Chapter 8.1: General

    State Performance Plan (SPP):

    (See Overview in the Introduction for more information on the SPP.)

    SPP 4:
    Rates of suspension/expulsion
    A: Percent of districts identified by the state as having a significant discrepancy in the rate of suspensions and expulsions of children with disabilities for greater than 10 days in a school year; and
    B: Percent of districts identified by the state as having a significant discrepancy in the rates of suspensions and expulsions of greater than 10 days in a school year of children with disabilities by race and ethnicity. (20.U.S.C. 1416 (a)(3)(A); 1412(a)(22)) (Significant discrepancies in discipline rates are those in which the rates of suspensions and expulsions for children with disabilities exceed those for typical children by at least one percent.)

    Intent:

    To ensure that a child with a disability is not denied a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE) due to a behavior that may be the result of the child's disability.

    Timelines:

    See timelines by specific topic.

    REQUIREMENT

    3301-51-05
    (K) Conflict resolution
    (20) Authority of school personnel
    (b) General
    (i) School personnel under this rule may remove a child with a disability who violates a code of student conduct from the child’s current placement to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting, another setting, or suspension, for not more than ten consecutive school days in a school year (to the extent those alternatives are applied to children without disabilities), and for additional removals of not more than 10 consecutive school days in that same school year for separate incidents of misconduct (as long as those removals do not constitute a change of placement under paragraph (K)(26) of this rule).

    GUIDANCE

    General

    The terms discipline and punishment are often used interchangeably, but they do not have the same meaning. Discipline is instruction. Discipline teaches or reinforces skills that have a long-term positive effect on a child's behavior. Punishment is a "quick fix" and often does not solve a problem and, used in isolation, stops only the immediate behavior.

    School districts implementing effective school-wide behavioral support systems are equipped to implement the requirements of IDEA 2004 proactively.

    The rights specific to children with disabilities are included in the discipline provisions of IDEA 2004, as well as in provisions for developing a child's IEP.

    The IEP provisions require the IEP team to address behavior for "a child whose behavior impedes the child’s learning or that of others," and also requires the "use of positive behavioral interventions and supports and other strategies to address that behavior."

    Short term removals of not more than 10 consecutive school days in a school year may be utilized for children with disabilities without the provision of individualized education program (IEP) services.

    The functional behavior assessment (FBA) and behavioral intervention plan (BIP) that are mandatory in certain disciplinary situations should be viewed as tools to promote desirable behaviors in children. IEP teams use the FBA and BIP to proactively address the individual needs of children who exhibit challenging behavior. Used in this way, these processes compliment proactive, school-wide positive behavioral supports.

    In-school suspensions
    Removing a child from his or her assigned classroom for inappropriate behavior may constitute a removal. In-school suspensions are not counted if the child:

    • Is afforded the opportunity to continue to make appropriate progress in the general curriculum; and
    • Continues to receive the services designated on the IEP.

    However, if a child is removed from his or her current setting for part of a school day and is not afforded these benefits, the partial removals count toward the 10 cumulative school days. Any partial day of removal counts as a full day for the purposes of the cumulative 10-day rule.

    Transportation
    If transportation is included as a related service on the child’s IEP and is not being provided due to disciplinary removal(s), the child’s IEP is no longer being implemented and the total number of days missed in instruction must be counted in the 10 consecutive days of removal.

    If the child is transported to his or her special services or programs by other means (e.g., school reimbursed transportation by parents or relative, or by taxi, van or contracted services paid for by the school), the day(s) would not count toward the cumulative 10-day total.

    If a child's IEP does not include transportation as a related service and the child is removed from regular transportation and services are interrupted because the child is not able to attend school, the district does not count those days toward the 10 cumulative days of removal. This may, however, be a denial of a free appropriate public education (FAPE). The child's IEP team will need to determine if the child is being denied FAPE and if they can take appropriate steps to ensure that the child is provided FAPE.

    Districts should consider whether the behavior on the bus is similar to behavior in a classroom that is addressed in an IEP, and whether the child’s behavior on the bus should be addressed in the IEP or in a behavioral intervention plan for the child (Federal Register August 14, 2006 pg. 46715).

    REQUIREMENT

    3301-51-05
    (K)Conflict resolution
    (20) Authority of school personnel
    (h) Notification
    On the date on which the decision is made to make a removal that constitutes a change of placement of a child with a disability because of a violation of a code of conduct, the school district must notify the parents of the decision and provide the parents the procedural safeguards notice described in paragraph (I) of this rule.

    3301-51-05
    (H) Prior notice by the school district; content of notice
    (3) Notice in understandable language
    (a) The notice required under paragraph (H)(1) of this rule must be:

    (i) Written in language understandable to the general public; and
    (ii) Provided in the native language of the parent or other mode of communication used by the parent, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so.

    (b) If the native language or other mode of communication of the parent is not a written language, the school district must take steps to ensure:

    (i) That the notice is translated orally or by other means to the parent in the parent’s native language or other mode of communication;
    (ii)That the parent understands the content of the notice; and
    (iii) That there is written evidence that the above requirements in paragraphs (H0(3)(b)(i) and (H)(3)(b)(ii) of this rule have been met.

    GUIDANCE

    Procedural safeguards notice

    • School personnel must notify the parents the day the decision is made to remove a child, if that removal constitutes a change of placement, and must provide the parents the procedural safeguards notice Whose IDEA Is This? in the parents' native language, unless it is clearly not feasible to do so. If it is not feasible, school districts must ensure that the written notice is translated in written form or orally or by other means, so the parents understand the content of the notice.
    • Districts must make good faith efforts to notify the parents, and written evidence of the attempts must be kept. Efforts should include multiple methods and multiple attempts, such as phone calls, mail, home visits or using parent mentors. Districts should document attempts.

    REQUIREMENT

    3301-51-05
    (K)Conflict resolution
    (20) Authority of school personnel
    (a) Case-by-case determination
    School personnel may consider any unique circumstances on a case-by-case basis when determining whether a change in placement, consistent with the other requirements of this rule, is appropriate for a child with a disability who violates a code of student conduct.

    GUIDANCE

    Case by case determination: unique circumstances

    Factors such as a child’s disciplinary history, ability to understand consequences and expression of remorse, as well as supports provided to a child with a disability before the violation of a school code, could be unique circumstances considered by school personnel when determining whether a disciplinary change in placement is appropriate for a child with a disability (Federal Register, pg. 46714, August 14, 2006).

    REQUIREMENT

    3301-51-05
    (K) Conflict resolution
    (26) Change of placement because of disciplinary removals
    (a) For purposes of removals of a child with a disability from the child’s current educational placement under paragraphs (K)(20) to (K)(25) of this rule, a change of placement occurs if:

    (i) The removal is for more than 10 consecutive school days; or
    (ii) The child has been subjected to a series of removals that constitute a pattern:
    (a) Because the series of removals total more than 10 school days in a school year;
    (b) Because the child’s behavior is substantially similar to the child’s behavior in previous incidents that resulted in the series of removals; and
    (c) Because of such additional factors 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.

    GUIDANCE

    Change in placement

    A "change in placement" because of disciplinary removals is defined in 3301-51-05(C)(5)(a) as "a change from one option on the continuum of alternative placements to another."

    Short-term removals of 10 consecutive days or fewer in a school year do not constitute a change of placement. School personnel must decide if additional removals beyond the first removal for 10 consecutive school days constitute a change of placement.

    A change of placement occurs if:

    • The removal is for more than ten consecutive school days; or
    • The child has been subjected to a series of removals that constitute a pattern;
      (a) Because the series of removals total more than ten school days in a school year;
      (b) Because the child’s behavior is substantially similar to the child's behavior in previous incidents that resulted in the series of removals; and
      (c) Because of such additional factors 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.

    The school district determines on a case-by-case basis whether a pattern of removals constitutes a change of placement. School district personnel must review relevant information regarding the child's behavior, including the child's individual education program (IEP). School personnel should take into consideration the following questions:

    • Were the behaviors resulting in the initial 10 days of removal related to the child's disability?
    • Were a functional behavior assessment (FBA) conducted and a behavior intervention plan (BIP) put into place?
      • If the child's behavior impedes his or her learning or the learning of others, are there behavioral goals in the child's IEP?
      • If so, was the IEP implemented?
    • Are the code of conduct violations substantially similar? Do they constitute a pattern?
    • Has a review of discipline referrals for the past and present school years been conducted to identify any similarities? (See Discipline - 8.1 General).

    Case-by-case determination when there is a pattern of removals

    School personnel consider any unique circumstances:

    • The child’s disciplinary history;
    • The child’s ability to understand consequences;
    • The child’s expression of remorse; and
    • Supports provided or not provided the child with a disability before the violation of a code of conduct.

    REQUIREMENT

    3301-51-05
    (K) Conflict resolution
    (25) Referral to and action by law enforcement and judicial authorities
    Rule of construction. Nothing in this rule prohibits an agency from reporting a crime committed by a child with a disability to appropriate authorities or prevents state law enforcement and judicial authorities from exercising their responsibilities with regard to the application of federal and state law to crimes committed by a child with a disability. Transmittal of records shall be done in accordance with paragraph (R)(2) of rule 3301-51-04 of the Administrative Code.

    3301-51-04
    (R) Referral to and action by law enforcement and judicial authorities
    (2)Transmittal of records to authorities

    (a) A school district, county board of MRDD, and other educational agency reporting a crime committed by a child with a disability must ensure that copies of the special education and disciplinary records of the child are transmitted for consideration by the appropriate authorities to whom the agency reports the crime.
    (b) A school district, county board of MR/DD and other educational agency reporting a crime under this rule shall transmit copies of the child’s special education and disciplinary records only to the extent the transmission is permitted by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, August 1974, 20 U.S.C. 1232g (FERPA).

    GUIDANCE

    Transmittal of records to authorities

    "In an emergency, FERPA permits school officials to disclose, without consent, education records, including personally identifiable information from those records, to protect the health or safety of children or other individuals. At such times, records and information may be released to appropriate parties such as law enforcement officials, public health officials and trained medical personnel. This exception is limited to the period of the emergency and generally does not allow for a blanket release of personally identifiable information from a child's education records." (U.S. Department of Education, Family Policy Compliance Office,Balancing Student Privacy and School Safety: A Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act for Elementary and Secondary Schools. Retrieved January 2007 @ FERPA@ED.Gov.)

    REQUIREMENT

    Maintain data on rates of suspension and expulsions

    3301-51-03
    (C) Disproportionality
    (1) General
    The Ohio Department of Education and each school district must provide for the collection and examination of data to determine if significant disproportionality based on race and ethnicity is occurring in the state and the school districts of the state with respect to:

    (c) The incidence, duration, and type of disciplinary actions, including suspensions and expulsions.

    (2) Review and revision of policies, practices, and procedures
    In the case of a determination of significant disproportionality with respect to the identification of children with disabilities, or the placement in particular education settings of these children, in accordance with paragraph (C)(1) of this rule, the Ohio Department of Education must:

    (a) Provide for the review and, if appropriate, revision of the policies, procedures, and practices used in the identification or placement to ensure that the policies, procedures, and practices comply with the requirements of the IDEA.
    (c) Require the school district to publicly report on the revision of policies, practices, and procedures described under paragraph (C)(2)(a) of this rule.

    (D) Data Reporting
    (1) Each school district shall maintain an education management information system and submit data to the Ohio Department of Education pursuant to rule 3301-14-01 of the Administrative Code.

    GUIDANCE

    Maintain data on rates of suspension and expulsions

    School district personnel submit disciplinary data to the Ohio Department of Education through the Educational Management Information System (EMIS). Child discipline data elements that are reported are:

    • Building Internal Retriever Number (IRN) where discipline incident took place;
    • Date of discipline;
    • Discipline reason;
    • Discipline sequence number – the order in which the discipline incident occurred;
    • Whether or not the child was referred for Alternate Educational Services;
    • Total discipline days; and
    • Type of discipline.

    School district personnel maintain and use disciplinary data such as office referrals and suspension and expulsion records so that potential problems may be identified and proactive approaches can be used to provide positive behavioral supports and interventions for all children.

     

Last Modified: 7/10/2013 1:13:43 PM