Special Education

Questions and Answers - Self Review for Disproportionality by Race/Ethnicity in Disciplinary Actions By Type/Length

Questions and Answers - Self Review for Disproportionality by Race/Ethnicity in Disciplinary Actions By Type/Length - Word word document (50 KB)

Q1: For districts selecting 20 or 30 student records to review, should those records be aligned with the reasons for identification, or should they be a sampling across disciplinary actions/race?  For example:

  • If a district is only identified for in-school suspension less than 11 days for one race, would they only review records of students of that race who had short-term in-school suspensions, or should the records reviewed include a sampling of all disciplinary action categories (in and out of school, less than 11 and greater than 10 days) for that race?
  • If a district is identified for more than one reason/race, would they choose a single set of 20 or 30 records across disciplinary actions/races?

A1: The “Checklist to Complete the Self-Review” (Attachment 1) provides guidance on how to select a sample of student records to be reviewed.  The district must:

  • compile a list of all students with disabilities suspended for more than 10 days in the school year in which the data indicated a significant discrepancy, and/or
  • by the type of disciplinary action for the race/ethnicity group identified for disproportionality.
  • For school districts with more than 20 and less than 200 students on the list, randomly select 20 student records.  Add to the number of records to be reviewed if, based on the record reviews, inconclusive patterns of policy implementation are found.

For districts identified for both Indicators 4A and 4B and/or disproportionality identifications by disciplinary action:

    • select the student records to be representative of the student population and school buildings as required for 4A, and
    • add all or a significant number of students from the identified group.

Q2:    Is it correct that when there are multiple reasons for the district’s identification, there is still only a single data submission and single plan identifying noncompliance and improvement activities?

A2: Yes.  A district is required to complete only one Self-Review Monitoring Protocol, regardless of the number of reasons for identification.  A sample of students is selected for review based on the reason(s) that the district was identified.  The Self-Review is then used to assess the sample of students in six areas related to suspension. Corrective action and improvement activities are recorded on Attachment 2 of the Protocol for any noncompliance identified in each of the six areas that are examined.  A single report is submitted to the Department, but it requires the district to provide an assurance that their policies, procedures and practices are in compliance for each regulatory citation in each of the six areas examined in the Self-Review.

Q3:    There is a requirement to publicly report (e.g., public meeting, posting on school district website) on the revision of policies, practices, and procedures.  Can that be at a board meeting?  Would that suffice?

A3:A school board meeting is one way to publicly report on the revision of policies, practices and procedures.  Other methods could include public notice in the local newspaper, posting on the school’s website, etc.

Q4:    On Attachment 2 (Monitoring Protocol) there is a requirement for naming of community representatives from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds who participated in the review.  Is there any guidance for the selection of those community members?

A4:     The purpose of including community representatives from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds is to provide increased objectivity and perspective to the review process.  When included, the community representative should participate only in the meetings to develop recommendations and should not be given access to confidential student record information.

Definition of In-School Suspension

Q5a:  When the student remains in the school he or she regularly attends, but receives instruction in another room for disciplinary reasons (Discipline Procedures for Students with Disabilities, 2001), are there time parameters regarding amount of instructional time or length of day?

A5a:   When a student is removed from his or her regular classes and placed in in-school suspension, the instructional time or length of the day is the same as it would be if the student was in his/her regular classes.

Q5b:  Is there guidance regarding the qualifications of instructors in in-school suspension settings (e.g., certified teachers, teaching assistants (TAs), etc.)?

A5b:   Teachers assigned to in-school suspension classes must be appropriately certified.

Q5c:  Is there guidance regarding the staff-student ratio when students with disabilities are in in-school suspension (ISS)?  For example, if a student’s individualized education program (IEP) specifies a particular class size, does that apply to ISS?

A5c:   Yes, if a student does not receive his/her IEP services while in in-school suspension, the removal must be treated as though it was an out-of-school suspension. 

Q6:    Q/A#11 in the “Discipline Procedures for Students With Disabilities” manual, 2001, states that in-school suspensions would not constitute a removal as long as the student is afforded the opportunity to continue to:

  • appropriately progress in the general curriculum;
  • receive the services specified in the IEP; and
  • participate with nondisabled children to the extent they would have in their current placement.

Can you outline what the indicators would be for this last bullet?

A6:     The IEP identifies the extent of the school day that a student will or will not participate in general education classes and/or activities.  

Review of a Record Related to In-School Suspensions

Q7a:  Monitoring Protocol, Section II (IEP) - Attachment 2, page 5
Under the title line, the description states, “The IEPs of students with disabilities suspended for 10 days or more must be reviewed to ensure they include positive behavioral supports and services a student with a disability needs to prevent the occurrence of a behavior.”  Would we review this section for in-school suspensions?   If yes, it would appear that the first two citations would apply, but the third citation reference to manifestation team determinations (§201.4(e)) would be a “not applicable”.  Is this correct?

A7a:   If a school is identified for in-school suspension only, the regulatory requirements for students suspended for 10 days or more and manifestation determinations do not apply, unless the in-school suspension needs to be counted as a removal because the student was not provided his or her IEP services during the in-school suspension.  However, schools must ensure that the requirements for functional behavioral assessments (FBAs) in §200.4(b)(1)(v) were met and that students’ IEPs were developed to address behaviors from reoccurring.  Also, in addition to the requirement for behavior intervention plans (BIPs) for out-of-school suspensions, §200.22(b) requires that the Committee on Special Education (CSE) consider the development of a behavior plan when the:
(i)   student exhibits persistent behaviors that impede his or her learning or that of others, despite consistently implemented general school-wide or classroom-wide interventions;
(ii)  student’s behavior places the student or others at risk of harm or injury; and
(iii) CSE is considering more restrictive programs or placements as a result of the student’s behavior. 

Q7b:  Monitoring Protocol, Section III (Behavioral Intervention Plans) - Attachment 2, page 7 - It would appear that the second citation (§201.3) in section III relating to BIPs would also be “not applicable” since it refers to a manifestation determination, which is not done for in-school suspensions.  Is this correct?

A7b:   Yes

Q7c:  Monitoring Protocol, Section III (Manifestation Determinations) - Attachment 2, page 9 - It would appear that this entire section would be “not applicable” since it refers to manifestation determination, which is not done for in-school suspensions.  Is this correct?

A7c:   Yes

Q7d:  Monitoring Protocol, Section V (General Procedures for Disciplinary Removals) – Attachment 2, page 11 - It would appear that this entire section would be “not applicable” since in-school suspensions are not considered removals or disciplinary changes in placement.  Is this correct?

A7d:   Yes       

Last Updated: April 19, 2012