Victoria Independent School District

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The following programs are available through the Victoria ISD Special Education Department.
Expand the arrows for each header to view more information on each program:

The ACE program is a highly structured classroom setting designed for students with the most intense emotional and behavioral difficulties. The purpose of the program is to help students gain improved social skills while maintaining academic success. Although the primary focus is on teaching appropriate behaviors so students may return to the least restrictive environment, academic instruction is also emphasized. Instruction is individualized according to the student’s behavioral and academic functioning levels in accordance with their Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) as determined by the ARD committee.

In order for a student to be considered for the ACE program there must be documented evidence that the student has been unsuccessful through previous, less-restrictive interventions and placements. Behavior and emotional issues a student may exhibit include, but are not limited to:

  • Significant psychological issues such as mood disorders, depression or anxiety
  • Low tolerance for frustration
  • Displays of explosive and/or destructive rages
  • Significant non-compliance with requests or directives
  • Verbal aggression (above and beyond profanity and threats)
  • Extreme opositional defiance
  • Significant physical aggression
  • Self-injurious behaviors
  • Prolonged and/or extremely disruptive crying and/or tantrums
  • Frequent elopement from the classroom, building or school property

adapted p.e. graphic

"Adapted Physical Education is the art and science of developing and implementing a carefully designed physical education instructional program for an individual with a disability, based on a comprehensive assessment, to give the individual the skills necessary for a lifetime of rich leisure, recreation, and sport experiences to enhance physical fitness and wellness."
— (Auxter, Pyfer, & Huettig, 2001)

  • According to Public Law 105-17, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), "Physical education services, specially designed if necessary, must be made available to every child with a disability receiving a free appropriate public education." An appropriate physical education program should be discussed at IEP meetings and goals and objectives should be included in the IEP whenever a student needs an adapted physical education program. Adapted physical education is a "specially designed physical education program as prescribed in the student’s IEP" (PL 105-17). 

  • A disability is any physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a person in some major life activity such as walking, talking, breathing, or working.  Students with disabilities need physical education as much as their non-disabled peers.  Physical education activities stimulate the central nervous system for optimal growth and development, assist in bone mineralization, promote the maintenance of lean body mass, reduce obesity, improve the function of the heart, and develop movement skills that are necessary for an active lifestyle.  For many students with disabilities, movement is a mode for learning.  Physical education can help students with and without disabilities learn to work and play together in movement and recreational activities available to all members of the community. Through an adapted physical education program that provides challenging activities, students with disabilities develop self-esteem by way of increased confidence, assertiveness, independence, and self-control.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is adapted physical education?
Adapted physical education is an instructional service – not a setting or placement.  Students receive adapted physical education when, because of their disability, the instructional program is somehow different from what their peers receive or when they will be held to different criteria for success.  Students can receive adapted physical education in an integrated or separate environment or a combination of instructional (PE) environments.  This means that a student can receive adapted physical education in the environment that best meets the student’s educational needs.

2. How do you determine if a student should be considered for adapted physical education services?
All students who qualify for services mandated by PL 105-17 who have a disability which may affect their gross motor skills, strength, flexibility, physical fitness, and/or impact their ability to perform daily routines and participate in community based leisure and recreation should be referred for Adapted PE based on the following:

      • Student for whom some or all of the TEKS of physical education are not appropriate will need an APE evaluation

3. What is the appropriate physical education environment for a student with a disability?
Students with disabilities must be afforded the opportunity to participate in the regular physical education program available to non-disabled students unless:

      • The student enrolled is in a full-time separate facility

The student needs an adapted physical education program, as determined by the IEP team and prescribed in the student’s IEP (PL 105-17) 

4. What instructional environment should be available for providing adapted physical education?
The instructional setting will accommodate each student in the Least Restrictive Environment, depending on the student’s IEP. Settings could include:

      • Integrated regular physical education
      • Integrated regular physical education with supplemented aids and services
      • Integrated regular physical education supplemented with separate adapted physical education when necessary
      • Separate adapted physical education supplemented with integrated regular physical education when possible
      • Separate adapted physical education 

5. How does the Admission, Review and Dismissal (ARD) Committee process address the physical education needs of students with disabilities as you proceed through the IEP process?
The ARD committee will :

      • Collaborate with the physical education teacher to determine if the student is having difficulty meeting goals of the essential curriculum (TEKS) in physical education
      • Ensure parent notification and permission for assessment
      • Contact an APE Teacher for motor assessment
      • Conduct an IEP team meeting to discuss needs, approaches, interventions and instructional expectations 
      • Determine goals and objectives to be included in the IEP
      • Enter into the IEP document the appropriate adapted physical education environment, service provider and hours of service
      • Receive parent approval of the IEP  

6. Do you have to evaluate a student before placing a student in Adapted PE?
YES. The child is assessed in all areas related to the suspected disability, including, if appropriate, health, vision, hearing, social, and emotional status, general intelligence, academic performance, communication status, and motor abilities.

Students for whom some or all of the TEKS of physical education are not appropriate will need an APE evaluation. The goals and objectives for physical education should be developed as a result of the evaluation. They may include modified TEKS or unique goals specific to the child’s need.

7. What responsibilities should an Adapted Physical Educator assume?

      • Direct service provide (hands-on teaching)
      • Assessment specialist, completing comprehensive motor assessments of individuals with disabilities and making specific program recommendations
      • Consultant for physical education and special education staff providing physical education instruction for individuals with disabilities
      • IEP (Multi-disciplinary Team or Admission, Review, Dismissal) Committee member who helps develop the IEP in the psychomotor domain
      • Student and parent advocate
      • program coordinator who develops curricular materials, develops intra- and inter-agency collaborations to meet the needs of individuals with disabilities, and monitors progress on IEP’s.
APE Resources

Tonya Taylor
Coordinator, Special Education Regional School for the Deaf - Victoria
361.788.9400 (office)
361.550.6248 (cell)


The Regional Program for the Deaf - Victoria serves hearing impaired children between the ages of birth through 21 years of age, who meet the criteria for services. The Regional Program for the Deaf works in cooperation with 38 school districts in the Region III area as determined by our Shared Services Agreement.

Classrooms are established in four school districts (Bay City, Victoria, Yoakum, and Wharton) with certified teachers of the deaf, interpreters, and/or aides located in each school district.

A Speech-Language Pathologist is employed to provide individual evaluation and therapy for students. The deaf education teacher follows the Speech program on a daily basis in order to maximize the student's potential for speech, auditory training, and lip reading.


The Regional Program for the Deaf subscribes to the Philosophy of Total Communication and uses all methods of communication in order to enhance language development.

Services to children are based on the individual needs of the child. Educational options may include a variety of services from Parent-Infant services in the home, to full-time deaf education, or as little as one hour per week with a deaf education teacher. Transportation for students from districts outside the district where classrooms are established, are provided transportation by the local school district.

As part of the transition program, you will receive an individual transition plan (ITP). This will help you to determine your personal goals and a plan for achieving them as you graduate from high school.What is an ITP?Four major areas of your life:
  • employment education
  • independent living skills
  • living arrangements
  • community recreation
What is the purpose of an ITP?
  • to help you take control of your life
  • to set timelines for your future
  • to identify skills that are of your job choice
  • to plan school courses inline with your choices
What can I do to help?
  • begin planning early, about age 14 to explore interesting careers and jobs
  • become familiar with all aspects of that career or job
  • set goals that are realistic and can be successfully achieved
  • share those goals with our family, teachers, and friends
  • prioritize activities that will lead to achievement of your goals
  • volunteer in your chosen career are if possible
  • be an active participant in your ITP

VISD Transition Program Descriptions
The First Step Program
This program is a pre-vocational lab that addresses basic skills development and transition requirements for special needs students.  There are currently four work centers that include 40 subjects, with 119 lessons and 354 hands-on-activities in the lab.
They are: 
  • Basic Hand Tools
  • Basic Measurement Skills
  • Basic Household Skills
  • Employability Skills 

Students will learn basic vocational skills, work behaviors, and be introduced to practical application of economic life skills. Student progression in the unit activities concept, functional skills attainment, and interest assessment is inputted into the computer program.  Reports can be generated for review at ARD/IEP meetings, and in transition programming/planning.The Second Step Program.
This program consists of using office machines such as laminators, printers, button machines, computers, to make posters, banners, buttons, etc. With the guidance of the Lab Facilitator, the students will learn business skills using advertisement, taking orders, making products, distributing the goods, and money management.  Documentation of student participation, facilitator information, Second Step lab reports, parent and student input will be gathered and shared at ARD/IEP meetings, and in transition programming/planning.
The 18+ Program
This program is for students who may need additional help with their Transition-related IEP goals.  These could include employability skills, social, communication, functional life skills, and academic credits needed for high school graduation requirements. 
These students will go to Work-Based Learning sites, and will also be at the 18+ classroom to work on additional transition related activities.  Students in this program will be supervised by school staff at the job sites and in the classroom. Work behaviors and work skills are to be documented and made accessible to review with the 18+ Program Facilitator, and at ARD/IEP meetings, before a student is placed in this program. 
Vocational Adjustment Class (VAC)
This program provides practical work experience in an occupational field. Students need to be 16 years of age and older, and have successfully completed and earned, or in the process of earning credit in the General Employability Skills (GES) class (descriptor on next page).  The student can earn credits for this class, while working at a paid job, and gaining valuable job experience.  Students will need to visit with the VAC Coordinator prior to being in this program.
Documentation from teachers, any grades, credits, school discipline referrals, attendance reports, community training, participation in the First Step Lab and Second Step Lab, parent information, student input, and any employment experiences will be reviewed before a student is placed in this program. Placement will be determined by the ARD/IEP committee.
General Employability Skills (GES)
This course will provide instruction in general employability skills as well as the pre-requisite skills for general employability. Employability skills are the skills and attitudes that allow employees to get along with their co-workers, make important work-related decisions and become strong members of the work team. Discovering job possibilities that link skills, abilities, interests, values, needs, and work environment preferences is an experiential learning process that takes place over time.
This course is designed to guide students through learning these skills that can be transferable among a variety of jobs and careers and are considered essential in any employment situation. Students will learn and apply basic knowledge of what is expected in the world of work.
Transition Program Resources