Once a special education student accrues more than 10 days of suspension, the IEP team must meet to determine if the problem causing the suspensions is a result of the student's disability. The team fills out and signs the Manifestation Determination form at this meeting. It must be held within 10 school days of the decision to suspend the student for any days after 10. It can be held when the parent picks up the student the same day the student is suspended if parents agree. (If the student does not already have a Functional Behavior Assessment, this also needs to be inititiated once 10 days of suspensions have been reached.) Parents need to be given an "Invitation to a Meeting" form, and they need to sign the bottom waiving their right to 10 days notice to meet. For many parents, this is more convenient than having to take another day off from work for another meeting. For extremely serious offenses, a special education supervisor will assist you and your principal with questions regarding the manifestation. Also, contact a special education supervisor if you have any questions. The Alternative School special education teacher has access to view IEPs of students who have been suspended.
When must a
MANIFESTATION DETERMINATION be conducted?
A child's IEP team must conduct a manifestation determination meeting whenever it proposes to change the educational placement of a student with disabilities by removing the student from school
for more than 10 days - consecutive OR cumulative - due to a violation of the school's code of conduct. A student cannot miss school on the 11th day of suspension unless a Manifestation has been completed.
What is the timeframe for conducting this IEP meeting
The school must conduct the IEP meeting within 10 school days of the decision to change the student's educational placement by removing the student from school for more than 10 days due to a violation of the school's code of conduct.
What must the IEP team review to determine whether the behavior is a manifestation of the child's disability?
The team must review all relevant information in the child's file, including the IEP, teacher observations, and information from the parent, to determine if the conduct in question was caused by or had a direct and substantial relationship to the disability or whether it was the direct result of the school's failure to implement the IEP.
What must the school do if the behavior was a manifestation of the disability?
A student cannot be suspended if the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of his/her disability.
The school must conduct a functional behavioral assessment, unless the school had conducted one previous to the behavioral incident which resulted in the change in placement, and implement a behavior intervention plan. If the school already had a behavior intervention plan in place prior to the incident, it must review the plan and modify it as necessary to address the behavior. The requirements for a functional behavioral assessment have not changed with IDEA 2004.
Where will the student's placement be if the behavior is a manifestation of the disability?
The student will be returned to the placement that was in effect prior to the removal unless the school and the parent agree otherwise. July 2005
When may a school remove a student to an interim alternative educational setting for 45 school days without conducting a manifestation determination?
There are three instances in which the school may remove a student for 45 school days without conducting a manifestation determination: 1) if a student carries a weapon to or possesses a weapon at school, on school premises or to or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the school or the Office of Public Instruction; 2) if a student knowingly possesses or uses illegal drugs, or sells or solicits the sale of a controlled substance while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the school or the Office of Public Instruction; 3) if a student has inflicted serious bodily injury upon another person while at school, on school premises, or at a school function under the jurisdiction of the school or the Office of Public Instruction.
What is the definition of "serious bodily injury"?
Serious bodily injury means bodily injury which involves a substantial risk of death; extreme physical pain; protracted and obvious disfigurement; or protracted loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member, organ, or mental faculty, as defined in federal statute (18 USC 1365).