Discipline Under the IDEA Tulsa Public Schools Special Education and Student Services Presenter: Cheryl Henry August, 2011
Discipline Under IDEA • Key definitions • What constitutes a change of placement? • Any disciplinary removal that exceeds 10 consecutive school days is automatically a change of placement OR • Any series of short term (more than 10 cumulative days over entire school year) disciplinary removals that result in a pattern of exclusion are defined as a change of placement.
Manifestation Determination (MD) Meeting • When the number of days a student with a disability is being considered for disciplinary removal will exceed 10 days over the entire school year the IEP team must hold a MD meeting. A Manifestation Determination meeting must be held prior to the student’s 11th day of suspension or other disciplinary removal. • At the MD meeting the IEP team must consider all information relevant to the behavior subject to disciplinary action.
What is a Manifestation Determination (MD)? • Process that looks at the student's disability, the functional basis for the behavior, behavior intervention plan if it exists, the behavior, and the student's program to determine if the behavior was caused by or was directly linked to the disability.
Who attends the MD meeting? • The IEP team that makes the Manifestation Determination decision must include those who are knowledgeable about the student’s disability and the meaning of evaluation data and other significant information. • These members must also be knowledgeable about the student and his/her program, and placement options and include the parent.
Discipline Under IDEA • ALL suspensions or other disciplinary removals after the student’s 10th day of suspension or other change of placement for the current school year must be submitted to the DRC. • The MD must be conducted prior to submission to the DRC. (DRC pg. 14)
Relevant Information • Suspension Information • Witness statements and related documentation • Disciplinary Log Entries • Attendance • Grades • Student Schedule/Services (including course enrollment) • Current IEP, REDS/MEEGS • Behavior Intervention Plan and proof of implementation with fidelity
At the meeting: • Personnel will pull the relevant information from the student’s folder and other files and make copies for team members to review. • Staff will complete the Manifestation Determination form. • The form should not be filled out prior to the meeting.
At the meeting: • Team members will thoroughly discuss the relevant information in a objective manner as it relates to the student’s disability. The MD team should also review the information in terms of the behavior subject to disciplinary action. • Completion of the Manifestation Determination form confirms that the team has fully considered this information.
Decision • From its review of all relevant information, including any information the parent provides, the IEP team must determine whether or not the behavior subject to disciplinary action is a manifestation of the student’s disability. (See DRC handbook pgs. 17-19 and related flowchart)
If not a Manifestation of Disability then all of these are true: • The conduct in question was not caused by the student’s disability; • The conduct in question did not have a direct or substantial relationship to the student’s disability; and • The conduct in question was not the direct result of the school’s failure to implement the student’s IEP.
If behavior was not a manifestation of the student’s disability: • The school can implement the disciplinary removal. • The school must deliver educational services to the student during the time of the disciplinary removal.
If the IEP team finds that one or more of the manifestation determination criteria was not met: • The team must find that the behavior was a manifestation of the student’s disability.
If behavior was a manifestation of the student’s disability: • The school cannot implement the disciplinary removal. • The IEP team must still consider whether changes to the IEP are necessary to meet the student’s unique needs. • If the IEP team identifies deficiencies in the student’s IEP or in the implementation of the IEP through the manifestation determination process, the team will take immediate steps to remedy the deficiencies. • The IEP team will revise the student’s IEP to reflect all such changes
If behavior was a manifestation of the student’s disability: • If the school, the parent, and relevant members of the IEP team make the determination that the behavior was a manifestation of the child’s disability, the IEP team must either conduct a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) unless the school had conducted an FBA before the change of placement occurred, and implement a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) or if a BIP already exists, review the BIP, and modify it, as necessary, and return the child to the placement from which the child was removed, unless the parent and school agree to a change of placement as part of the modification of the IEP and the BIP. (DRC pg. 19)
Examples of LEAs Failure to Provide FAPE • Out of date MEEGS/REDS, IEP including BIP • Failure to follow the Behavior Intervention Plan as outlined • Failure to provide the special education and related services as indicated in the IEP • Recurring behaviors that are not addressed in the IEP
If the parent disagrees with other team members: • The IEP team should nevertheless complete the Manifestation Determination process by documenting the meeting on the Manifestation Determination form and each team member should sign “agree” or “disagree”. • If a parent requests a hearing to challenge the manifestation determination review, the student must remain in the educational setting pending the decision of the suspension review committee and/or the hearing officer. (DRC pg. 19)
If the parent disagrees with other team members: • School personnel should follow the policies and procedures concerning use of the Written Notice to Parents form. • The school must wait a reasonable amount of time from the day the parent receives the Written Notice to Parents form before implementing the change of placement.
Initiating a Change of Placement Due to Weapons, Drug Possession, Serious Bodily Injury • School personnel may initiate a disciplinary change of placement for a child with a disability without regard to whether the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the student’s disability, if the child: • Carries or possesses a weapon at school, on school premises, or to or at a school function; • Possesses or uses illegal drugs or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance at school, on school premises, or to or at a school function; or • Has inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises, or at a school function.
Submission of Paperwork • School staff must submit copies of the following paperwork to the Compliance and Monitoring Coordinator upon completion of the Manifestation Determination and IEP- change of placement meeting: • The IEP Addendum; • The completed Manifestation Determination form; and • The Disciplinary Change of Placement Procedures form.
Paperwork to Submit for Homebased Services • Current student demographic information from PowerSchool • The IEP Addendum including the student’s current math and reading levels with beginning and ending dates for services. • Indicate on the IEP whether the student requires the A+ program or a tutor • Manifestation Determination form • The student’s current class schedule with course numbers. • Withdrawal grades • The Homebased Change of Placement Form as the cover sheet for the packet.
Conclusion • Participants may refer to the Discipline Procedures outlined on pages 162-173 of the Policies and Procedures for Special Education in Oklahoma 2007 (Amended May 2010) manual for further guidance. • Contact Special Education and Student Services at 918-746-6113 for further guidance and technical support on the MD process.