Kent City Community Schools
Administrative Guidelines
 

5605A - DISCIPLINING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES (IDEA ELIGIBLE)

When the behavior of a student eligible under the IDEA is such to justify serious disciplinary action, three (3) possible courses of action may be available depending upon the nature and severity of the behavioral problem. The first is in-school or out-of-school suspension. The second is an Interim Alternative Education Placement (IAEP) for possession of a weapon or illegal drugs at school, and the third is expulsion from school. Each will be dealt with in the following guideline.

In-School/Out-of-School Suspension

The principal may remove a student from his/her current placement for short-term periods not to exceed ten (10) consecutive school days. The principal may impose additional removals of the child of not more than ten (10) school days in a row in that same school year for separate incidents of misconduct, as long as those removals do not constitute a change of placement.

Short-term suspensions from a program are not considered a change in educational placement and the procedural safeguards associated with the change of placement are not required. The principal, however, should stay alert to the possible need to convene a student's I.E.P.C. to review the appropriateness of the current IEP and its implementation and to determine whether or not the behavior and its frequency creates the need for a Behavioral Assessment and Behavioral Intervention Plan (see below).

The School District is only required to provide services to a child with a disability who has been removed from his/her current placement for ten (10) school days or less in that school year, if it provides services to a child without disabilities who has been similarly removed.

Once a child with a disability has been removed from his/her current placement for a total of ten (10) school days in the same school year, the School District must, during any subsequent days of removal in that school year, provide services to the extent required below.

A child with a disability who is removed from the child's current placement for more than ten (10) school days must:

 

A.

continue to receive educational services, so as to enable the child to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the child's IEP; and

   
 

B.

receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment (FBA), and behavioral intervention services and modifications, that are designed to address the behavior violation so that it does not happen again.

After a child with a disability has been removed from his/her current placement a) for ten (10) school days in that same school year, b) the current removal is for ten (10) school days in a row or less, and c) the removal is not a change of placement (see definition below), then school personnel, in consultation with at least one of the child's teachers, must determine the extent to which services are needed to enable the child to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the child's IEP.

If the removal is a change of placement, the child's IEP Team must determine the appropriate services to enable the child to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the child's IEP.

The services that must be provided to a child with a disability who has been removed from the child's current placement may be provided in an interim alternative educational setting.

Change of Placement

A removal of a child with a disability from the child's current educational placement is a change of placement if:

 

A.

the removal is for more than ten (10) school days in a row; or

     
 

B.

the child has been subjected to a series of removals that constitute a pattern because:

   
 

1.

the series or removals total more than ten (10) school days in a school year;

   
 

2.

the child's behavior is substantially similar to the child's behavior in previous incidents that resulted in the series of removals; and

   
 

3.

any additional factors such as the length of each removal, the total amount of time the child has been removed, and the proximity of the removals to one another.

Whether a pattern of removals constitutes a change of placement is determined on a case-by-case basis by the School District and, if challenged, is subject to review through due process and judicial proceedings.

Functional Behavior Assessment

If the principal suspends a student and contemplates that further disciplinary action will probably be necessary during the school year, it is essential that the I.E.P.C. meet within ten (10) days of the suspension to complete a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA).

The FBA should include:

 

A.

the specific behavior(s) of concern, including the intensity, frequency, and duration;

   
 

B.

the setting where the behavior usually occurs, e.g. cafeteria, transition periods, bus, regular classroom, etc.;

   
 

C.

the circumstances antecedent to the behavior;

   
 

D.

the consequences of the behavior;

   
 

E.

conditions that may impact the behavior, e.g. medications, diet, schedule, etc.;

   
 

F.

the apparent purpose of the behavior;

     
 

G.

modifications/interventions attempted to change the behavior;

   
 

H.

behaviors that would serve as functional alternatives to the target behavior.

Behavioral Intervention Plan

In addition, a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) may need to be developed by the I.E.P.C. and made a part of the student's IEP.

The BIP should clearly describe the target behavior(s) and the appropriate behavior that is sought, the reinforcements that will be used to modify the target behavior, and the progressively intrusive consequences that will be invoked if the target behavior does not change. The plan should address methods such as time-out, safe-haven, drawing a student back into a special education room from a regular classroom when conditions warrant, etc., all of which focus on remediating or improving a student's behavior rather than on disciplining behavior. The plan should also describe who will be involved in the intervention (classroom teacher, aide, specialists), their respective roles and responsibilities, and how the data will be collected to assess the effectiveness of the intervention.

If the FBA and BIP cannot be completed prior the student's suspension, they must be completed within the ten (10) days of the beginning of the suspension.

Interim Alternative Educational Placement

A student may be placed in an Interim Alternative Educational Setting under one of the following conditions:

 

A.

An IAEP has been made a part of the student's I.E.P. and its use is limited so that it does not constitute a change in placement.

   
 

B.

The student has been found to possess a weapon or illegal drugs in school (see below).

   
 

C.

The student is considered to be dangerous to himself/herself and/or others as determined by an independent hearing officer. The I.E.P.C. may, however, choose to go directly to a court to obtain authority for an AIEP without involving a hearing officer.

The Superintendent may unilaterally place a student in a forty-five (45) calendar day Interim Alternative Educational Placement (IAEP) if the student is found to have violated the Code of Conduct by carrying a weapon to school or a school function or by possessing, using, distributing, or soliciting illegal drugs at school or school function. The definition of weapon is as follows:

 

A weapon, device, instrument, material, or substance animate or inanimate, that is used for, or is readily capable of, causing death or serious bodily injury, except that such term does not include a pocket knife with a blade less than 2 and 1/2 inches long.

On the day a student is placed in an IAEP for violation of the weapon or drug provision, the principal shall notify the parent of the decision and provide the parent with a copy of the procedural safeguards to which they are entitled. (Use the procedural safeguards produced by the State Department.)

The student's I.E.P.C. is to convene as soon as possible and no later than ten (10) days after the placement begins to determine whether or not the drug or weapons violation is related to the student's disability. If the I.E.P.C. determines that the behavior is causally related to the disability, it should review the Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) and make any modifications necessary to deal more effectively with the inappropriate behavior and prevent its reoccurrence. If there is no BIP, one should be developed or a behavioral assessment performed.

If the I.E.P.C. finds no causal relationship between the student's disability and the weapon or drugs violation, the school may continue the forty-five (45) calendar-day interim alternative educational placement and proceed with expulsion. Should the student's parents dispute the existence of a causal relationship, they have a right to request a special education due-process hearing. However, the school may ask that the hearing be expedited and a decision be issued by the hearing officer within ten (10) business days of the request for the hearing.

A student is to remain in the IAEP until a hearing and appeal decision is rendered or the forty-five (45) calendar days expires, whichever happens first. If the Superintendent believes that a student is too dangerous to be returned to the school setting, and the forty-five (45) day placement expires before due process is complete, the principal may request another expedited hearing to decide the student's placement during the pendency of proceedings.

A student who is considered to be too dangerous to himself/herself or others may also be placed in a forty-five (45) calendar-day IAEP but only after there has been a hearing to determine whether such placement is appropriate, unless the parents agree to the placement. The principal should request an expedited hearing and provide the hearing officer with sufficient data for him/her to determine that:

 

A.

the school has demonstrated that keeping the student in the current placement would prove substantially likely to result in injury to the student or to others;

   
 

B.

the current placement is appropriate;

   
 

C.

the school has made reasonable efforts to minimize the risk of harm in the current placement, including the use of supplementary aids and services;

   
 

D.

the IAEP meets the following requirements:

   
 

1.

it has been designed by the student's I.E.P.C.

   
 

2.

it will enable the student to continue to participate in the general curriculum, although in another setting, and continue to receive the related services and modifications in the student's IEP that are designed to enable him/her to meet the IEP goals

   
 

3.

it includes services and modifications designed to address the behavior which caused the request for the IAEP or any other behavior that results in the student being removed from his/her educational placement

   
 

The services and modifications must be so designed as to prevent the behavior from recurring.

If the student has been placed in an IAEP by a hearing officer because of danger to the student or others, the student is to continue in that placement pending the outcome of any appeal hearing or the expiration of the forty-five (45) calendar days, whichever happens first. If the forty-five (45) day placement expires prior to a decision by the hearing officer concerning the causal relationship dispute, the school may ask for an expedited (ten (10) day) hearing in order to determine whether the student should continue in another forty-five (45) interim alternative educational placement. The school cannot unilaterally lengthen a forty-five (45) calendar day placement.

Should the student's behavior be so serious that the I.E.P.C. believes that the student cannot continue to be educated in a public school setting, and the parents agree, a forty-five (45) calendar-day IAEP may be used to submit an application for "wrap around" services within the community or for placement of the student in a residential setting which could appropriately address his/her needs.

Expulsion

If the principal decides that the student should be expelled from school, the parents are to be notified on the date the principal makes the request for the expulsion accompanied by a notice of parent rights, which delineates all of the rights and procedural safeguards to which the parents and students have access in connection with an expulsion. Within ten (10) school days following the decision to seek expulsion, the I.E.P.C. is to convene to conduct a Manifestation Determination. Both IDEA '04 and the implementing regulations now contain guidance as to the steps which are to be followed in reaching a determination of causal relationship. Prior to making its determination, the I.E.P.C. must consider at least the following items:

 

A.

evaluation and diagnostic results, including the results or other relevant information supplied by the parents of the child

   
 

B.

observations of the child (this requirement can probably be fulfilled by comment sheets from teachers who have the student in class on a daily basis or can be formal observations done by special education staff, behavioral consultants, school psychologists, etc.)

   
 

C.

the child's current IEP and placement

These three (3) items are to be considered "in terms of the behavior subject to disciplinary action". Therefore, a disagreement about something in the current IEP which is unrelated to the misbehavior under consideration would not require the finding of a causal relationship.

The I.E.P.C. will have established a causal relationship if it decides:

 

A.

the IEP and placement were inappropriate in relationship to the behavior; or

   
 

B.

the services listed in the IEP were not being delivered as called for; or

   
 

C.

the student's disability made it difficult or impossible for the student to understand the impact and consequences of his/her behavior; or

   
 

D.

the student's disability significantly interfered with his/her ability to control his/her behavior.

If a causal relationship between the student's disability and the misbehavior is determined, the expulsion cannot go forward. The school should immediately proceed to remedy any deficiencies in the IEP, the placement of the student, or the implementation of the IEP.

As a general practice, the Director of Special Education should ensure that no meeting of an I.E.P.C. to conduct a Manifestation Determination takes place if an evaluation of the student is more than a year old.

If the I.E.P.C. determines that the behavior is not a manifestation of the student's disability, the school may continue with its expulsion procedures. The I.E.P.C. is to ensure that a copy of the student's special education records and disciplinary records are forwarded to the expulsion examiner for his/her consideration.

If the parents appeal the causal relationship determination, the "stay put" provision takes effect and the student is to be returned to the educational placement that s/he was in at the time of the misbehavior, unless the school and the parents can agree to a different placement pending the outcome of the hearing or unless the student is in a forty-five (45) day IAEP for possession or use of a weapon or illegal drugs in school.

If a school considers a student to be a danger to himself/herself or others, and the student's parents ask for a hearing to dispute a finding of no causal relationship by the I.E.P.C., the school may ask the assigned hearing officer to conduct an expedited hearing ten (10) days on the question of the student's placement pending the outcome of proceedings.

If the student is expelled, the District has a continuing responsibility for providing alternative educational service to the student. The I.E.P.C. shall consider the nature and extent of educational services to be provided in order to make available a free and appropriate education (FAPE) to the student.

 

SUSPENSION* OR REMOVAL TO

 
 

ALTERNATIVE EDUCATIONAL SETTING**

 
   

 
   
   

No further discipline contemplated

Further discipline contemplated

and removal is for ten (10) days or less

within ten (10) days of suspension

(strong encouragement to review

or removal.

and address behavior and IEP if

 

necessary).

 

 
 
 

I.E.P.C. convenes to develop

assessment plan (FBA) and

appropriate behavioral

interventions (BIP).

 

In the cases of removal to alternative

educational setting for more than

ten (10) school days, the I.E.P.C.

must also consider causal

relationship.

*

Suspensions of ten (10) school days or less cumulating to no more than ten (10) days per school year may be unilaterally levied by the school without parent consent. If accumulating to more than ten (10) days, must assess if it constitutes a change in placement.

   

**

Removal to an alternative educational setting for a maximum of forty-five (45) calendar days unilaterally if the student brings a weapon to school or to a school function, or knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs, or sells, or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school or at a school function.

 

CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP DETERMINATION*

 

Student violates code of conduct

 

School decides to request expulsion

or change to interim alternative educational placement

for more than ten (10) days

 

Same day

School notifies parent of decision and procedural safeguards

 

Within ten (10) school days

Causal relationship conference considers:

A.

Evaluation and diagnostic results (including
relevant information from parents)

B.

Observations of student

C.

Student's IEP and placement

 

Causal relationship conference determines:

A.

Whether IEP and placement were appropriate
in relationship to the behavior, and

The services, supplementary aids, and behavior intervention strategies were provided consistent with the IEP and BIP.

B.

Whether disability impaired the student's ability to understand the impact and consequences of his/her behavior.

C.

Whether disability impaired the student's ability to control the behavior.

   

*

This determination may be made at the same conference where the behavioral assessment and plan are discussed.


 

   
   

Causal relationship exists if I.E.P.C.
answers "no" to #A or "yes" to #B or #C

No causal relationship

 

 
   
   

Follow school's expulsion procedures

I.E.P.C. determines if change in-services
is warranted

(See AG 5610) Send special education

records and disciplinary records

to expulsion examiner

 
 
 
 
 

Parent files request for due process

hearing. (If the student has been

placed in an interim educational

placement for weapons or drugs, the

student remains there unless the

forty-five (45) calendar day period

expires.)

 

     
       
       
 

Hearing officer reviews the causal

relationship decision (according to

above criteria)

Change in Placement by Hearing Officer of a Student who is Dangerous

Hearing officer may assign student to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting for not more than forty-five (45) calendar days IF school can demonstrate by substantial evidence:

 

A.

current placement is substantially likely to result in injury to self/others;

   
 

B.

appropriateness of current placement;

   
 

C.

school has made reasonable efforts to minimize risk of harm in current placement, including the use of supplementary aids and services;

   
 

D.

interim alternative educational setting is:

   
 

1.

determined by the I.E.P.C.;

   
 

2.

will enable the student to continue to participate in the general curriculum (although in another setting)

   
 

and

 
   
 

continue to receive services and modifications to enable student to meet IEP goals;

   
 

3.

will include services and modifications designed to address behavior so that it does not re-occur.

The hearing is an expedited procedure.

© Neola 2013