Beginning this school year, administrators have new procedures relating to a student’s transition from a Disciplinary Alternative Education Program (DAEP) to a regular classroom. House Bill 2184 amended Chapter 37 of the Education Code by adding Section 37.023, titled “Transition From Alternative Education Program To Regular Classroom.” These requirements apply to DAEPs operated by a school district or open-enrollment charter school; juvenile justice alternative education programs; and residential programs or facilities operated by or under contract with the Texas Juvenile Justice Department, a juvenile board, or any other governmental entity.
The law requires DAEP administrators to provide written notice of the date of the student’s release from the DAEP to the student’s parent or a person standing in parental relation to the student and the administrator of the campus to which the student intends to transition.
DAEP administrators must also provide the campus administrator an assessment of the student’s academic growth while attending the DAEP and the results of any assessment instruments administered to the student. These must be done “as soon as practicable after an alternative education program determines the date of a student’s release from the program.”
In addition, not later than five instructional days after the date of a student’s release from the DAEP, the campus administrator shall coordinate the student’s transition to a regular classroom. The coordination must include assistance and recommendations from: (1) school counselors; (2) school district peace officers; (3) school resource officers; (4) licensed clinical social workers; (5) campus behavior coordinators; (6) classroom teachers who are or may be responsible for implementing the student’s personalized transition plan; and (7) any other appropriate school district personnel.
The assistance required above must include a personalized transition plan for the student developed by the campus administrator that includes recommendations for the best educational placement of the student. At the discretion of the campus administrator, the transition plan may also include the following:
- Recommendations for counseling, behavioral management, or academic assistance for the student with a concentration on the student’s academic or career goals;
- Recommendations for assistance for obtaining access to mental health services provided by the district or school, a local mental health authority, or another private or public entity;
- The provision of information to the student’s parent or a person standing in parental relation to the student about the process to request a full individual and initial evaluation of the student for purposes of special education services under Section 29.004; and
- A regular review of the student’s progress toward the student’s academic or career goals.
If practicable, the campus administrator, or the administrator’s designee, shall meet with the student’s parent or a person standing in parental relation to the student to coordinate plans for the student’s transition. These requirements only apply to students subject to compulsory attendance requirements under Texas Education Code, Section 25.085.