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Sabine County Shared Service Staff

Cassy Whitsitt, MEd., Director of Special Education -

                                                         Patti Guidry, Administrative Assistant/Shars   

 Robyn Shapley, MEd., Educational Diagnostician - HMS & HHS

Bobbie Strickland, MEd., Educational Diagnostician - HES

Collette Hanzel, MS, CCC., Speech Language Pathologist - All Campuses

Marrissa Roberts, Speech Language Pathologist Assistant, All Campuses

Susan Matthews, M.A., Licensed Professional Counselor, Intern - All Campuses

 Jasmine Blake, LVN - Medically Fragile Unit Nurse


Contact Information:

Mailing: PO Box 1950 Hemphill, Texas 75948

Office: 409-787-2338
Fax: 409-787-2847

Aiding Students Who Have Learning Difficulties or Who Need Special Education or Section 504 Services
For those students who are having difficulty in the regular classroom, all school districts and open enrollment charter schools must consider tutorial, compensatory, and other academic or behavior support services that are available to all students, including a process based on Response to Intervention (RtI). The implementation of RtI has the potential to have a positive impact on the ability of districts and charter schools to meet the needs of all struggling students.

If a student is experiencing learning difficulties, his or her parent may contact the individual(s) listed below to learn about the school’s overall general education referral or screening system for support services. This system links students to a variety of support options, including making a referral for a special education evaluation or for a Section 504 evaluation to determine if the student needs specific aids, accommodations, or services.  A parent may request an evaluation for special education or Section 504 services at any time. 

Special Education Referrals:

If a parent makes a written request for an initial evaluation for special education services to the director of special education services or an administrative employee of the school district or open enrollment charter school, the district or charter school must respond no later than 15 school days after receiving the request. At that time, the district or charter school must give the parent a prior written notice of whether it agrees to or refuses to evaluate the student, along with a copy of the Notice of Procedural Safeguards.  If the school district or charter school agrees to evaluate the student, it must also give the parent the opportunity to give written consent for the evaluation. 

Please note that a request for a special education evaluation may be made verbally and does not need to be in writing.  Districts and charter schools must still comply with all federal prior written notice and procedural safeguard requirements and the requirements for identifying, locating, and evaluating children who are suspected of being a child with a disability and in need of special education. However, a verbal request does not require the district or charter school to respond within the 15-school-day timeline.

If the district or charter school decides to evaluate the student, it must complete the student’s initial evaluation and evaluation report no later than 45 school days from the day it receives a parent’s written consent to evaluate the student.  However, if the student is absent from school during the evaluation period for three or more school days, the evaluation period will be extended by the number of school days equal to the number of school days that the student is absent.

There is an exception to the 45-school-day timeline.  If a district or charter school receives a parent’s consent for the initial evaluation at least 35 but less than 45 school days before the last instructional day of the school year, it must complete the written report and provide a copy of the report to the parent by June 30 of that year. However, if the student is absent from school for three or more days during the evaluation period, the June 30th due date no longer applies. Instead, the general timeline of 45 school days plus extensions for absences of three or more days will apply.

Upon completing the evaluation, the district or charter school must give the parent a copy of the evaluation report at no cost.

Additional information regarding special education is available from the district or charter school in a companion document titled Parent’s Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal Process. 

Contact Person for Special Education Referrals:
The designated person to contact regarding options for a student experiencing learning difficulties or regarding a referral for evaluation for special education services is:

Contact Person:

Phone Number:

Section 504 Referrals:

Each school district or charter school must have standards and procedures in place for the evaluation and placement of students in the district’s or charter school’s Section 504 program. Districts and charter schools must also implement a system of procedural safeguards that includes notice, an opportunity for a parent or guardian to examine relevant records, an impartial hearing with an opportunity for participation by the parent or guardian and representation by counsel, and a review procedure.

Contact Person for Section 504 Referrals:
The designated person to contact regarding options for a student experiencing learning difficulties or regarding a referral for evaluation for Section 504 services is:

Contact Person:

Phone Number:

Additional Information:

The following websites provide information and resources for students with disabilities and their families.

Legal Framework for the Child-Centered Special Education Process
Partners Resource Network
Special Education Information Center
Texas Project First
Cassy Whitsitt, M.Ed., Director of Special Education
Sabine County Shared Services Arrangement 
Office: 409-787-2338   Fax:409-787-2847 

Parent Resources:

ADD Resources:   
Allergy Resouce:

Awesome Library:    

Children with Diabetes: 

Council for Exceptional Children:             
Yahoo Directory:  Yahoo Special Education Links

Downs Syndrome Health Issues:      
Epilepsy Foundation:

Links to Disabilities: - disabilities search engine

Learning Disabilities:        
Special Olympics:     
Autism:  Parent Rights: 

Links to Resources:  The National Information Center for Children & Youth with Disabilities; National Directory of State Department of Education; Texas Education Agency

                                Informational Websites:





Susan Matthews
Title/Position: Counselor
PO Box 1950
Hemphill, TX 75948
Phone: (409)787-2338
Fax: (409)787-2847

Texas Transition:

Texas Transition and Employment Guide:

Guia de transicion employeo de Texas:

The staff of Brookeland ISD believes that ALL students can learn.  We believe that our school’s purpose is to educate all students to high levels of academic performance while fostering positive growth in social/emotional behaviors and attitudes.  We accept the responsibility to teach all students in a challenging, meaningful way that allows each child to become a literate, contributing adult.  Brookeland ISD is a center for sound learning, academic discovery, and the pursuit of wisdom through advanced course offerings, high academic standards and aggressive, innovative instruction.  The students of Brookeland ISD will excel and compete academically with any students in the country.

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