print, seeing signs in the distance, or watching a ball game, students can use tools and strategies to enhance their visual awareness and participate alongside peers in academic and social settings.

These Short-Term Programs classes help students maximize visual efficiency and facilitate access to learning by promoting the use of visual skills, practicing self-advocacy, using optical and electronic devices for reading and for completing other near and distance tasks independently, and teaching students to select and use environmental modifications. Having the chance to use devices in a comfortable setting alongside peers with low vision provides a safe space to practice skills and build confidence.

List of Low Vision Classes:

Who Can Attend

Classes are short so learning must happen rapidly. Students must be able to quickly adjust and participate in a new setting, then retain some skills to show their teacher and parent after returning home.

  • Students must function on or close to grade level. This applies to every class, including all weekend classes.

  • Students can transition to TSBVI without difficulty and be away from home for 3 - 5 nights.

  • Students can benefit from fast-paced instruction designed to teach skills in a short time.

  • Home district agrees to continue instruction on skills acquired at TSBVI.

Cost for Attending a School Year Short-Term Programs class

Our classes are provided at no cost to the school or family. Certain procedures must be followed for TSBVI to cover transportation, as described in our Transportation Guidelines (PDF Document).

Residential Aspect of School Year Short-Term Programs (After School)

The residential component of School Year Programs is as carefully planned and supervised as our day program. We know that the students’ time here is precious and we want every minute to matter. To learn more about our residential program, the staff, and our dorm where the students live, please visit the School Year Short-Term Programs' Residential Program page.

Residential Programs Video

Residential Program Video with Audio Description

What Can a Student Gain by Attending a School Year Short-Term Programs class

Temporary removal from multiple classroom demands allows intensive, individualized instruction to address disability-specific skills and learning gaps that are necessary for success in the regular classroom.

In addition to working on identified objectives, students:

  • Interact with other students and adults with visual impairments who share many of their life experiences, thus supporting social-emotional development and self-advocacy. This alone can have a life-changing impact on a student’s perspective and willingness to learn in the classroom.

  • Practice supplementary skills and adaptations (before and after school) needed for food preparation, household tasks, personal organization and management, accessible recreational and leisure skills.

  • Experience the independence of living away from home for a short time, in a totally supported environment, making choices and trying out new experiences on their own.

  • Better understand the need and value of using special adaptations related to vision loss.

  • Join in activities that access the campus at large as well as the community.


Videos of Our Classes

Junior Independence Weekend: Iron Chef

High School Independence Weekend: Prom

High School Independence Weekend: Outdoor Challenge

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On or close to grade level: Most of these students take the regular or accommodated TAKS/STAAR tests and pass at least one test. They typically receive primary instruction in the regular classroom supported by a TVI rather than content mastery, resource room, or inclusion support. If a student does not perform at this academic level, he or she should apply for our summer school program (the application is posted between January 9 - Feb 14 on our website).

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