Glossary of Terms - S

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School Health and Related Services (SHARS) (Programa de salud escolar y servicios relacionados) - A program that allows public schools to voluntarily participate as Medicaid providers and receive reimbursement for eligible medical and related services that are being provided to Medicaid-eligible students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  Current SHARS services include: assessment, audiology, counseling, school health services, medical services, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychological services, speech therapy, and special transportation.  These services must be provided by qualified professionals under contract with or employed by the school district, and the school district must be enrolled as a Medicaid provider in order to bill Medicaid.  If a school decides to use Medicaid to pay for services, they must obtain parental consent

School Report Card (SCR) (Informe sobre el rendimiento de la escuela) – As required by federal law, the Texas Education Agency publishes a school report card for every campus in the state.  The SRC provides a small subset of the information available in the Texas Academic Performance Reports.  Schools are required to provide a copy of their school report card to the parent or guardian of every student attending school in Texas.

Scientifically Based Research  (SBR)  (Informe sobre el rendimiento de la escuela) – Federal law requires that educators must use instructional methods that have been proven effective through “scientifically based research.”  These are teaching methods that have been carefully studied, documented, and proven to have worked for other students, based on extensive data collection.  Under No Child Left Behind, SBR is defined as “research that involves the application of rigorous, systematic, and objective procedures to obtain reliable and valid knowledge relevant to education activities and programs.”  Under IDEA 2004, the term is used interchangeably with “Peer-Reviewed Research”.

Scientific, Research-based Instruction (Instrucción científica y basada en la investigación) – Curriculum and educational interventions that are research based and have been proven to be effective for most students.

Seclusion (Aislamiento) – Placing a child in a locked room of any kind if that room is designed solely to seclude a person and contains less than 50 square feet of space.  School officials may not confine a child unless the child has possessed a weapon, are awaiting law enforcement personnel, and confinement is necessary to prevent the child from causing bodily harm to the child or another person.   For more information, see Commissioner’s Rule §89.1053 Procedures for Use of Restraint and Time-Out or Procedural Safeguards.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Artículo 504 del Acta de Rehabilitación de 1973) – A civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities.  The law applies to public elementary and secondary schools, as well as to other entities.  Under Section 504, students may receive accommodations and modifications.  Click here for more information on Section 504.

Side By Side (Tabla de cotejo) – A “side by side” comparison of federal and state laws and regulations related to special education.  The purpose of the "side-by-side" is to assist educators, parents, and other stakeholders to better understand the federal regulations (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), State Law (Texas Education Code), and State Rules (Texas Administrative Code: Commissioner's and State Board of Education Rules concerning Special Education).  The document is formatted in three columns. The left column consists of the IDEA Federal Regulations published in the October 2006, Federal Register. The middle column consists of the most recently effective Commissioner's Rules and State Board of Education Rules.  The right column consists of current information regarding state law as of the most recent Legislative Session.

Shared Services Arrangement (SSA) (Acuerdo de servicios compartidos) – An agreement between two or more school districts and /or education service centers (ESCs) to share personnel or services.  This is advantageous to school districts that cannot justify the cost of employing a specialized staff member on a full-time basis.  Through an SSA, the district pays only its portion of the salary or service provided.

Short-Term Instructional Objectives/Benchmarks (Objetivos/puntos de referencia educativos de corto plazo) – Statements in an IEP that describe small steps a student must learn or master before he/she can accomplish the “measurable annual goals” set for him/her.   Short term objectives are only required for students who are taking alternate assessments.


Special Education (Educación especial) – Specially designed instruction, at no cost to parents, to meet the unique needs of a child with a disability, including instruction conducted in the classroom, in the home, in hospitals and institutions, and in other settings; and instruction in physical education.

Special Education at TEA (Educación especial en la TEA) – The department that oversees Special Education supports and services in Texas. Parents are encouraged to visit the website for information on parent and family resources, dispute resolution, and other special education-related topics.

Special Education Information Center – 1-855-SPEDTEX (1-855-773-3839). Parents can call TEA’s Special Education Information Center to get timely and accurate answers to their questions regarding special education in Texas.


Special Education Rules and Regulations (Las reglas y reglamentos de la educación especial) – Federal and state laws and regulations that govern the delivery of special education in the state of Texas.


Specially Designed Instruction (Instrucción especialmente diseñada) – Ways that special education professionals adapt the content, methodology (approaches to teaching certain grade level content), or the delivery of instruction to address the unique needs that result from the child’s disability. Specially designed instruction should ensure that the child has access to the general curriculum so that he or she can meet the educational standards that apply to all children.


Specific Learning Disability (SLD) (Discapacidad específica de aprendizaje) – The IDEA defines SLD as: “A disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, which disorder may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or do mathematical calculations. The term includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia, and developmental aphasia. The term does not include a learning problem that is primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor disabilities, of mental retardation, of emotional disturbance, or of environmental, cultural, or economic disadvantage.” A determination of specific learning disability must comply with criteria set forth in federal and state law as described in the Specific Learning Disability framework of the Legal Framework for the Child-Centered Process


Speech or Language Impairment (SI) (Discapacidad del habla o del lenguaje) – The IDEA defines SI as: “A communication disorder such as stuttering, impaired articulation, a language impairment, or a voice impairment that adversely affects a student’s educational performance.”  A determination of speech or language impairment must comply with criteria set forth in federal and state law as described in the Speech or Language Impairment framework of the Legal Framework for the Child-Centered Process.

Standardized assessment (Evaluación estandarizada) – A standardized assessment (or test) is a test administered and scored in a consistent manner. The tests are designed in such a way that the "questions, conditions for administering, scoring procedures, and interpretations are consistent" and are "administered and scored in a predetermined, standard manner."   These types of assessments are typically used in schools to compare a student to his/her peers.

Standards Based IEPs (IEP basado en los estándares– Developed by a student’s Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) committee, incorporates state content standards (the TEKS) at the student’s enrolled grade level. These standards should establish clear expectations about what students should know and be able to do at each grade level.   See also IEP Annual Goal Development Q&A document  by Access To General Curriculum statewide leadership (ESC 20).

State Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) (Evaluación estatal) – Up until 2009-2010, this was called the Texas Assessment of Knowledge & Skills (TAKS) test.  These tests will include revised grades 3-8 assessments, as well as five End of Course subject exams in high school.

State Board for Educator Certification (SBEC) (La Junta Estatal para la Certificación de los Educadores) – The state board that oversees all aspects of public school educator certification, continuing education, and standards of conduct.

State Board of Education (La Junta Estatal de Educación) – A 15-member elected board, directed by the Commissioner of Education, that establishes policy and provides leadership for the Texas public school system.

State Complaint (Queja estatal) – A written complaint that can be filed by any organization or individual claiming that a school district within the state has either violated a requirement of Part B of IDEA (the part of the federal law that contains all requirements regarding the delivery of special education services) or the state’s special education law or regulations.  State complaints must be filed within one year of the alleged violation. 


State Performance Plan (SPP) (Plan de desempeño del estado) – IDEA requires each State to develop a six-year performance plan. This State Performance Plan evaluates how well the state is doing in meeting the requirements of IDEA.  It also outlines how the State plans to continuously improve its performance in targeted areas.  The SPP is monitored by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP).

Student Assessment Division (División de evaluación de estudiantes) – This division of the Texas Education Agency (TEA) manages and oversees the development, administration, scoring, and analysis of the statewide assessment program. The statewide assessment program includes the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS), the State Developed Alternative Assessment (SDAA II), the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS), and the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TAAS). Parents are encouraged to spend time on the Student Assessment Division website to become familiar with the various assessment tools and updates.

Student Success Initiative (SSI) (Iniciativa para el éxito estudiantil) – The Student Success Initiative (SSI) grade advancement requirements apply to the reading and mathematics tests at grade 5 and at grade 8.  As specified by these requirements, a student may advance to the next grade level only by passing these tests or by unanimous decision of his or her grade placement committee that the student is likely to perform at grade level after additional instruction.  The goal of the SSI is to ensure that all students receive the instruction and support they need to be academically successful in reading and mathematics.

Student Introduction Portfolio (Carpeta de presentación del estudiante) – A collection of photographs, work samples, pertinent educational and medical health/medical records, family and background information, etc., used by parents as a communication tool to assist others in getting to know the student for who he or she is and not just for his or her disability.  


Summary of Performance (SOP) (Resumen de desempeño) – Upon graduation, a student with a disability must receive a summary of the student’s academic achievement and functional performance that includes recommendations to assist the student in meeting his or her postsecondary goals.  Click here for guidance on Summary of Performance.


Supplementary Aids and Services (Ayudas y servicios suplementarios– Aids, services, and other supports that are provided in regular education classes or other education-related settings to enable children with disabilities to be educated with non-disabled children to the maximum extent appropriate. See the Legal Framework for the Child Centered Special Education Process

Surrogate Parent (Padre subrogado) – The LEA must assign an individual to act as a surrogate for the parents, to ensure the rights of a child with a disability are protected, whenever the parents are not known; the local educational agency (LEA) cannot, after reasonable efforts, locate the parents; or the child is a ward of the State.  The surrogate parent must not be an employee of the State educational agency (SEA), the LEA, or any other agency that is involved in the education or care of the child.  In the case of an unaccompanied homeless youth as defined in Section 725(6) of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C.11434a(6), the LEA must appoint a surrogate parent.  The LEA must make reasonable efforts to ensure the assignment of a surrogate parent not more than 30 days after there is a determination that the child needs a surrogate parent.  An individual assigned to act as a surrogate must complete a training program within 90 calendar days after being initially assigned as a surrogate.



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