PROCEDURAL SAFEGUARDS NOTICE
VIII. WHAT IF MY CHILD IS EXCLUDED FROM SCHOOL BECAUSE OF DISCIPLINE ISSUES?
THIS SECTION OUTLINES PROCEDURES FOR DISCIPLINARY EXCLUSION OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES.
There are special rules in Pennsylvania for excluding children with disabilities served by LEAs for disciplinary reasons. Unless indicated otherwise, children in charter schools follow the same procedures:
School personnel may consider any unique circumstances on a case-by-case basis, when determining whether a change of placement, made in accordance with the following requirements related to discipline, is appropriate for a child with a disability who violates a school code of student conduct.
To the extent that they also take such action for children without disabilities, school personnel may, for not more than 10 consecutive school days, remove a child with a disability (other than a child with mental retardation) who violates a code of student conduct from his or her current placement to an appropriate interim alternative educational setting, another setting, or suspension. School personnel may also impose additional removals of the child of not more than 10 consecutive school days in that same school year for separate incidents of misconduct, as long as those removals do not constitute a change of placement (see Change of Placement Because of Disciplinary Removals for the definition, below) or exceed 15 cumulative school days in a school year. Once a child with a disability has been removed from his or her current placement for a total of 10 school days in the same school year, the LEA must, during any subsequent days of removal in that school year, provide services to the extent required below under the sub-heading Services.
If the behavior that violated the student code of conduct was not a manifestation of the child’s disability (see Manifestation determination, below) and the disciplinary change of placement would exceed 10 consecutive school days, school personnel may apply the disciplinary procedures to that child with a disability in the same manner and for the same duration as it would to children without disabilities, except that the school must provide services to that child as described below under Services. The child’s IEP Team determines the interim alternative educational setting for such services. Under PA special education regulations (22 Pa. Code Sec. 14.143), a disciplinary exclusion of a student with a disability for more than 15 cumulative school days in a school year will be considered a pattern so as to be deemed a change in educational placement (explained under Change of Placement Because of Disciplinary Removals). The LEA is required to issue a NOREP/Prior Written Notice to parents prior to a removal that constitutes a change in placement (removal for more than 10 consecutive days or 15 cumulative days).
The services that must be provided to a child with a disability who has been removed from the child’s current placement may be provided to an interim alternative educational setting. A LEA is only required to provide services to a child with a disability who has been removed from his or her current placement for 10 school days or less in that school year, if it provides services to a child without disabilities who has been similarly removed. Students may have the responsibility to make up exams and work missed while being disciplined by suspension and may be permitted to complete these assignments within guidelines established by their LEA.
A child with a disability who is removed from the child’s current placement for more than 10 consecutive school days must:
Continue to receive educational services, so as to enable the child to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the child’s IEP;
Receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment, and behavioral intervention services and modifications that are designed to address the behavior violation so that it does not happen again.
20July 2008 Revisions