Commerce ISD provides special education services for students with disabilities, ages 3-21, who have a need for specially designed instruction. Identification of children with disabilities begins at birth. Commerce ISD is actively involved with “child find” efforts to ensure that children with learning challenges have access to evaluations and services, when appropriate. The District works jointly with Tri County SSA as one of nine districts who contract for advanced services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy and psychological assessments. Parents who have concerns about their child’s development or academic performance may call Tri-County SSA at 903-886-3764 or Mike Pope, Commerce ISD Special Education Coordinator, at 903-886-3755.
Services for children who have auditory or visual impairments may begin at birth. Services for students with other disabilities are initiated on their third birthday. A student must meet eligibility criteria in one of the following areas: auditory impairment, autism, emotional disturbance, learning disability, intellectual disability, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, speech/language impairment, traumatic brain injury or visual impairment.
Commerce ISD believes in educating students in the least restrictive environment. A full continuum of instructional and related services is available to eligible students, with initial consideration given to provision of services in the general education classroom to the greatest extent possible. Students spend various amounts of time in general education and special education settings, depending upon their specific needs.
Parents are vital members of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Committee, which develops an appropriate program of services for each student.