Data: Leander ISD’s special education programs see increase in students

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In an effort to inform the school board about Leander ISD’s special education programs, district staffers are launching a series of presentations.

The first presentation—an overview of what special education and interventions are—was given at the April 18 board of trustees meeting.

“We continue to strive moving forward to strengthen our partnerships with our parents” to develop effective paths for students, said LISD Chief Academic Officer Matt Bentz.

Under the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, schools are required to provide students with disabilities with free public education and individualized education plans to meet their needs.

Kendra Winans, senior executive director of state and federal programs for LISD, said special education is available to students with disabilities who have a need for specialized instruction. Students with disabilities may not always need specialized instruction.

The percentage of LISD students receiving special education services has risen by around 2% since the 2014-15 academic year, according to district documents. The largest cohort of special education students are those with learning disabilities. Winans said in Texas, dyslexia is not considered a learning disability, so statistics on LISD students with dyslexia are not included in these totals.

Two parents spoke at the meeting, emphasizing a need for parent-district collaborating when addressing issues of special education, such as social inclusion and accommodations at their schools.

“It’s very important for us … to have our children be a part of their community, and we’re going to continue to focus on that,” Winans said.

The board is set to learn about LISD’s special education and dyslexia programs and more at meetings May-August, according to the meeting documents.

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Abby Bora
Abby Bora started at Community Impact Newspaper in May 2017. After working as a reporter, she became editor of the Cedar Park-Leander edition in October 2018. She covers Leander ISD and city government. Bora graduated from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I. with a bachelor’s degree in media and communications studies.
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