Request for Public Input from USOE needed by 1/15/2015
ATTENTION TIME SENSITIVE:
The Utah State Office of Education is requesting public input on two key documents that have been recently revised related to behavior interventions in Utah’s public schools.
R277-609 –Standards for LEA Discipline Plans and Emergency Safety Interventions
Least Restrictive Behavior Interventions (LRBI) Guidelines for Students with Disabilities
Please see the following letter from Carol Anderson, Educational Specialist, Behavioral Supports/Mental Health Needs, Utah State Office of Education which explains the issues, includes the links to the documents and asks some specific questions for the public to address.
Letter from Carol Anderson
Dear Colleagues and Stakeholders,
As you are aware, for the past year and a half, under the direction of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Smith, USOE staff have been working to revise
two existing key documents:
- R277-609 – Standards for LEA Discipline Plans and Emergency Safety Interventions.
- Least Restrictive Behavior Interventions (LRBI) Guidelines for Students with Disabilities.
Through the current public input process it was determined that USBE Rule 277-609 — Standards for LEA Discipline Plans and Emergency Safety Interventions would be the proper rule in which to include guidance on the implementation of Emergency Safety Interventions (ESIs).
R277-609 has been revised based on the information received from public input meetings, with the need to ensure restraint and seclusionary time out protections for all Utah public education students. At this time in Utah, protections are in place only for students with disabilities (i.e., Utah State Board of Education Special Education Rules) and students in hospitals and treatment centers (i.e., Children’s Health Act).
Further, the LRBI Guidelines were revised based on stakeholder work and feedback regarding the need to update the research and evidence-base that has been published since the document was last revised in 2007. In addition, stakeholders proposed that the LRBI be revised to be a comprehensive document which includes/references all existing statute and Board Rule regarding discipline, positive behavior support, etc., as well as to address the behavior support needs of all students, rather than limit guidance to students with disabilities.
Request for Review and Input
A flier with information regarding the process and timelines for public input is attached, as well as copies of the draft R277-609 and draft LRBI. Stakeholder feedback is requested from all Utah stakeholders with an interest in public education, including superintendents, educators, related service providers, school and district administrators, counselors, parents, advocates, community members, and students. In addition, attached to this email is a copy of a document for your reference which outlines the alignment between to state codes, USBE rules and section within LRBI.
Input may be provided on any part of the two documents, but specifically is requested regarding the following questions:
- Should LRBI continue to be guidelines/technical assistance or changed to Administrative Rule? What would be pros and cons of each?
- Should R277-609 include destruction of property as an allowable reason for restraint (current evidence-base cautions against it, but current statute allows it)?
- Are the definitions included in R277-609 clear and adequate?
- Does the LRBI document include adequate measures to address prevent inappropriate behavior?
- How will both documents align the efforts of all educators and administrators and assist students in becoming college and career ready?
- Are the review and reporting requirements reasonable for incidents of restraint and seclusion for all students?
- What resources would be needed to ensure appropriate professional development as a result of both documents?
Timelines and Anticipated Actions
These documents were released for public review the week of October 20, 2014, and a second release on December 15th, 2014 the public was and will continue to be notified in a variety of methods and multiple opportunities will be provided for input. The three month time period for public review is provided due to the length and potential impact of these proposed changes.
At this time, it is anticipated that input received in writing by January 15, 2015will be reviewed and a summary presented to the State Board, along with any document revisions, at the February 2015 State Board meeting.
Carol Joy Anderson
Educational Specialist, Behavioral Supports/Mental Health Needs
Utah State Office of Education