HISD seeks surrogate parent volunteers for students with disabilities

Harlandale ISD is looking for volunteers who can act as surrogate parents for students with disabilities for the 2019-2020 school year. 

The Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that a surrogate parent must be assigned to ensure that the rights of a student are protected when the child has no parents, no parent can be located or if the child is a ward of the state. They are appointed to represent the child and protect the child’s right in matters relating to identification, evaluation and placement in a special education program.

To meet state regulations, a surrogate parent is someone who has no interests in conflict with the student's interests, is not employed by a state, school district or other agency involved in the care or education of the student, and is adequately able to represent the student.

Surrogate parents are responsible for completing a training program that complies with minimum standards established by the Texas Education Agency, consult with person involved in the child’s education, keep records of all activities in accordance with the school requirements and attend Admission, Review and Dismissal meetings held annually at the child’s school.

Other responsibilities include visiting the child in the school setting regularly, reviewing the child’s educational records, meeting the child’s teacher and knowing the child’s interest, strengths and challenges.

HISD’s residential placements vary in numbers every year. There are currently two surrogates in the district; therefore, HISD is in need of surrogate parents.

HISD Residential Facilitator Liaison Arlene Bocanegra encourages the Harlandale community to volunteer their time to help make a difference in the students’ lives.

“There is nothing more rewarding than personally impacting a young life, someone who may feel they have no one they can depend on,” Bocanegra said. “I have learned that the selfless act of volunteerism changes your heart and way of thinking in the most positive way. Doing something for someone other than yourself is what we are destined to do.”

If you or someone you know would like to serve this voluntary role for students, please contact Arlene Bocanegra at (210) 989-5253 or via email at arlene.bocanegra@harlandale.net.    
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