It’s Toolbox Tuesday! Are there any guidelines for DAEPs?

We like to address special education discipline issues here on Tuesday, thus highlighting The Toolbox. The Toolbox is a full day workshop that provides ten “tools” available to school administrators when dealing with disruptive and/or violent behavior from students with disabilities (SWD).  Today, we’re focusing on Tool #6: a disciplinary change of placement to the DAEP.

Texas law has required alternative education programs for the kids who commit serious offenses since 1995. That year our legislature mandated what were then called “AEPs”—Alternative Education Programs. With the proliferation of other “alternative” campuses it seemed logical to add the D to that designation. Thus we now have Disciplinary Alternative Education Programs—DAEPs.

We have raised the standards for these programs over the past 20 years.  A four-hour program supervised by a teacher’s aide will not suffice.  The Texas Administrative Code lays out detailed standards at 19 T.A.C. 103.1201.  That’s a fairly long regulation and we are not going to repeat the whole thing here. But we think those of you responsible for DAEPs should not only read the regulation. You should study it.

For today, we are just going to highlight one provision in that regulation.  It requires “written contracts between students, parents or guardians, and the DAEP that formalize expectations and establish the students’ individual plans for success.”

Are you doing that?  Notice that this contract for “individual” success is not limited to the students with disabilities.  This is required for each student at the DAEP.  But with the student with a disability, the ARDC should have some voice in the development of these individual plans.  Thus when using Tool #6, the student’s proposed change of placement will come to the ARDC. The ARDC must 1) conduct a manifestation determination; and 2) if the behavior of the student is not a manifestation of disability, make sure that the DAEP can provide appropriate services. Among other things, this should include making sure that the DAEP satisfied state standards.

That’s where the regulations come into play, and the written contract. So take a look at the regulations and be sure you are fully in compliance.  And if you are interested in Toolbox training, shoot me an email at