TIME SENSITIVE: Changes to Statutory Restraint and Seclusion Requirements Effective July 1, 2018

On July 12, 2018, Special Education Bureau Chief, Bryan Klimkiewicz, issued a TIME SENSITIVE memorandum to the field regarding changes to the statutory restraint and seclusion requirements. Please review this important memorandum below.

Changes to Statutory Restraint and Seclusion Requirements (003)

New Memorandum Regarding Restraint and Seclusion in Schools

As you are aware, effective July 1, 2015, the Connecticut legislature passed new legislation, PA 15-141, that places significant limits on the use of restraint and seclusion in Connecticut schools.  This new legislation provides revisions to previous restraint and seclusion legislation, the implementation of which is further articulated in the current Special Education Regulations related to Restraint and Seclusion in Schools.   Attached you will find a memo from Dr. Isabelina Rodriguez, Chief, summarizing PA 15-141 and providing links to new guidance and resources.  Click below for memo.

New Legislation for Public Act 15-141

 

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

You Can Search Topics from Past Bureau Bulletins, Bureau Blogs and Bureau Updates!

The Bureau of Special Education currently offers several resources to assist you in searching for topics discussed in past Bureau Bulletin articles, Bureau Blogs and Bureau Updates.

For topics appearing in articles from Fall 2011 through the present, please use the search feature located at the top of the current Bureau Bulletin home page: https://ctspecialednews.org/

For topics appearing in articles from Spring 2010 through Fall 2011, please use the following directory which will bring you to the edition of the bulletin in which an article with your topic appears: Bureau Bulletin Article Directory Spring 2010-Fall 2011

For topics in articles from Summer 2008 through Spring 2010, please use the following directory which, again, will bring you to the edition of the bulletin in which an article with your topic appears: Bureau Bulletin Article Directory Summer 2008-Spring 2010

You may also access past editions of Bureau Blogs and Bureau Updates from September 1996 up to Summer 2008 through the Bureau of Special Education Web page: http://www.sde.ct.gov/sde/cwp/view.asp?a=2678&q=320720

It is our hope to bring each of these resources together under one easily searchable index in the future. In the meantime, we hope these resources will assist you in your research. For questions related to this article, please contact Jay Brown at 860-713-6918 or jay.brown@ct.gov.

U.S. Department of Education Issues a Resource Document that Discourages Restraint and Seclusion

On May 15, 2012, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development Assistant Secretary Carmel Martin and White House Office of Public Engagement & Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy, Kareem Dale, announced the release of a resource document on Restraint and Seclusion.

The U.S. Department of Education issued a publication that outlines principles for educators, parents and other stakeholders to consider when developing or refining policies and procedures to support positive behavioral interventions and avoid the use of restraint and seclusion.

The goal of this resource document is to help ensure that schools are safe and healthy environments where all students can learn, develop and participate in instructional programs that promote high levels of academic achievement.

We strongly encourage all constituents to review the full resource document. Please follow the link below to access the document. If you have any questions as to how this relates to Connecticut law regarding seclusion and restraint, please contact Colleen Hayles at 860-713-6922 or colleen.hayles@ct.gov.

Restraint and Seclusion Resource Document – US Department of Education

Restraint and Seclusion Reminders

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 colleen.hayles@ct.gov or 860-713-6922 if you have questions regarding this matter.

Restraint and Seclusion memo 2-22-11