Danedri Thompson
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In a brief Sept. 14 meeting, school board members approved a few policies related to special education students.
One policy is a requirement of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004. It ensures that the Gardner Edgerton School District meets all eligibility criteria and lists 21 things the board policy is to ensure the district is doing correctly each year.
“It ensures that we are implementing (Individualized Education Plans or IEPs) as we’re supposed to,” Judy Martin, USD 231 director of special services, told board members.”
Board members also amended a policy that deals with restraint and seclusion of students. The amendment to the district’s emergency safety intervention policy was necessitated by a Kansas law, Freedom from Unsafe Restraint and Seclusion, passed during the last legislative session.
The bill allows restraint or seclusion of students only when it appears they may present a reasonable and immediate danger of physical harm to themselves or others.
The policy amendment includes this additional new wording: “A school employee witnessing the student’s behavior must determine whether less restrictive alternatives to Emergency Safety Interventions, such as positive behavior interventions support, are appropriate or ineffective prior to the use of Emergency Safety Interventions. The use of Emergency Safety Interventions must cease as soon as the immediate danger of physical harm ceases to exist. Violent action that is destructive of property may necessitate the use of Emergency Safety Intervention.”
The amendment also added language to existing policy that disallows the use of seclusion if a student’s healthcare provider provides documentation that such intervention may put the student in mental or physical danger.
The changes also require that the district notify parents of the use of restraint or seclusion the day it occurs, and makes provisions for how the district will handle a student that must be restrained or secluded three times in one school year. In those instances, the school district must arrange a meeting with with parents, IEP teams and educators to develop a behavior intervention plan.