|Superintendent of Schools|
|Presidents of Boards of Education|
|Superintendents of State-Operated and State-Supported Schools|
|Executive Directors of Approved Private Schools|
|New York City Board of Education|
|Organizations, Parents and Individuals Concerned with Special Education|
|Commissioner's Advisory Panel for Special Education Services|
|SETRC Professional Development Specialists|
|Regional School Support Centers|
|Impartial Hearing Officers|
|Other State Agencies|
|FROM:||James P. DeLorenzo|
Important Information Regarding Amendments to the Regulations Relating to Behavioral Interventions, including Aversive Interventions - PDF (422KB)
The Board of Regents approved the permanent adoption of amendments to section 19.5 of the Rules of the Board of Regents and Part 200 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education. These regulations, which were substantially revised based on public comment, became effective on an emergency basis on January 16, 2007 and on a permanent basis on January 31, 2007. The regulations:
establish general standards for behavioral interventions, including assessments of student behavior, behavioral intervention plans, the use of time out rooms and emergency interventions.
- set a general prohibition on the use of aversive interventions, with a provision and procedures for a child-specific exception to this prohibition.
- establish standards for programs that provide aversive interventions as approved on a child-specific basis.
These regulations were adopted by the Board of Regents to provide standards for appropriate assessment and planning to address behaviors that impede the learning of a student with a disability or that of others and to protect the health and safety of all New York State (NYS) students. The regulations strengthen the State Education Departmentís (SEDís) authority to ensure that behavioral interventions are used in accordance with the highest standards of oversight and monitoring and in accordance with research-based practices. Prior to the adoption of these regulations, neither NYS Education Law nor Regulations prohibited the use of aversive behavioral interventions in school programs and there were no State standards or policies that would limit or provide required oversight of the administration of such interventions in school programs. The unregulated use of aversive interventions had potential for compromising the health and safety and the physical and psychological well being of students.
Attached is a summary of the amendments to section 19.5 of the Rules of the Board of Regents and sections 200.1, 200.4 and 200.7, 201.2 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education and addition of section 200.22 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education as adopted at the January Regents meeting. A full text of the regulations can be found at www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/behavioral/home.htm. All schools must take steps to review and revise their procedures consistent with the revised standards for functional behavioral assessments, behavioral intervention plans, use of time out rooms, and emergency interventions. These standards are essential to ensure that all schools appropriately assess and address student behaviors consistent with the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
Substantive revisions were made to the regulations relating to the use of behavioral interventions, including aversive interventions, since their first emergency adoption in June 2006, including revisions to the requirements for:
Behavioral intervention plans
Use of time out rooms
With regard to aversive interventions, the following revisions are highlighted:
Child-specific exceptions to use aversive interventions are authorized only for the 2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09 school years, provided that a student with an individualized education program (IEP) that includes aversive interventions as of June 30, 2009 may be provided a child-specific exception each subsequent year, unless the studentís IEP is revised to no longer include aversive interventions.
Each school that proposes to use aversive interventions must submit its policies and procedures prior to the use of such interventions and only those schools that have their policies and procedures approved by SED as of June 30, 2007 are authorized to use aversive interventions.
All preschool programs are prohibited, without exception, from using aversive interventions with preschool students.
No child-specific exceptions will be granted for interventions used as a consequence for behavior which are intended to induce pain or discomfort that include ice applications, hitting, slapping, pinching, deep muscle squeezes, use of an automated aversive conditioning device, the combined simultaneous use of physical or mechanical restraints and the application of an aversive conditioning device, the combined simultaneous use of physical or mechanical restraints and the application of an aversive intervention; withholding of sleep, shelter, bedding or bathroom facilities, denial or unreasonable delays in providing regular meals to the student that would result in a student not receiving adequate nutrition, placing a student unsupervised or unobserved in a room from which the student cannot exit without assistance, or other stimuli or actions similar to these interventions at the discretion of the Commissioner.
Public school district responsibilities to monitor the studentís program when aversive interventions are recommended, including site visits and CSE meetings at least every six months.
To ensure dissemination to appropriate individuals within a school district, I ask Superintendents to please share this memorandum with other individuals such as Building Principals, Directors of Special Education, School Psychologists, Committee on Special Education (CSE) and Committee on Preschool Special Education (CPSE) Chairpersons, Guidance Counselors and Directors of Pupil Personnel.
A guidance document on the new regulatory requirements including guidance relating to the assessment of student behaviors; development, implementation and progress monitoring of behavioral intervention plans; and the use of time out rooms and emergency interventions will be forthcoming. Questions regarding this memorandum may be directed to the Special Education Policy Unit at 518-473-2878 or to the Special Education Quality Assurance Office in your region:
Central Regional Office
Eastern Regional Office
Hudson Valley Regional Office
(518) 473-1185 or (914) 245-0010
Long Island Regional Office
New York City Regional Office
Western Regional Office
Attachment - Summary of Amendments to the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education - Effective January 16, 2007
Full Text of Final Amendments to Regulations of the Commissioner of Education Effective January 31, 2007