February 2007




District Superintendents

  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 PDF Document (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:


            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.htmAll 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:

          With regard to aversive interventions, the following revisions are highlighted:

            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

(315) 428-3287

Eastern Regional Office

(518) 486-6366

Hudson Valley Regional Office

(518) 473-1185 or (914) 245-0010

Long Island Regional Office

(631) 884-8530

New York City Regional Office

(718) 722-4544

Western Regional Office

(585) 344-2002


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