The restraint and seclusion regulations became effective May 7, 2009, when the regulations were filed with the Secretary of the State. In addition to requiring that staff be appropriately trained in the use of restraint and seclusion, the regulations require the recording and reporting of instances of the emergency use of physical restraint or seclusion consistent with the requirements of Section 46a‐153 of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Section 3 of Public Act 07‐147.
Below please find a link to the guidance memo sent to Special Education and Pupil Personnel Directors, Directors of Education at Approved Private Special Education Programs (APSEP) and Directors of Special Education within Regional Education Service Centers (RESC) in February of 2011, which articulates current notification and reporting requirements and expectations.
Districts are also reminded that appropriate oversight of restraint and seclusion policies and practices are critical, including regular review of policies and procedures regarding restraint and seclusion. As detailed in a circular letter from Commissioner McQuillan to Superintendents on August 16, 2007, http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/pdf/circ/circ07-08/C5.pdf, page 12, at initial planning and placement team meetings, boards of education must provide the parent, guardian, surrogate parent or pupil with information about the laws and regulations concerning physical restraint and seclusion in schools (Sections 1 to 5, inclusive, effective October 1, 2007). A plain language notification regarding the restraint and seclusion regulations is available in both English and Spanish on the CSDE/BSE website at http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2678&Q=320730#Legal. Additionally, best practice indicates that this information also be shared with parents of currently identified students at the annual review or next scheduled PPT. Staff needs to be well trained and continuously educated regarding proper use of restraint and seclusion and policy guidelines.
A Note for APSEPs and RESCs
Approved Private Special Education Programs as well as Regional Education Service Center special education programs are reminded that P.A. 99-210 (An Act Concerning Physical Restraint of Persons with Disabilities) requires special education programs to report to the Commissioner of Education any incident in which the use of physical restraint or seclusion within the program results in physical injury to a student. This written report must include the name of the student; the student’s date of birth; the student’s disability; the date, time and location of the injury; a description and cause of the injury; and indication whether or not the student was in restraint at the time of the injury, as well as the total number hours the student was in restraint within the previous 24 hours. Any other further actions, including on-site first aid and medical intervention, or investigations taken by your facility must also be noted, along with the name and full address of the facility. The report should be forwarded, within two business days of the incident, to Colleen Hayles of the Bureau of Special Education. In the event that the report contains information regarding a serious injury or death, that information will also be reported to the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities and, if appropriate, to the Office of Child Advocate. With regard to a definition of “serious injury,” the CSDE is using the same definition that is being used by the Department of Children and Families (DCF). Specifically, “a serious injury is an injury that requires medical attention beyond which would be included in the category of routine first aid.” Examples of such medical attention include sutures, diagnostic x-rays to determine fractures, placement in casts, etc. Please contact Colleen Hayles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 860-713-6922 if you have questions regarding this matter.