CCISD Special Services

October 2021

A Note from the Executive Director:

Welcome to the October edition of the Special Services Parent Newsletter. In this edition you will find a variety of articles spotlighting different groups within the Special Services department. I would also like to welcome Elizabeth Guzman, who has joined us as the 504 & Dyslexia Coordinator.

If translation is needed for the Newsletter:
On the right-hand column under Accessibility, click on Translate and choose desired language.

Si se necesita traducción para el Boletín:

En la columna de la derecha, abajo en donde dice Accessibility, haga clic en Traducir y elija el idioma deseado

Dr. Michele Staley

CCISD Executive Director of Special Services

CCISD Special Services welcomes new 504 & Dyslexia Coordinator Elizabeth Guzman

Mrs. Guzman comes to us from Pearland ISD, where she was most recently an Assistant Principal. She has extensive knowledge in the Dyslexia and the 504 programs and is also ESL certified. We are happy to welcome her into the CCISD family.

CCISD Challengers

CCISD Challengers are preparing for the 2021-2022 season and are hopeful that Special Olympics Texas reopens for competition. To join the Challengers, you must have a current medical release on file with Coach Burges to participate. Please email her at or call her at 281-284-0771 if you have any questions.

Attached below is the informational letter, current athlete information form, and physical form. If you are interested in your child joining the Challengers, please complete these items and submit them to Coach Burges as soon as possible.


The Challengers Booster Club is in need of 26 more volunteers for the concession stand night on October 22, 2021. Booster President Lisa shared this:

"We have several fabulous fundraisers coming up in the next several months that will benefit our athletes 100%. For those that our new to our Challenger program, the booster club provides support of travel costs, meals, athlete, volunteer & coaches gifts and anything else that is needed. And we are more than willing to do so, but it requires a little bit of help!

Our first fundraiser opportunity this year is Football Concession!!!!! It is so much fun and only from 5:15 to 10:15ish, could end sooner depending on when we are done cleaning. We need 26 more volunteers and we will make $900.00! That’s right $900.00! So please ask your family, friends, co workers, neighbors! We need 26 more people! Anyone from 16 and above!!!!!!"

Please click on the link below to sign up:

For questions please contact Lisa @ 281-222-6143.

Special Education Parent Teacher Association (SEPTA)

SEPTA is currently accepting members for the 2021-2022 school year and wants YOU to be a member! Parents, guardians, grandparents, teachers, family members, and students are welcome to be members.

A SEPTA membership form is attached below for your convenience. You may also sign up online. Dues are $15.00 per year. To join, visit and choose Clear Creek ISD and then Special Education PTA

Questions? Contact Michele Klages

Please see for more information, or email President Angel Webb at

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HLSR Chooses CCISD Students for Honor

Penny Sweeney, Instructional Specialist and Scarlett Wood, Diagnostician have worked behind the scenes as part of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Special Children’s Committee. Penny has volunteered for this particular committee for over 20 years and Scarlett has been volunteering for 8 years!

As a result of their work, CCISD Elementary AA classrooms have the honor of being selected to display their student work as centerpieces at the HLSR Special Children’s Committee Christmas party.

“Compassion to Action” is our theme for the year, and we thank these two excellent educators for turning their compassion into action!

Special Services Parent Resource Center

Our Parent Resource Center is open for 1:1 assistance (via TEAMS, over the phone, via email, or in person). We will continue to follow CCISD Covid Protocols for workshops. We do ask that you do not attend workshops in person if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive or are feeling ill yourself. If you have tested positive, please complete your ten day quarantine before entering a campus.

We can accommodate your needs via TEAMS or Zoom chats if needed. Workshop schedules will be offered on a rotating basis, and 1:1 meetings are available weekly by calling or emailing the Parent Center.

We offer a variety of parent workshops, both virtually and in person. These are tailored to the requests of the attendees, however, specific courses are offered routinely. If a particular date does not meet with your needs, please let Mrs. Marshall know and she can get you scheduled as soon as possible.

Mrs. Marshall can offer support and guidance as you navigate the Special Education, 504, and Dyslexia programs. From Early Childhood programming, to post secondary transition programs, she can assist you with your questions and provide resources specific to your needs. She can also help connect you to local community resources.

To view the Parent Resource Center page please visit:

To register for a workshop, click on the registration link for that course, and you will receive confirmation from Mrs. Marshall.

To reach Mrs. Marshall directly, please call 281-284-0751 or email her at

Early Childhood Spotlight

Reinforcing language skills for our young learners is very important. The link below shares ideas for using those skills for parents and care givers based on the age of the child.

Elementary Spotlight

State Services

Have you heard this statement? " You need to get on the waiting list for services". What does this mean? To put it simply, Texas has government programs for students with certain disabilities, that provide services when they are transitioning from high school, to post-secondary choices.

Those waiting lists are currently at a 15-20 year wait time. What does that mean for your student? It means that if they needed services before that time frame, they likely may not receive any help from the government for housing, counseling, or medical services after age 18. Since these programs are funded by our government, the eligibility and funding change with each legislative session.

If your child qualifies as a student with a disability in the areas of:

· Autism
· Intellectual Disability
· Multiple Disabilities
· Deaf or Hard of Hearing
· Emotional Disturbance
· Traumatic Brain Injury
· Visual Impairment

it is suggested that you register with your local provider for services.

In Galveston County, that provider is Gulf Coast Center. For more information, please visit their website for the specific area of services you are seeking.

Intake Line: 1-888-839-3229

In Harris County, the provider is The Harris Center.

From the main page of their website, you will need to choose the service you are requesting information for. They do have different intake departments and crisis intervention programs.

The 24-hour crisis line can be reached at 713-970-7000, option 1.

The Intellectual and Developmental Disability interest list office can be reached by calling 713-970-3449. For all other services, you will call the Harris Center Patient Access Line at 713-970-7000, option 2.

As your child reaches age 14, it will be critical to have already applied for these services, so that as they begin to transition from high school to post-secondary programs, or home-based services, they are already pre registered.

For more information on this topic, as it relates to your elementary child, please call the Parent Resource Center at 281-284-0751 or email

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Secondary Spotlight

San Jac is launching neurodiversity support services this fall to help students on the autism spectrum reach their education and career goals.

Participating students will receive educational opportunities and individual support to increase their self-knowledge and strengthen areas such as:

· Executive functioning (task initiation, organization, and planning)

· Social interaction/connection (understanding social interaction preferences and strengths)

· Self-advocacy (knowing when you need help and whom to ask)

· Academic planning (staying on track academically and following a degree plan)

· Career prep (career exploration and experiential learning)

San Jac Contact for this program:

Taneisha Antoine

The CCISD Special Services Transition Padlet is updated frequently for parents and guardians to research all aspects of Transition. Access the Padlet here:

Galveston-Brazoria Cooperative for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (GBCDHH)

Walk4Hearing is a nation wide organization that raises awareness for hearing loss. The Houston area walk is on October 24th. You can connect with the Galveston-Brazoria Cooperative team using this link. It is a great way for children and families to connect with each other as well as Houston area services.

Resource/Inclusion Spotlight

Snap&Read is now available to ALL students!

Snap&Read is a text-to-speech (TTS) extension for Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and iOS devices that covers the most diverse reading needs for all students. The extension has already been pushed out to all student devices and can be accessed via Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge browsers. Students can sign in using the Microsoft option and entering their district credentials.

Snap&Read reads both accessible and inaccessible text aloud from websites and PDFs. TTS makes content delivered online, such as through itsLearning, more accessible to students by reading it out loud. In addition, TTS software benefits students by relieving the burden of decoding allowing students to focus more on understanding the meaning of the written material. Snap&Read takes text-to-speech accessibility even further by offering the ability to take difficult words and make them easier, define, and translate content.

Double clicking on a word brings up a definition and visual to support understanding. Furthermore, Snap&Read enables students to write or type to annotate PDFs, create outlines and add information from the web to existing outline templates as Snap&Read provides citations in 3 different formats.

All students can benefit from Snap&Read whether using specific features as study tools or accessing grade-level texts to build a more robust vocabulary.

Please see the attached flyer below. The Instructional Specialists are rolling this out to campuses and teachers will be receiving training on this program. The Technology department will have lunch and learn sessions for parents once all teachers have been trained. These will not occur until after October 8th, 2021 due to our current Stage 3 Covid mitigation measures. *Campuses are being trained at various times.

Assessment Spotlight- Assistive Technology

Everyone has something to say. For those who cannot speak, AAC gives them their voice.

In October we celebrate AAC Awareness Month. AAC stands for “Augmentative and Alternative Communication." This means helping someone communicate using any form of communication other than speech. Some students may use picture books or devices, such as tablets to communicate.

Are you looking for ways to celebrate AAC Awareness Month? Here are some things you can do:

  • Learn
    • Read a book about someone who uses AAC. Ghost Boy by Martin Pistorius is an excellent read.
    • Read a blog post by someone who uses AAC. This post offers a perspective from someone who is a part-time AAC user.
    • Watch a video about someone who uses AAC. In this video, Carly Fleischmann describes her defining moment.
    • Listen to a Podcast about AAC. Talking with Tech is a great podcast series to start with.
  • Build Community
    • Join a social media group to chat with parents, therapists and other AAC users. Talking with Tech has a group on Facebook.
    • Join CCISD SEPTA to meet other parents of students who use AAC.
  • Explore
  • Advocate
    • If you have concerns about your child's communication abilities or are interested in investigating AAC to support communication, reach out to your child's speech pathologist to discuss this more.
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“Dyslexia is a specific learning disability that is neurobiological in origin. It is characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language that is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities and the provision of effective classroom instruction. Secondary consequences may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge.”

IDA Board of Directors, 11/12/2002

You can find more information about CCISD's Dyslexia program by navigating to the CCISD website. CCISD>Departments>Dyslexia and Related Services. Click below to be taken there directly.


Please see the articles attached below for an in depth guide to building language comprehension through read alouds and the CCISD Dyslexia handout.

Campus Book Donations

The Special Services is donating books to campus libraries to promote disability awareness during the month of October. The Art of Ms. Chew is being donated to all elementary campuses.

"After spending the summer with her artist grandmother, Trisha knows she wants to be an artist, too. She's thrilled when her sketches get her into Miss Chew's special art class at the high school. A substitute teacher tells her she's wasting time on art when she should be studying - but fortunately, this is one battle that Miss Chew and Trisha are up for! This true story shows just how important a teacher can be in a child's life - and celebrates the power of art itself."

The author Patricia Polacco struggled with Dyslexia as a child and was ridiculed for her differences. She struggled with reading and math and did not learn to read until age fourteen. This book is an homage to her childhood.

Devon in Disney is being donated to all intermediate and high school campuses. In Wixon’s debut YA novel, a dyslexic teenager’s trip to Disney World becomes a more serious adventure in which he must stop invading aliens from spreading evil.

Devon would rather listen to music than sit in a classroom at school, where his fellow students often mock him for his dyslexia. So he’s excited when his grandmother suggests a Disney World vacation with his mom, Lindsey, and little sister, Taylor. It’s not the family’s first time to the amusement park, but this year’s different: Grandma says that she needs Devon’s help with something, and she begins by revealing the park’s genuine purpose.

30th Annual Texas Autism Conference

The Texas Statewide Leadership for Autism Training (TSLAT) and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) are currently preparing for the 30th Annual Texas Autism Conference. Educators, families, individuals with autism, and other professionals come together at this state conference to learn, connect, and apply new knowledge to better serve individuals with autism, their educators, and their families.

They'd love your feedback on how they can help make this the best conference yet!

In their short survey, you can provide input about your learning preferences, which topics you'd like to learn more about, and which activities you'd like to engage with to make a great conference!

For your participation, you'll have a chance to win a ticket for the full conference ($125 value). Two winners will be selected by random draw in early 2022.

They appreciate you taking time out of your day to help them better serve you!

SpedTex- Special Education Information Center

SpedTex is a state funded information center for parents, educators and service providers. It includes special education information, updates and resources for Texas families.

The link below will take you directly to their monthly newsletters, which usually has offerings for webinars, conferences and TEA published materials.

2021-22 Region IV Parent Series

Attached please find the 2021-2022 Region IV Parent Series flyer. Please be advised that all courses will be offered online for this school year, or until further notice.

2021-2022 Texas A&M Parent Workshops

The Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University would like to offer training at no cost to Texas parents and caregivers of children up to age 22 with core features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Parents and caregivers will learn how to improve their child's communication skills. This service is provided by a grant project entitled Coach to Communicate (C2C), sponsored by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

The training includes a 1-hour self-paced webinar that teaches behavioral strategies to increase communication use in children with ASD. Once complete, parents can choose to be paired with a coach for a more intensive 12-week training specific to their child’s communication needs (again, at no cost to parents). Coaching is offered in English and Spanish.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at Attached are the recruitment letters and flyers in both English and Spanish.

Childcare Opportunities for Service Industry Workers

Siritha Ritell is our Service Coordinator, who is the point of contact for this program at Texas Workforce. You may reach out to her directly at or 409-949-9055 ext. 3032. We have attached their flyer below with additional information.