NEW – IMPORTANT INFORMATION regarding RESTRAINT and SECLUSION Data Collection

The Connecticut Legislature recently passed Public Act No. 12-88 which amends section 46a-153 of the Connecticut General Statutes and requires that the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) collect data from each individual school district regarding the use of restraint and seclusion with those children receiving special education or being evaluated to determine their eligibility for special education.  Information regarding the “Restraint and Seclusion Data Collection” has been shared with district data managers as part of the Bureau of Data Collection, Research and Evaluation (BDCRE) Data Collection Trainings in August and September 2012.  Information has also been made available to directors of special education and other participants at the 2012 Bureau of Special Education’s Annual Back to School Meeting.

The statutory language states that each local and regional board of education, institution and facility that provides special education for a child shall record each instance of the use of physical restraint or seclusion on a child, specify whether the use of seclusion was in accordance with an individualized education program or whether the use of physical restraint or seclusion was an emergency, including the nature of the emergency that necessitated its use, and  include such information in an annual compilation on its use of such restraint and seclusion on children.

Under this section, local and regional boards of education, institutions and facilities that provide special education for children shall not be required to report instances of in-school suspensions, as defined in subsection (c) of section 10-233a.

The State Board of Education shall review the annual compilation of each local and regional board of education, institution and facility that provides special education for children and shall produce an annual summary report identifying the frequency of use of physical restraint or seclusion on such children and specifying whether the use of such seclusion was in accordance with an individualized education program or whether the use of such physical restraint or such seclusion was an emergency. Such report shall be submitted on an annual basis not later than February 15, 2013, and December fifteenth of each year thereafter to the select committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to children for inclusion in the annual report card prepared pursuant to section 2-53m.

If the use of such restraint or seclusion results in physical injury to the person, the local or regional board of education, institution or facility that provides special education for a child shall report the incident to the State Board of Education, which shall include such incident in the report required pursuant to subsection of this section, and the institution or facility shall report the incident to the commissioner of the state agency that has jurisdiction or supervisory control over the institution or facility. The State Board of Education and the commissioner receiving a report of such an incident shall report any incidence of serious injury or death to the director of the Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities and, if appropriate, to the Child Advocate of the Office of Child Advocate.

An outline of the data to be collected for the 2011-2012 school year, as well as the collection of future real-time data to be initiated moving forward, is attached.  Please note the information provided regarding the data definitions and specific data fields.  The data definitions and specific fields may require closer attention to ensure clarity regarding the data being maintained by schools/ districts versus the specific data to be reported through the new Restraint and Seclusion Data Collection System.  All fields required for the data collection are reflected in the Incident Report of Seclusion and Incident Report of Restraint on the CSDE website: http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/PDF/DEPS/Special/FEBSeclusion.pdf; http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/lib/sde/PDF/DEPS/Special/FEBRestraint.pdf

Please review the attached document below (Notes Regarding Restraint and Seclusion Data Collection) with special attention to the notes to make certain that the data reported accurately reflects CSDE definitions of restraint and seclusion and the requirements set forth in the legislation.

Notes Regarding Restraint and Seclusion Data Collection