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The response rate to the written survey is very low, usually only 5 or 6 are returned.

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A telephone survey is initiated later in the summer to contact graduates who did not respond to the written survey and is far more successful. Short-Term Program Survey - A new survey will be conducted in fiscal year regarding customer satisfaction with students' experiences in short-term programs that are offered during the regular school year. These programs were initiated in the winter of Outreach Workshop Survey - A survey is distributed to all participants at the conclusion of every workshop presented by Outreach staff.

Participants are asked to rate their acquisition of new knowledge and skills as a result of the training sessions, satisfaction with the presenter, and satisfaction with the services of TSBVI's Outreach Programs. Outreach On-Site Visit Survey - The on-site survey is mailed to school districts after the School's Outreach staff has conducted training or consultation at the local level.

Respondents are asked to evaluate the usefulness of the information provided by the Outreach consultant, whether there has been a positive change for the student as a result of the consultation, and to describe the positive change. Participants are asked to rate their acquisition of new knowledge and skills as a result of the on-site visit, satisfaction with the consultant and satisfaction with the services of TSBVI's Outreach Programs. Respondents are asked to rate their satisfaction with the application and loan process, and with the services and personnel of TSBVI.

A written survey is sent to local districts and ESCs each summer to determine whether materials were provided in a timely manner, were complete, and were in good working order. Some of the items in the survey relate to the quality of the items and services provided by the APH, and these survey items are forwarded to the APH Center in Kentucky.

This survey asks for satisfaction ratings with the year's articles and for suggestions for future topics.

One problem noted with survey instruments is that some respondents invert the rating scale when designating scores. Currently, the lowest score very unsatisfactory is denoted as the number "1" on the scale and the highest rating outstanding is associated with the number "5". Occasionally, respondents mark a score as a "1" and then provide very positive comments about the School that do not support the rating.

It appears that the number "1" is sometimes denoted by respondents as the highest rating that can be given. Beginning in , respondents are being contacted by telephone to clarify the correct rating when comments included in the survey are inconsistent with the ratings. TSBVI has been assessing customer satisfaction for the last several years in the areas of programs and services, student progress, learning and experience, and with the personnel of the School.

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The School uses a rating scale from with 3 denoted as "satisfactory" as the method for calculating the average number of satisfied customers in each program area. Generally, the rate of satisfaction has been very high, resulting in the Legislative Budget Board recommending that, for many of the surveys, the School instead report the percent of customers who rate the School's services and personnel as "very satisfactory" or above.

The School has recently initiated surveys of customer satisfaction that include the new statutory customer service quality elements i. These new quality elements will be incorporated into the surveys as they are sent out. At this time, only one survey has been completed that included the new statutory customer service quality elements.

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The statistically insignificant number of responses does not permit a valid analysis at this point, but there are indications that customers are most satisfied with classroom safety, attractiveness and accessibility; staff knowledge, professionalism and courtesy; the quality of information about the School's services and programs; and the School's Internet site.

Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired TSBVI provides, upon request of a local educational agency, a free, appropriate public education for visually impaired children and youth, including those with additional disabilities, when an educational program is needed that is appropriate to their current unique needs. The School conducts supplemental programs, such as short-term and summer programs, based upon the recommendations from sources throughout the State regarding the nature of those programs and students to be served.

TSBVI provides statewide services to parents of students with visual impairments; school districts; regional education service centers; and other agencies including providing training; consultation and technical assistance; and develops and disseminates reference materials including materials in the areas of curriculum, instructional methodology, and educational technology.

The School provides information related to library resources, adapted materials, current research, technology resources, and teaching, assessment, and transition of students with visual impairments. TSBVI operates programs for lending educational and technological materials to school districts and regional education service centers.

The Outreach Program facilitates the preparation of teachers for visually impaired students by providing assistance to colleges and universities as well as alternative teacher preparation programs. TSBVI cooperates with public and private agencies and organizations serving students and other persons with visual impairments in the planning, development, and implementation of effective educational and rehabilitative service delivery systems. Each of these populations has a unique relationship with TSBVI, but, in considering our compact with our customers, we find that all groups have common rights.

To all of our customers, we pledge our services as follows:. The School is located in central Austin at W. You may contact the School by calling or by fax at Individuals who are hard-of-hearing may reach the School through its TDD line at Information on referrals, admission and the School's instructional and residential programs and services may also be obtained by calling the School's Admissions Director, Catherine Olsen, at Information on Outreach programs throughout the State may be obtained by calling Cyral Miller, Outreach Director, at Susan Houghtling office fax e-mail.

Percent of TSBVI customers rating as satisfactory or above the safety, attractiveness, accessibility, and how well classrooms are equipped to promote learning. Percent of TSBVI customers rating as satisfactory or above the safety, attractiveness, accessibility, and furnishings of the dormitories to promote learning. Percent of TSBVI customers rating as satisfactory or above the timeliness of receipt of student information. Percent of TSBVI customers rating as satisfactory or above the informativeness and understandability of student information. Percent of TSBVI customers rating as satisfactory or above the informativeness and understandability of information about the School's programs and services.

Percent of TSBVI complainants rating as satisfactory or above the timeliness and handling of their complaint. LEAs with VI students: --direct: --indirect: The Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired has been established as part of the public education system to serve as a special school in the continuum of statewide alternative placements for students who have a visual impairment. It is also a statewide resource to professionals and parents who serve these children. These sections of code establish the purpose of the School, its governance by a nine-member board, and specific provisions related to the School's superintendent and its employees.

This section establishes the funding sources for the School, including funds appropriated by the Legislature, allocated by the Texas Education Agency, contracts, gifts, and the Foundation School Program. This portion of Education Code requires each school district that has students enrolled in the regular school year at the School to share in the cost of the students' education based on each district's total student enrollment and its maintenance and debt service taxes.


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Local school districts are required to provide information about the services available from the School to the families of students who are blind or seriously visually disabled. This federal law and its accompanying regulations require the provision of a free, appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment to all children with disabilities in accord with a written "Individual Education Plan" for each student.

It also provides for parent participation in this process and guarantees certain due process rights to the student and to the family of a student with a disability. The chapters in this part of Texas Administrative Code govern public education in Texas. The School is regulated by most of these provisions because it is part of the public education system of Texas. The program was begun at a separate campus, formerly the Confederate Widows' Mansion, on West 38th in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Austin.

Congress enacted the Education of All Handicapped Children Act, significantly impacting the provision of special education services to children, guaranteeing a free, appropriate public education to all handicapped children in the least restrictive environment.

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One effect on the School was an increase in the number of children with multiple disabilities requesting the services of this school. Students who attend their local public school came to TSBVI for week-long and weekend programs to acquire skills in living independently and using specialized computer technology.

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The staff of the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired is comprised of budgeted full- and part-time positions, totaling Of the FTEs, The remaining Among the classified positions, the single largest staff group Classified as House parents, these are the staff that provide care, instruction, and supervision of students in their non-school hours. Other classified positions range from nurses to maintenance mechanics, from accountants to technology specialists.

Our singe-campus-based workforce is a small community with nearly every occupational field represented. The School is governed by a nine-member consumer Board of Trustees which is appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the senate. The Board is composed of three members who are blind or visually impaired, at least one of whom has received educational services related to the blindness or visual impairment; three members who are working or have worked as professionals in the field of delivering services to persons who are blind or visually impaired; and three members, each of whom is the parent of a child who is blind or visually impaired, and at least one of whom is the parent of a child who, at the time of the parent's appointment, is receiving educational services related to the blindness or visual impairment.

The Board of Trustees appoints the Superintendent as the chief administrative officer of the School. In the Comprehensive Program, students are assigned to one of five curricular strands with cross-over occurring among three of these strands. These curricular strands are: 1 Basic Skills: for severely multiply impaired, visually impaired students; 2 Early Concepts: for students under the age of 12, functioning significantly behind their age peers, but with evidence of academic potential; 3 Functional Academics: for students over age 12, who learn academic, domestic, recreational, social and vocational skills through functional, community-based activities; 4 Applied Academics: for students over age 12, with a functional academics with vocational emphasis during high school; and 5 Academic: for students of all ages who are able to follow SBOE essential elements.

All five strands are supervised by one principal. The Principal of the Comprehensive Program supervises both instructional and residential components for the students enrolled. The Principal for Special Programs supervises all summer programs and develops and provides short-term programs during the school year. The Director of Outreach coordinates services that are provided to students statewide.

These services are provided to parents and professionals through training, consultation, and technical assistance. In the area of administrative support functions, the Superintendent supervises the Administrator for Business, Operations and Technology and the Director of Human Resources.

The management style of the School is most accurately characterized as participative. The School has adopted a "site-based decision making" model for planning, implementing, and evaluating its programs. All stakeholders are involved in this process through representation in either instructional programs or the school wide Instructional Planning Council. Additionally, the Superintendent and Principals maintain an open-door policy for all staff. The School is also assisted in its policy-making activities by an educational policy service provided through the Texas Association of School Boards.

This service allows the School to consider the applicability of legally based and model school policies as developed by legal and educational policy experts, then adapt and adopt those that are appropriate. The School has a single location in Austin but serves students from throughout Texas. This geographical fact complicates the logistics of transporting students to and from the School, which is especially problematic since the School strongly believes that students attending a residential school should maintain the closest possible ties with their families, and travel home as often as possible.

The geography of Texas also presents special challenges for the School's Department of Outreach Services, the component of the school which provides services statewide to parents and professionals who work with students who have visual impairments, other additional impairments, and deafblind students. A great deal of travel is required for these individuals to benefit from the type of hands-on training and consultation that Outreach Services provides.

A major issue related to the geographic size of Texas is that, in meeting the mandates of our mission, we must send Outreach staff and other professionals to many distant locations in the state. Also, we often must bring parents and their children to our school site. In addition, our weekends home program, which assures the opportunity of every student to return to home and family every weekend, is a vital but expensive part of our program. Therefore, the geography of Texas impacts us in two ways. First, it profoundly affects our staff travel budget, making it difficult, if not impossible, to stay within a travel cap.

Secondly, our Weekends Home program is a significant part of our operating budget. The School performs its mission to students with visual impairments, parents, local school districts, and other professionals throughout the state. Student enrollment in regular year programs, special programs and summer programs represents the entire geography of Texas. Outreach services are also provided on a statewide basis by linking with all 20 of the Education Service Centers. A new initiative is being planned to enhance communication between parents and teachers using teleconferencing equipment.

The School will continue to be a partner with universities to recruit and train teachers for the visually impaired in high-need areas of Texas. The Outreach Program pays for Spanish or sign language interpreters for workshops that the School sponsors to make them more accessible.