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Graduation Guidance

 

A student who is receiving special education services, and who entered grade 9 before the 2013-2014 school year, may graduate from high school and receive a regular high school diploma in different ways. (See links below for specific rules pertaining to when the student entered ninth grade.)

Graduation options for students with disabilities receiving special education services who entered grade 9 beginning with the 2011-2012 school year

Graduation options for students with disabilities receiving special education services who entered grade 9 before the 2011-2012 school year

  • By completing the minimum credit and curriculum requirements applicable to students in general education, as specified in 19 TAC Chapter 74, and passing the exit-level assessment, the student can graduate and receive a high school diploma under the recommended or distinguished graduation programs outlined in 19 TAC Chapter 74 [see 19 TAC § 89.1070(b)(1)].
  • By completing the minimum credit and curriculum requirements for students in general education and participating in required assessments, the student can graduate and receive a high school diploma under the minimum graduation program. The student’s ARD committee must determine whether satisfactory performance on a required assessment shall also be required for graduation [see 19 TAC § 89.1070(b)(2)]. It should be noted that courses with modified content apply to the minimum high school program only and cannot be counted toward the recommended or distinguished programs.
  • By completing the minimum credit requirements for students in general education, completing the minimum curriculum requirements to the extent possible as determined by the ARD committee, and completing the requirements of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) including one of the following conditions outlined in the IEP:
  • Full-time employment and sufficient self-help skills to maintain employment without direct and ongoing support from the school district;
  • Demonstration of specific employability and self-help skills that do not require direct ongoing support from the school district; or
  • Access to services that are not within the legal responsibility of public education or to employment or educational options for which the student has been prepared by the academic program.
  • If the student’s ARD committee has determining that the student no longer meets age eligibility requirements and has completed the requirements specified in the IEP [see 19 TAC §89.1070(d)].

A student who is dismissed from special education services must perform satisfactorily on general assessments (i.e., Exit-Level TAKS or STAAR®), as only students receiving special education are eligible to participate in alternate assessments based on modified academic achievement standards (AA-MAS) or alternate assessments based on alternate academic achievement standards (AA-AAS), AA-MAS and AA-AAS include TAKS-Modified, STAAR® Modified, and STAAR® Alternate. ARD committees should have confidence that a student who is dismissed from special education will be able to successfully complete all of the requirements for high school graduation, including satisfactory performance on exit-level assessments. Students who passed accommodated tests while enrolled in a district Special Education program have met the exit-level requirement because an accommodated test is equivalent to a general assessment. 

Participation of Students with Disabilities in Graduation Ceremonies

TEC § 28.025 (f) allows students with disabilities to participate in a graduation ceremony after four years of high school. The intent of this statute is to allow students with disabilities to participate in graduation ceremonies with students they entered high school with four years earlier.

State Resources 

The following are some state resources about graduation: 

Texas Education Code and Texas Administrative Codes

 The following Texas Education Code (state law) and Texas Administrative Codes (State Board of Education and Commissioner's Rules) are about graduation:

Technical Assistance and Training  

The following areas provide technical assistance or training about graduation:

Student Assessment Division Email Contacts  

If you have questions concerning the state assessment program, please view the Student Assessment Division's list of contacts according to specific subject area. Please search carefully for the closest area to your particular question as that will affect the timeliness of the answer. If your question is urgent, please contact the division directly by phone at (512) 463-9536.

The Legal Framework for the Child-Centered Special Education Process  

The Legal Framework is a template in an electronic format that summarizes state and federal requirements for special education by topic for parents and educators. A framework addressing Graduation has been developed.  

Page last modified on 9/23/2014 03:27:30 PM.