Office of Academics

About Us

The Academics Department is a teaching and learning community composed of professional teams who create curriculum, work with school communities to develop and coordinate programs, and provide vital services to students in need of additional academic supports.

504 Services

Section 504 Services are designed to provide a system of identifying eligible students with disabilities as defined under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Once identified, these students are ensured access to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) by providing accommodations that allow equal access to the curriculum in the general education setting. While many students who receive 504 status and services are dyslexic or have attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), services are not limited to only these areas of disability. Any student with a disability that substantially limits one or more life activities may be considered for 504 services.

GATE Services

Advanced academics are educational programs designed to move students with high ability at a pace appropriate to their rate of learning through studies that go beyond the age-level or grade-level expectations which include depth and complexity, provide academic acceleration, and address the cognitive, social, and emotional needs of the students.

Early Childhood Education

The Early Childhood Department provides support for the implementation of a rigorous research-based early childhood curriculum as well as develops curriculum that ensures best teaching practices and developmentally prepares students for the rigors of kindergarten and beyond.

Special Education

The Special Education team exists to support the Freer ISD mission of ensuring children who receive special education services are provided with access to a Free and Appropriate Public Education in the Least Restrictive Environment. Our goal is to provide students a quality education that enables them to achieve their potential and participate fully in future social, economic, and educational opportunities.

After-school Centers of Excellence

The ACE Department offers a variety of support services and programs that enrich the school experience outside the school Day; provide and connect families with vital resources; as well as build strong community partnerships to ensure the success of all students.


Students with dyslexia can be served under special education or under Section 504, depending on the student’s unique needs. For more information and resources, visit the website.


FISD guarantees a viable curriculum aligned with standards that promotes acquisition of knowledge and skills with a continual emphasis on student learning and performance. District curriculum is grounded in the implementation and integration of three primary initiatives: whole child (Social and Emotional Learning, Creative Learning Initiative, cultural inclusiveness, coordinated school health), literacy, and the transformative use of technology.

Gifted and Talented

Texas Performance Standards Project
he Texas Performance Standards Project (TPSP) provides a series of TEKS-based performance tasks and assessments for gifted/talented (G/T) students in grades K-12. These interdisciplinary research units, some of which have a discipline-specific focus, can be used by schools and districts to enrich G/T programming.

The primary, intermediate, middle, and high school level TPSP web pages provide the following resources:

Several tasks per grade
Assessment rubrics
Sample forms that can be adapted to support program administration, communications, and student work
Samples of student work
Tasks include a TEKS alignment guide, adaptable activities, and other resources. The structure and content of the tasks provide the following:

Wide variety of choices for student learning
Flexibility to pursue topics of student interest
Real-life research experiences
Focus on a high-quality product and presentation
The tasks were designed to give G/T teachers the flexibility to integrate the TPSP into existing programs and instruction. The tasks are open ended and can be extended and adapted. The tasks provide teachers with a structured curriculum, but teachers still have the freedom to make appropriate adjustments and enhancements. For example, teachers can extend tasks into community service projects if appropriate.

Grades K-10
In grades K-10, the TPSP tasks consist of two phases.

Phase I, Learning Experiences, involves teacher-driven instruction. In the lower grades, tasks require more teacher guidance than in the upper grades.
Phase II, Independent Research, allows students to immerse themselves in a project and develop a high- quality end product that demonstrates their knowledge and skills.
Each task has unique requirements. Submission requirements are listed within each task summary. All tasks have a presentation component to accompany the final product. Please note that each task lists options for product development—students do not need to complete all of the options.

Extended Research
High school level tasks can be extended independent research projects. These tasks are completely student driven and based on a student-chosen topic of interest that may be outside the traditional high school curriculum. The project structure should allow for the long-term development of a question or idea that is significant to professionals in the student’s specified field of study.

Projects should allow students to demonstrate sophisticated and advanced research methods and the use of technology appropriate to the field of study. Over the course of a year, each student works with a mentor who is a professional in the student’s field of study to create a unique, innovative final product or performance that is of professional quality.

Tasks at all grade levels are aligned with a standards-based assessment system that allows students and teachers to evaluate student performance in the following six domains:

Content Knowledge and Skills
Analysis and Synthesis
Multiple Perspectives
Presentation of Learning
At the high school level, the following additional domains are considered:

Ethics/Unanswered Questions
Methodology and Use of Resources
Relevance and Significance
Professional Quality
Teachers should introduce the scoring dimensions at the outset of the project so that students can understand the scope of the TPSP and the expectations for quality work. For formative, ongoing evaluation, students and teachers should regularly evaluate progress and revise plans as necessary using the language of the scoring dimensions. During product development, teachers may also wish to encourage students to use self-evaluation and peer-evaluation techniques using the scoring dimensions as a guide. Upon completion of the project, the teacher scores the final product according to assessment rubric.

See the Assessments grade level TPSP pages for more information on the scoring dimensions and to access assessment rubrics.


How teachers can support students completing TPSP projects
Determining criteria for selecting a task
Informing students of project guidelines, requirements, and scoring criteria
Providing the instruction necessary for students to succeed in the project
Coaching students throughout the duration of the project
Locating necessary resources to support learning and research experiences
Assessing student progress periodically and providing final assessments of student projects
Certifying that the project is the student’s own work
Research Skills
The student research process should consist of the following steps:

Identifying and defining the research problem or question
Reviewing the existing evidence
Refining the research question(s)
Developing a research design and proposal
Carrying out the research design
Analyzing the results
Reporting the findings through a product or performance
Teachers may want to provide instruction to help students build their research skills, including lessons on the following topics:

Conducting research and surveys
Asking guiding questions
Developing computer skills
Using library resources
Using a variety of primary and secondary sources
Writing a research proposal, paper, and bibliography
Developing tables, charts, and graphs
Organizational and Time Management Support
Teachers may want to consider use of the following to support student work:

Using organizers or research journals
Setting weekly goals and keeping records
Conducting structured activities to reflect on and revisit project goals
Developing calendars with deadlines and deliverables
Holding individual student conferences
Implementing flexible grouping as appropriate
Documentation of Learning
Students using TPSP resources are required to document their learning throughout the research process. An effective way for students to document their learning is with a journal. The journal will allow students to review their experiences and findings from Phase I and apply them in Phase II. Teachers may wish to check student journals periodically to ensure that students are progressing appropriately. Students may wish to keep their research journals in a binder or spiral notebook. Teachers can reinforce the idea that documentation of learning is evidence of scholarly behavior.

See the Sample Forms on the relevant grade level TPSP pages for examples of forms that students can use to document their learning, including recording research findings and documenting primary and secondary sources.