Special Education

Duval County Special Education Department

Anna Lisa Garcia
Duval County Special Education Director

361-279-3382 ext/ 2800
Fax: 361-279-2151

609 Labbe
San Diego, Texas 78384


Welcome to the Duval County Special Education Co-Op's webpage! We hope that these pages will give each parent, student, and educator an idea of what services our program provides to students with disabilities. We also hope that this site assists viewers become active participants in all aspects of the special education process. Feel free to navigate through our site and please do not hesitate to contact our office if you should have any questions or concerns.  Join us as we make our schools "a better place for our students!

Co-Op Directory
Renee Barton, Co-Op Administrative Assistant  

Karen Hasette, Co-Op Educational Diagnostician  

Monica Escobar, Co-Op Educational Diagnostician
Nelissa Perez, Speech Therapist  


Transition Information


What is Transition?


  All students, as they go through all of their school years, should be gaining skills and knowledge to help them assume desired adult roles in the community. 


According to Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 10th Ed., transition is “the passage from one state, stage, subject, or place to another.”   Therefore, when we consider the word by itself, it represents change.  The following definition from the Council for Exceptional Children's Division on Career Development and Transition (CEC/DCDT) incorporates the idea of change and applies it to the changing role of students as they transition from high school to post-secondary environments and the role of educators in preparing students for those new roles. 

"Transition refers to a change in status from behaving primarily as a student to assuming emergent adult roles in the community. These roles include employment, participating in post-secondary education, maintaining a home, becoming appropriately involved in the community, and experiencing satisfactory personal and social relationships. The process of enhancing transition involves the participation and coordination of school programs, adult agency services and natural supports within the community.

The foundation for transition should be laid during the elementary and middle school years, guided by the broad concept of career development. Transition planning should begin no later than age 14, and students should be encouraged, to the full extent of their capabilities, to assume a maximum amount of responsibility for such planning.”    (Halpern, 1994)

Federal Requirements for Secondary Transition Planning

Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA 2004)


The 2004 IDEA reauthorization raised expectations for students with disabilities through increased academic expectations and state and district accountability standards. Additionally, transition was re-defined and the role of transition planning in the development of IEPs was strengthened, including a new requirement for a summary of performance prior to graduation from high school for students receiving special education services.


IDEA 2004 requires that "all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living."  (§300.1 Purposes) 


Transition services are defined as a "coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability...within a results-oriented process that is focused on improving the academic and functional achievement of the child with a disability to facilitate the child's movement from school to post-school activities."  (§300.43 Transition Services) 


Transition services and activities must be included in the development of the IEP no later than the first IEP to be in effect when the student turns 16, or younger if determined appropriate by the IEP Team, and must include appropriate measurable post-secondary goals based upon age appropriate transition assessments related to training, education, employment, and where appropriate, independent living skills.   


Transition services and activities (including courses of study) needed to assist the student in reaching post-secondary goals must be based on the individual student's needs, strengths, preferences, and interests and must include instruction, related services, community experiences, employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and if appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation.


A student with a disability must be invited to attend their IEP meeting whenever postsecondary goals and transition services are considered.  Upon reaching the age of majority (age 18 in Texas), the parental rights transfer to the adult student.  With the consent of the parent or adult student, a representative of any participating agency that is likely to be responsible for providing or paying for transition services must also be invited to attend the IEP meeting.   


Finally, prior to graduation from secondary school, the student must be provided with a summary of academic achievement and functional performance, including recommendations for assistance the student may need to meet their post-secondary goals. 



State Requirements for
Secondary Transition Planning in Texas

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA 2004) defines transition services as a “coordinated set of activities for a student with a disability that is designed to be within a results-oriented process”. IDEA 2004 requires that transition services and activities must be included in the development of the IEP no later than the first IEP to be in effect when the student turns 16, or younger if determined appropriate by the IEP Team.


Texas requirements for transition services are aligned to the federal requirements included in IDEA 2004.  However, state law and rules include additional requirements for the provision of transition services for students receiving special education services in Texas. A new state law passed in the summer of 2011 requires that “appropriate state transition planning must begin for a student not later than when the student reaches 14 years of age" (SB 1788, 06/17/2011). The Texas Administrative Code (TAC) describes the following nine issues important to the development of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for students receiving special education services.


1.  Appropriate student involvement in the student's transition to life outside the public 
     school system

2.  If the student is younger than 18 years of age, appropriate parental involvement in 
     the student's transition

3.  If the student is at least 18 years of age, appropriate parental involvement in the
     student's transition, if the parent is invited to participate by the student or the school
     district in which the student is enrolled

4.  Any postsecondary education options

5.  A functional vocational evaluation

6.  Employment goals and objectives

7.  If the student is at least 18 years of age, the availability of age-appropriate
     instructional environments

8.  Independent living goals and objectives

9.  Appropriate circumstances for referring a student or the student's parents to a
     governmental agency for services


Texas Transition and Employment Guide


The Texas Transition and Employment Guide provides youth, young adults, parents and professionals with secondary transition resources to facilitate a young person’s progress towards post-secondary goals to education, employment, and community living.

This guide will continually be updated.


 Texas Transition and Employment Guide



Career and Technical Education
Requirements for Special Populations

Career and Technical Education (CTE) often plays an important role in the secondary transition planning process.  Career and technical programs focus on preparing young people to manage the dual roles of family member and wage earner. These programs enable students to gain entry-level employment in a high-skill, high-wage job and/or to continue their education. 

State and local articulation agreements allow students to earn college credits through successful participation in a coherent sequence of CTE coursework for a specific career area.  CTE courses are organized under sixteen federally defined Career Clusters.  These Career Clusters represent groupings of occupations and broad industries based on commonalities. 


Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Participation in the ARD/IEP Process

Enrollment in CTE courses is often a critical component of transition planning and in the development of a student's Individualized Education Program.  Special education and career and technical education must work together to ensure that students interested in career and technical education programs are enrolled in a coherent sequence of courses that will prepare them to pursue their postsecondary goals.  This may include participation by state rehabilitation agencies and/or local colleges with articulation agreements.   


§75.1023 of the Texas Administrative Code includes provisions for individuals who are members of special populations.  Anytime initial or continued enrollment in CTE courses is considered, a representative of career and technical education must be included as a member of the student's ARD committee. This representative should be the teacher of the course being considered.  If the teacher is not able to participate in the ARD meeting, this representative must be someone who has full understanding of the course content, prerequisite skills, equipment and safety rules, certification and licensure requirements, related fees, and participation in related organizations.  


Texas Secondary Transition/Post-School Results Network


Statewide leadership addressing identified areas of need in special education services is provided through eleven functions and five projects directed by various ESCs in collaboration with the Texas Education Agency. Their primary responsibility is to provide leadership, training, technical assistance, and the dissemination of information throughout the state. The ESCs coordinating these statewide leadership functions and projects are responsible for the implementation of many of the state's continuous improvement activities.

Though both functions and projects provide statewide leadership, ESC functions lead, establish and coordinate a 20-region network. This ensures ongoing communication among ESCs about state-level needs assessment processes and planning, as well as implementing and evaluating statewide activities. ESC project leadership is focused on a specific activity.

Education Service Center Region 11 provides statewide leadership for the Texas Secondary Transition/Post-School Results Network. The focus of the network is to promote communication and collaboration between stakeholders and a comprehensive, coordinated, transition service delivery system in Texas that leads to attainment of identified post-school goals for every student.

In collaboration with the network members, ESC Region 11 is responsible for coordination of:  

·         a state level needs assessment process;

·         determination of state priorities in the area of secondary transition,

·         development of the state transition network plan; and

·         evaluation of the effectiveness of statewide activities and services.


 The professional development and technical assistance provided by the Texas Secondary Transition/Post-School ResultsNetwork focuses on building capacity within the school to be compliant with both federal and state laws, and develop and implement a transition process in which all students can have the supports needed to successfully learn the knowledge and skills needed to function effectively in post-school activities.

Additionally, ESC Region 11 serves as the first point of contact regarding transition for education service centers and provides information and guidance when requested by the Texas Education Agency.






Independent School District
106 W School St
Benavides, TX 78341
Phone: 361.256.3003

Fax: 361.256.3002