Adapted Physical Education (APE)
Adapted Physical Education is a diversified program suited to the capabilities, needs, and interests of students with disabilities who may not safely or successfully engage in unrestricted physical education activities. Adapted Physical Education specialists identify students through an evaluation process that focuses on motor and perceptual motor patterns. The service model may include consultative services within general physical education to specialized physical education in small group settings with adapted physical education teachers.

  • Publications: Adapted PE Webpage RRISD Special Olympics Webpage

  • Contact: Jan Sartain, APE Lead Teacher, (512) 428-2290

Articulation/Phonology Preschool Language Experience (APPLE)
APPLE is a program for students ages 3-5 years who have a Speech Impairment eligibility and whose needs are in the areas of articulation, phonology, and expressive language. Services are provided at two locations by a speech-language pathologist and educational assistant.

  • For Assessment/Entrance into Early Programs:
    Brushy Creek Team, Lori Hatfield, (512) 428-3093
    Deep Wood Team, Cindy Remeny, (512) 464-4482

Assessment And Diagnostic Services
Assessment on each campus is conducted by qualified Speech/Language Pathologists, Educational Diagnosticians, and Licensed Specialists in School Psychology. Any student suspected of having a disability that will qualify them for special education services should be assessed. This group of professionals is responsible for reevaluation to determine continued eligibility for services as well as initial evaluation of students.

  • Contacts:
    Rhonda Gross, Lead Assessment Elementary Schools and PPCD, (512) 464-5458
    Candace Wiley, Lead Assessment Elementary Schools, (512) 428-7577 
    Tara Parker, Lead Psychological and Assessment Services, (512) 428-2278
    Somer Niemann, Lead Assessment Secondary Schools, (512) 464-4460
    Rebecca Ehlert, Lead Assessment Elementary Schools, (512) 464-4481

Assistive Technology
Round Rock ISD employs a team specializing in Assistive Technology. This insures that assistive technology devices and services are provided to any student with a disability.

  • Contacts:
    Lesa Cearley, Occupational Therapist, ATP : (512) 464-5688 or (512) 428-3255
    Hannah Markowitz, Speech Language Pathologist: (512) 464-5688 or (512) 464-5315

Campus Instructional Settings/Service Delivery Models

  • Contacts:
    Campus Special Education Team Leader or Department Chair
    Steven Teter, Special Education Supervisor (512) 464-5146

Community Works Program
Community Works provides services to students ages 18-21 who are ready to move to a community based phase of high school. This phase involves full or part-time employment in the community, participation in community recreation/leisure activities and use of public transportation.

The goal of this service is seamless transition to a post high school setting. The Community Works Program relies heavily on collaboration among schools, family and appropriate adult services agencies. 

  •  Contact: Carol Huntley, Transition Specialist, (512) 464-5982

Deaf Education Services
Services for students who are deaf or hard of hearing are provided through an array of support services in the district. According to individual needs, services can include direct instruction from a certified teachers of the deaf through inclusion support in the general education setting, deaf education resource classrooms, and deaf education self-contained classrooms. The program also provides sign language interpreting, speech and language services, audiological management, and counseling. A two track communication model supports both Total Communication and Auditory/Oral programming.

  • Contact: Julie Johnston, Deaf Education Coordinator, (512) 428-3817

Extended School Year (ESY)
ESY is provided during the summer for students with disabilities when the need is determined through the ARD/IEP committee. Students who may need educational programming beyond the regular school year are those whose measured educational performance on IEP goals and objectives demonstrates a pattern of significant regression combined with excessive time for recoupment when an extended break in service occurs.

It is the responsibility of the IEP committee on an annual basis to review data gathered and determine services needed during ESY.

  • Contact: Melinda Bracamontez, ESY Coordinator, (512) 464-5544


GOALS (Growth/Opportunity/Attitude/Learning/Success) Learning Center is a unique instructional placement for students with specific educational needs in grades six through twelve in the Round Rock Independent School District. This educational program serves students in special education whose placement has been determined by an Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Committee. The GOALS Learning Center (GLC) is designed for special education students with a primary disability of Emotional Disturbance. The students must also demonstrate a need for a more structured environment than is available on the home campus. GLC also provides a Service Learning class that integrates community service with classroom instruction. While the program at GOALS is a highly restrictive educational placement, the ultimate goal for each student is to successfully transition back to a general education campus.

  • Contact: Christopher Teter, GOALS Coordinator, (512) 464-5153

Homebound Services (HB)
Homebound services provide instruction to eligible students who are at home or in a hospital setting. Students served through homebound have a medical condition or extended illness that prevents attendance in school for at least four weeks, as documented by a physician licensed to practice in the U.S. Instruction may also be provided to chronically ill students who are expected to be confined for any period of time totaling at least four weeks throughout the school year, as documented by a licensed physician. These services are determined by an ARD/IEP Committee decision. When services are provided in a private setting, such as a home, there must be an adult other than the student and the teacher present in the home.

  • Homebound Services Handbook - click on title for complete manual

  • Contact: Rebecca Longoria, Lead Homebound Teacher, (512) 464-5253 

Occupational Therapy (OT)
The Occupational Therapy team uses purposeful, goal directed activities to enable a student with a disability to benefit from special education services. Specifically, therapy is designed to assist in the development of skills that are prerequisites to academic learning within the educational setting. Depending on student needs, it may include improving gross and fine motor skills, coordination, adapting environments, organizing and using materials appropriately, and/or developing routines for dressing and feeding skills. Delivery of OT services in the educational setting is distinctly different from clinically based, medically necessitated treatment.

Eligibility for this support service is determined by formal assessment, requested by the ARD/IEP Committee or via the diagnostician as a part of the initial evaluation.

Parent Resource Materials
The Special Education department maintains a library of books, audio/video tapes, and other publications for staff and parent training. In addition, the department makes purchasing recommendations regularly to the district professional library regarding books and periodicals related to special education issues. Parents can access both these collections as well as the links on this Website.

  • Contact: Barbara Carpenter, Central Office Support, (512) 464-5146

  • Candy Squilla, Parent Liaison, (512) 464-5980

  • Jeane Johnson, Parent Liaison, (512) 464-5981

  • Rosie Beattie, Parent Liaison, (512)464-5984 (en español)

Physical Therapy (PT)
The Physical Therapist plans and implements programs that will help students meet their educational goals and objectives and benefit from special education services. The therapist is concerned with facilitating the child's overall performance in the classroom, considering the student's developmental level and physical disability. Services are provided to enhance independent functioning and may include positioning, strengthening, modifications and adaptations to the environment. Although medical concerns are significant, rehabilitation is not the focus of school based physical therapy.

Eligibility for this special education support service is determined by assessment requested by the ARD/IEP Committee or via the diagnostician as a part of the initial evaluation.

Preschool Expressive and Receptive (PEAR) Language Program
PEAR is designed to provide an effective service delivery model for preschool-aged children identified as having a language impairment.  Services are provided at two campuses with a teacher, paraprofessional and speech-language pathologist in collaboration for 3-5 year olds.

  • For Assessment/Entrance into Early Programs:
    Brushy Creek Team, Lori Hatfield, (512) 428-3093
    Deep Wood Team, Cindy Remeny, (512) 464-4482

The PPCD program provides special education services to eligible 3, 4, and 5 year old children. Services may be provided on campus or in some cases, day care, mother's day out, or in the home.Parent-professional collaboration is an integral part of the PPCD program.

  • Publication: PPCD Brochure
    Contact: Kellie Johnson, Lead PPCD, (512) 428-3090

Related Services
Special education related services are support services necessary to enable eligible students to profit from special education. These services may include:
Audiology, Music Therapy, Physical Therapy, Counseling, Occupational Therapy, Transportation

Special Olympics
RRISD Special Olympics offers sports training and competition in a variety of sports for persons with intellectual disabilities or closely related developmental disabilities, beginning at age 8. Training and competition opportunities occur at the local, regional, and state levels for eligible athletes. RRISD Special Olympics strongly emphasizes parental support and involvement in this extracurricular endeavor. Volunteer and service learning initiatives are also emphasized for secondary students and adults who are interested.

  • Contact: Jan Sartain, Head of Delegation, RRISD Special Olympics (512) 428-2290

Speech Language Pathology Services
Certified Speech Language Pathologists provide services to students who have been identified through the evaluation process as having a disability in speech and/or language. Services are provided in both general and special education settings. In addition, the APPLE program (Articulation Phonology and Pre-school Language Experience) is available for 3-5 year olds who qualify.

  • Contacts:
    Donya Brock,  Lead Elementary Speech Services, (512) 464-5971
    Travis Chung, Lead Secondary Speech Services, (512) 428-3525

Student Records
It is the responsibility of the special education department to process, maintain and safeguard all student records. The department protects the privacy of the students and their families by implementing federal and state laws and guidelines which govern student records. All written requests for the release of student information are processed through this department.

  • Contacts:
    Barbara Perry, Records Processor, (512) 464-5148

Support Specialists

Behavior Support Specialists are itinerant teachers skilled in behavior modification strategies. Support Specialists can be requested by campus personnel to provide coaching for campus teachers on classroom management skills and individual behavioral strategies for students receiving special education services. In addition, they can assist campus teams in development of individualized education programs, behavior improvement plans, and functional behavior assessments. 

Low Incidence Disability (LID) Support Specialists are itinerant teachers skilled in best practices and strategies to be utilized in our LID settings. LID Support Specialists are on campuses daily assisting LID teachers in classroom instruction, classroom management, student and staff scheduling, and environmental design through coaching, modeling, and training. In addition, they assist campus teams in the ARD process and the development of individualized education programs to meet the individual and unique needs of RRISD's LID population.


  • Contacts:

           Behavior Support Specialists - Melinda Bracamontez (512) 464-5544

           LID Support Specialists - Kelli McAnally (512) 464-5026

Surrogate Parent Training Program 

Students whose natural parents, for a variety of reasons, cannot make educational decisions for them may have a surrogate parent appointed. The surrogate is assigned to protect the student's rights and act as the student's advocate in the educational decision making process. Surrogates attend ARD/IEP meetings and review educational records. The Special Education Department provides training for surrogate parents identified by the campus or for foster parents acting as surrogate parents.


  • Publication: Surrogate Parent Brochure
    Rhonda Gross, Lead Assessment, (512) 464-5458
    Barbara Carpenter (512) 464-5146

Transition Specialist
The transition specialist provides building and district wide training in Transition Planning, Person Centered Planning and Self-Determination skills. In addition, the transition specialist helps to identify, establish and maintain links to state and non-profit agencies.

The transition specialist also provides individual support to students, families and staff. Upon request, she provides updates on transition planning, community access support, adult agency information, and development of new programs. 

The safe and comfortable transportation of the district's special education students who ride to school and job sites in buses/suburbans is a priority of the Round Rock ISD Transportation Department. Special education students receive curb to curb services. In addition to daily routes, the department provides transportation for field trips, special events, and vocational services such as Community Based Vocational Instruction, Supported Employment and the VAC Work Program.

Bus drivers and bus aides receive extensive on-going training in the operation of adaptive equipment, lift equipment and restraint devices. In addition, drivers and aides receive training on individual medical concerns of their students and behavior management training.

  • Contacts:
    Transportation, (512) 428-2453
    Kelli McAnally, Special Education Associate Director, (512) 464-5026

Visual Impairment Service For Students (VI)
Itinerant VI Certified Teachers provide services for students with visual impairments. These teachers travel to the students' assigned schools or educational settings to provide consultative services and/or direct instruction. Programming adaptations and modifications are made available in the students' learning environment. Specific skills training, unique to the visual impairment, is assured, (e.g. Braille, large print, low vision aides, tactile and recorded materials, assistive technology, and daily living skills.)

Evaluation information and recommendations from the Orientation and Mobility Specialist may be included in the IEP. Training in orientation and mobility may be provided if approved by the ARD/IEP committee. An Orientation and Mobility specialist is a human services professional who specializes in helping the visually impaired acclimate to their physical environment. Training in O&M may be provided if a student qualifies for VI eligibility and is approved by the ARD/IEP committee.

  • Contact: Carol Hoover, Visual/Orientation and Mobility Team Leader, (512) 428-3261

Vocational Services
Vocational training is provided to students in a variety of classes and settings. Classes provided are:

Occupational Skills Development: This class provides opportunities to experience free enterprise by operating on-campus businesses (e.g. school store, die cutting, copy services, etc.).

Community Based Vocational Instruction (CBVI): The classroom is extended to non-paid work sites in the community providing hands-on activities to explore careers, job shadow, and build employment skills.

Vocational Adjustment Class (VAC):
Supported Employment: Students participate in paid employment with the support of a job coach.

Work Program: Students earn high school credit while participating in full or part-time employment with work progress monitored by the VAC teacher and employer.

Vocational Adjustment Class: Classroom instruction supports students enrolled in the VAC program.

  • Contact: Carol Huntley, Transition Specialist, (512) 464-5982