Special Education Department

McAllen ISD Special Education Logo


Our Mission:

The desired outcome for all of our students is that, along with community agency resources, students are able to transition successfully from the public school setting into the community, whether they are transitioning into a university, college, trade school, training or certificate program, sustained employment, or other community settings.

Our Goal:

The goal of the McAllen I.S.D. Special Education Department is to meet the various needs of students with disabilities in order for them to succeed to their maximum potential, by providing a Free Appropriate Public Education (F.A.P.E), under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (I.D.E.A.). For eligible students, related services  are provided to enable them to progress on their Individualized Educational Plans (I.E.P.s). An array of services is offered to best meet the needs of all of our students.  Special education provides services for students with disabilities ages 3-21 years of age, and from birth to 3 years of age for those with Visual Impairments or Auditory Impairments.

We strongly believe that by meeting the various needs of our students, we can support students to become productive and cherished members of our community.  

Maribelle Elizondo, Director 
Special Education Department
1619 Galveston Avenue
McAllen, TX 78501
Ph: (956) 632-3285 | FAX: (956) 632-3269

Enter Title

McAllen ISD STRIDES Ribbon Cutting Ceremony: September 24, 2019

The McAllen ISD STRIDES Program is a new special education initiative for students who are 18-22 years old. 


S.T.R.I.D.E.S. opened this fall serving more than 45 students and stands for Supported Transition and Road to Independence: Development and Employment for Students.


The STRIDES program held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, September 24.


The program is based at Achieve Early College High School at Lincoln (1601 N. 27th St.).

STRIDES students receive guidance and instruction toward independent living, can earn a professional certification and take courses that provide them with knowledge and skills for general employment. This includes:


  • Employability skills that are foundational and necessary for obtaining, keeping, and succeeding in a job.
  • Fundamentals of social skills, teamwork, dependability, organization, and work ethic, as well as awareness of personal appearance and grooming.
  • Students participate in on-the-job training with various community businesses who are in partnership with McAllen ISD to provide valuable employment experiences and skills. 

Thanks to a building outfitted as the “STRIDES Cottage,” students learn the basics of home living. The Cottage is equipped with a classroom, a kitchen, a bedroom, and a living area so students learn about basic meal preparation, nutrition, cleaning house and personal grooming.

 The students can also earn a professional certification in the following:


  • Floral Design
  • Photography
  • Cake Decorating

The McAllen ISD STRIDES program is conducted in partnership with South Texas College and Texas Workforce Solutions. The Special Education Program’s Director is Ms. Maribelle Elizondo. To learn more, call 956-632-3285.