Special Education Terms

Some terms and acronyms used frequently in ARD Committee meetings are listed below:  

ADA: American with Disabilities Act is a federal law that guarantees access to opportunities.

ARD: Admission, Review, and Dismissal Committee Meeting – This is a scheduled meeting with parents and staff to review current evaluation information, determine eligibility and educational need for special services, finalize the IEP (Individualized Education Program), and determine the most appropriate placement for the services necessary. This meeting must be held at least annually.

BIP: Behavior Intervention Plans - A written plan to address behavioral concerns impeding the child's learning or that of others. It includes positive behavioral interventions and supports, and other strategies, to address the behavior.

Evaluation: The collection of information to determine whether a child is a child with a disability, and to determine the educational needs of the child. The team that collects or review evaluation data, referred to as the multidisciplinary team (MDT), must use a variety of assessment tools and strategies to gather relevant functional, developmental, and academic information, including information provided by the parent. An evaluation may include giving individual tests, observing the student, looking at educational records, and talking with the student and his/her teachers and parents.

IDEA: Individuals with Disabilities Act is the federal law that mandates special education services.

IEP: Individualized Education Program - A written statement for each child with a disability that is developed, reviewed and revised by the ARD committee, of which parents are active members. The IEP includes the student's present levels of academic achievement and functional performance, participation in State and district-wide assessments, transition services, annual goals, special factors, special education, related services, supplementary aids and services, extended school year services, and least restrictive environment.

LRE: Least Restrictive Environment - To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

TRANSITION SERVICES: Before the student’s 14th birthday, the ARD Committee will discuss information related to transition services. A coordinated set of activities for a child with a disability that is designed to be 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, including post-secondary education, vocational education, integrated employment (including supported employment), continuing and adult education, adult services, independent living, or community participation; is based on the individual child's needs, taking into account the child's strengths, preferences, and interests; and includes instruction, related services, community experiences, the development of employment and other post-school adult living objectives, and, when appropriate, acquisition of daily living skills and functional vocational evaluation. The district's Transition Specialist is Tyson Peterson. His email address is

Texas Transition and Employment Guide: