Students with disabilities have the option to participate in a graduation ceremony after completing four years of high school (TEC § 28.025 (f)).
Students in special education can:
- participate in graduation ceremonies with their same age peers (or those with whom they started high school) and then return for special education services; OR
- “walk” in the graduation ceremony when your child officially graduates from high school and no longer receives special education services.
Your child can only participate in ONE graduation ceremony so students and families need to consider which situation fits their needs. The school will document your decision within the IEP.
If your son or daughter plans to participate in a graduation ceremony after his or her fourth year of high school and then return for special education services, the IEP paperwork should clearly state that the student is “participating in graduation ceremonies.” The IEP should not say that the student is “graduating with a diploma” unless you are certain that he or she will not be returning for special education services.
For more information on graduation in Texas, check out the following resources: