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Special Education Program Information

Have a student who receives Special education services and you need more information?

If your student receives the following services: 18+ (ACCESS) Program, Reaching Independence Through a Structured Educational Environment (RISE);  Building Essential Skills Together (BEST); Solid Roots; Early Structured Learning Environment (ESLE), Resource / Inclusion, and Special Olympics and you have a question or seek more information, please contact Angela Meade.  

If you have questions or need additional information regarding any of the following areas:  ARD / 504 meetings, 504 procedures, Homebound procedures, or Transition, please get in touch with Teri Guyette.  

If your student receives the following services: Dyslexia or Speech services, and you have a question or seek more information, please contact Kristine Doten.  Ms. Doten is also the point of contact for questions or additional information regarding evaluations.

Teri Guyette is also the Transition and Employment Designee (TED) for LHISD.  She can answer questions regarding the process the district takes to support students in developing the necessary skills needed to transition from school to postsecondary settings.  For additional information from the Texas Education Agency (TEA), please visit the following website. 

  • Texas Transition: Student-Centered Transitions Network

Special Education program descriptions can be found here. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • A list of programs and their descriptions can be found on our website or you can follow this link: Special Education Program descriptions.

    Each campus has Inclusion, Resource, BEST (Building Essential Skills Together), Solid Roots, Speech and other related services. ESLE (Early Structured Learning Environment) and AIMES (Achieving Independence and Motivation by Empowering with Structure) programs will be at elementary campuses only for the 2024-25 school year. For the 2024-2025 school year:

    • The ESLE (Early Structured Learning Environment) and Pre-K programs will be located at Liberty Hill Elementary, Louine Noble Elementary, Santa Rita Elementary, and Bar W Elementary.
    • The RISE (Reaching Independence through a Structured Educational Environment) programs are located at Liberty Hill Elementary, Tierra Rosa Elementary, Liberty Hill Middle School, Santa Rita Middle School, and Liberty Hill High School.
    • The AIMES (Achieving Independence and Motivation by Empowering with Structure) programs are located at Bill Burden Elementary and Rancho Sienna Elementary. At this time, no secondary campus will house AIMES.
  • If the ARD / IEP committee recommends a program that is not offered at your home campus, your student would attend the campus with the assigned program. (Please note that ARD is an acronym used in place of Admission, Review, and Dismissal. IEP is used in place of Individualized Education Plan.)

    Those assignments are as follows:


    • Liberty Hill Elementary students attend Liberty Hill Elementary
    • Bill Burden Elementary students attend Louine Noble Elementary
    • Tierra Rosa Elementary students attend Santa Rita Elementary
    • Rancho Sienna Elementary students attend Bar W Elementary


    • Bill Burden Elementary and Louine Noble Elementary students attend Liberty Hill Elementary
    • Santa Rita Elementary, Bar W Elementary, and Rancho Sienna Elementary students attend Tierra Rosa Elementary


    • Liberty Hill Elementary and Louine Noble Elementary students attend Bill Burden Elementary
    • Tierra Rosa Elementary, Santa Rita Elementary, and Bar W Elementary students attend Rancho Sienna Elementary
  • Decisions regarding services needed to meet a student's needs are determined by the members of the ARD / IEP committee. Decisions are made based on information presented at the ARD / IEP meeting including information from the evaluation, PLAAFPs (present levels of academic and functional performance), parent(s) / guardian(s), teacher, and other service providers. The committee will review the student’s needs and discuss recommended supports offered in a variety of settings. The committee will determine the best setting for the services to be provided.

  • The student’s ARD/ IEP meeting will discuss transportation for the child and determine services to best meet the student’s needs. If the ARD / IEP committee’s recommendation is that the student will receive services off their home campus, special education transportation will be considered by the committee. Special education transportation is only provided to students who have an identified need in their Individual Education Plan (IEP). Any needed support such as a monitor or safety device (booster seat or safety vest) for the bus will be addressed by the ARD / IEP committee and provided by the transportation department. The parent/guardian does not have to accept transportation.

  • There are several benefits of clustering programs such as providing access to the general education curriculum and general education peers, having most of the student’s academic career in one school instead of being transferred year after year to multiple schools, and providing the appropriate staff support regardless of staff vacancies or absences. For example, ESLE classrooms will be at the same location as the Pre-K classrooms to allow for access to peers of the same age, as well as the general education curriculum.

    The creation of cluster sites is a long term solution to the growing number of students who are in need of special education services. As our district continues to grow, the programs will continue to be grown at the selected sites so as to provide continuity.

    The district is always considering the best options to provide quality education to students. As the district has grown and added new campuses, addition of classes have been made to serve the growing populations.

  • All campuses are able to provide inclusion services with same aged peers for any student that receives inclusion support. Inclusion supports are provided based on the student’s current IEP.

  • Each program has specially designed instruction to meet the specific needs of the students in the program. Specially designed instruction can vary from program to program. ARD / IEP committees will discuss the services needed to implement the students IEP, and the most appropriate setting in which to implement those services.

  • Decisions for each student are agreed upon by the ARD/IEP committee. Decisions are based on the student’s needs. Information from the full individual evaluation is used as data in discussions regarding services; however, the specific area of eligibility is not a sole determination of what services are provided. Services are provided on a continuum and may be provided from instructional teams across multiple programs. Friendly reminder, eligibility does not drive placement.

  • The ARD / IEP committee will make the determination if the student’s services can best be provided in a program that is not located at the student’s home campus. This could happen during a school year. The ARD / IEP would also decide the start of services which could take place at a natural break (i.e. winter break, spring break, etc.) or as soon as possible.

  • If the ARD/IEP committee agrees that the student needs the continued support of a program not on your home campus, the student will remain at the currently assigned campus. If the ARD/IEP committee agrees that the student does not require the support provided by the current programming and the home campus has the needed programming, your student will return to their home campus.

  • The district's goal will be to keep siblings together as much as possible. Any requests for sibling student transfers, based on a special education program placement, will be considered.

  • We understand that attendance zones may be redrawn as the district increases in size, but will be working to help keep changes to a minimum.

  • The creation of the AIMES program is in response to a need to support our students with significant emotional and behavioral needs in a setting that prioritizes instructional strategies to address their individual needs to the intensity needed in order to support growth while providing a smaller group setting.

    The AIMES program provides a continuum of services from participation in a highly structured, self-contained classroom setting, to participation in the general education classroom, with direct and intensive instruction by AIMES staff. Additional support may include, but is not limited to, increased, intensive social skills instruction, lower teacher student ratio, and use of restorative practices. Lower teacher student ratio allows for increased time in direct instruction, increased modeling of appropriate responses, and increased positive reinforcement while also creating independence within a smaller group setting. In addition, students in the AIMES program will also have a “return criteria” in which they work towards so they can ultimately return to their home campus; in which they may participate in the Solid Roots program.

    Solid ROOTS is a campus behavior management system designed to empower students to take responsibility for their own behavior. Special education students receive instruction in a variety of settings from the general education classroom to the special education setting depending on student needs. Students are provided behavior support by special education teachers and paraprofessionals. The system is designed to address the student’s presenting problems and work with the student to devise a plan of action; therefore providing an opportunity for students to practice appropriate classroom behavior. Solid ROOTS meets the challenge of teaching students with behaviors by providing a process that teaches students to change old habits of misbehavior through direct instruction and opportunities to practice the behavior in the general education environment. Placement decisions are determined by the student’s ARD / IEP committee and based on the student’s individual needs.

  • The district works diligently to maintain acceptable student teacher ratios that vary depending on student needs. This will continue as we continue to grow in the number of students served through special education.