Special Education

Duncanville ISD provides a comprehensive educational program with educational opportunities essential to the full intellectual and social development of students with disabilities between the ages of 3 and 21. The needs of such students often require resources and assistance beyond those available within the regular classroom.

Duncanville 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. The emphasis is on flexibility, with an individually tailored education to be provided on campus and/or within a centralized program to address communication, cognitive, developmental, socio/emotional, physical, and/or medical challenges.

The Duncanville ISD goal is to assist students in developing skills that will enable them to participate successfully in society by improving outcomes, both in learning and social situations.


In Duncanville ISD, students who continue to struggle to read, despite appropriate or intensified instruction, are provided organized systems of reading support. Some students struggle during early reading acquisition. Others do not struggle until the later grades, when they face more complex language demands (e.g. reading textbooks). Some may be non-English speakers who struggle to read in their native languages and/or English language learners (ELLs) who struggle to read despite having appropriately developed oral English language. For many struggling readers, including students in all grades, non-English speakers, and ELLs, the difficulty with reading may be a result of dyslexia.

In Texas the identification and instruction of students with dyslexia and related disorders are mandated and structured by two statutes and one rule. Texas Education Code (TEC) Section 38.003 (1) defines dyslexia and related disorders, (2) mandates testing students for dyslexia and providing instruction for students with dyslexia, and (3) gives the SBOE authority to adopt rules and standards for administering testing and instruction. Chapter 19 of the Texas Administrative Code (TC) Section 74.28 outlines the responsibilities of districts and charter schools in the delivery of services to students with dyslexia. Finally, The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Section 504 as amended in 2008 (Section 504) establishes assessment and evaluation standards and procedures for students.

Transition In Texas

Transition services are a coordinated set of activities that focus on courses of study or activities available in high school that will facilitate the students' movement toward post high school goals. State law mandates that transition planning be in place at a student's 14th birthday. This requires planning to begin at age 13. Transition occurs throughout a student's school career. For our students with disabilities, the transition specialist provides information to the parents concerning the health and human services available once their student has graduated from high school. This service begins to take place when the student is as young as 3-5 years old, depending on the disability of the student. The Texas Transition and Employment Guide in both Texas Transition and Employment Guide - English and Texas Transition and Employment Guide- Spanish are linked.  This guide has been developed by the Texas Education Agency.  Read more at texastransition.org.

Notice of Destruction of Records 

The Duncanville Independent School District Special Education Department will destroy records for the 2015-2016 school year for students who moved from the district, graduated, were assessed for Special Education services but did not qualify, and/or students who exited the program prior to that school year. Parents who would like to have their student’s records retained should contact the Office of Special Education at (972) 708-2060 by November 29, 2021. The records will be destroyed after the week of December 6, 2021.

Special Education Announcement

Students who receive special education services in Duncanville ISD who do not perform satisfactorily on state assessment in 5th grade, 8th grade, or on an EOC must be awarded an ARD committee meeting prior to the second administration to develop an Accelerated Instruction Plan and consider the need for a second administration of the assessment.  The committee may promote the student to the next level if the student has made sufficient progress in the measurable academic goals in the student’s IEP.  If you have questions concerning these new guidelines per HB 657, please contact the Special Education Department at 972-708-2063.

SB 139 Notice to Families

In 2019, the 86th Texas Legislature passed Senate Bill 139 (SB 139), which requires Texas local education agencies (LEAs) to distribute a notice to parents containing the following information:

  • Changes made from 2016 to 2017 in reporting requirements for LEAs regarding special education enrollment in the Performance Based Monitoring Analysis System.
  • The rights of a child regarding the provision of special education services under both state and federal law.
  • The process and procedures for initiating a referral for evaluation for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and TEC Sec. 29.004.
  • Where to find local policies and procedures related to initiating a referral for evaluation under IDEA.

Please click on the links to view the notice in English SB 139 and Spanish SB 139.

Helpful Links

Dyslexia (English)  (Spanish)

IDEA (English)   (Spanish)

Section 504 (English)  (Spanish)

MTSS (English)  (Spanish)

Compensatory Services (English)  (Spanish)

Director of Special Education

Fallon Hawthorne
Coordinator - Special Education

Barbara McCulloch
Coordinator - Evaluation & Compliance

Wanda Smith
Coordinator- Special Education

Doria Telsa
Instructional Specialist- Special Education

Christina Henderson
Behavior Specialist

Antwainese Square
Transition Specialist

Clifford Jingles
Instructional Specialist - Special Education

Arenda Mosley
Instructional Specialist- Special Education

Terrell Lockett
Behavior Specialist-Special Education


Hours of Operation
M-Th 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
F 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

Duncanville ISD Education Plaza
710 S Cedar Ridge Dr
Duncanville 75137

phone: 972-708-2060
fax: 972-708-2093

Office Staff

Roberta Blakemore
Administrative Assistant

Clara Kuzelka
SERS Clerk

Larisa Carlile
Special Ed Data Management Clerk

Amy Robledo
SEMS Clerk