15 Manifestation Determination


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 Chapter Revision Date:

Manifestation Determination 

Chapter revision date:10/2017

A manifestation determination is a meeting to decide whether or not the conduct subject to disciplinary action was a manifestation of the student’s disability.  These procedures apply to any student eligible for special education services or who is suspected of having a disability.  

The following is a list of the significant changes in discipline procedures under IDEA 04:

IDEA 04

Changed to 45 school days

Adds removal for serious bodily injury

Changed to two questions focusing on the relationship of the conduct to the disability and whether or not the IEP was being implemented:

1.Was the conduct caused by, or did the conduct have a direct and substantial relationship to, the child’s disability?

2.Was the conduct the direct result of the district’s failure to implement the IEP?

IDEA 04

According to the Code of Federal Regulations (34 C.F.R. section 300.534), if a student has not been determined to be eligible for special education services and has engaged in behavior that violated a code of student conduct, the student is protected under manifestation determination proceedings if the District had knowledge that the student was a student with a disability (or suspected disability) before the behavior that precipitated the disciplinary action occurred. The District is determined to have knowledge if any of the following occurred:

  • The parent of the student expressed concern in writing to supervisory or administrative personnel of the appropriate educational agency, or a teacher of the child, that the child is in need of special education and related services;
  • The parent of the student requested an evaluation of the child; or
  • The teacher of the student, or other personnel of the District, expressed specific concerns about a pattern of behavior demonstrated by the child directly to the director of special education of the District or to other supervisory personnel of the District

The District is NOT determined to have knowledge if any of the following occurred:

  • The parent of the student has not allowed an evaluation of the student;
  • The parent has refused services for the student;
  • The student has been evaluated and determined not to be a student with a disability

According to federal and state laws, the IEP team must conduct a manifestation determination review and hold an IEP team meeting when a student who is receiving special education services has engaged in behavior for which expulsion is recommended, or if a change in placement occurs.

A change of placement is defined as:

  • A removal for more than 10 consecutive school days or a series of removals that constitute a pattern.

A pattern is defined as:

  • Removal from school for more than 10 cumulative school days; and
  • Removals were for a similar conduct
  • Length, total time and proximity of removals to each other

In the case of a suspension or a pattern of suspensions that result in the student being removed from his/her current placement for more than 10 school days within one school year, a manifestation determination review and IEP team meeting must be held.

15.1            Suspension

Manifestation determinations must be made when there is a change in the student’s placement based on the student’s suspensions.

In addition to all time lines associated with suspensions requiring a manifestation determination, the following applies to any student eligible for special education services or who is suspected of having a disability:

Incident

Timeline

Action

Suspension requiring manifestation determination

Within 10 school days of a change of placement.

Conduct a manifestation determination review to determine:

Ø  If the conduct was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child’s disability; or

Ø  If the conduct was the direct result of the district’s failure to implement the IEP

If the determination is made that the behavior is a manifestation of the student’s disability (e.g. causal), then one of the following MUST occur:

 

Ø  Create an amendment IEP event

Ø  If the student has a current BIP, review the BIP and revise as necessary or;

Ø  If the student does not currently have a behavior intervention plan, the team will create one or;

Ø  Determine the need for additional information to update the behavior plan and open an assessment plan for conducting a Functional Behavior Analysis (FBA) FBA resulting in a revised BIP.

Student returns to placement from which student was removed unless the parent and district agree to a change in placement as part of the creation or modification of the BIP.

Suspension

 

Removal for more than 10 school days within the same school year.

 

 

 

 

At the amendment IEP meeting:

 

·      Through consultation with the student’s teachers determine the extent to which services are needed for the duration of the suspension, if any, and the location in which services, if any, will be provided.  If it is determined that a revision to services are needed for the student to continue to participate in the general education curriculum and to progress towards meeting IEP goals, document this information on the Team Action Page how and where services will be provided.

·      Upon completion of this period of suspension, the student returns to the placement from which he/she was removed, unless parents and district agree to a change in placement.

·      If parents do not agree to a change of placement, contact the Program Office.

 

  Note pic.jpgBoth the IEP team meeting to conduct changes as a result of the manifestation determination review and the IEP team meeting to develop an assessment plan or revise an existing behavior plan can be done at the same time.

  Note pic.jpgOnce a student’s cumulative suspension totals 5 days, it is recommended that the IEP team holds a manifestation determination review to determine if any changes to the IEP are needed and/or if a behavior intervention plan needs to be revised or developed. Another meeting must be held if the student continues to be suspended and reaches 10 cumulative days of suspension for the school year.

15.2            Expulsion

In the case of a student being recommended for expulsion, a manifestation determination review is conducted and an IEP team is held to update the IEP for the student. If the student does not have an IEP and a disability is suspected then an assessment plan should be offered.  

Note pic.jpgThe chart below states that, according to the law, the manifestation determination must be within 10 school days of the date of the decision to recommend the student for expulsion.  It is recommended that manifestation determination meetings be held within 5 school days of the date of the decision to recommend the student for expulsion in order to allow the Placement and Appeals Office sufficient time to hold the expulsion hearing.


 In addition to all time lines associated with expulsion, the following time lines apply to special education students:

IncidentTimelineAction
ExpulsionOn the date of decision to recommend expulsionParents are notified of decision to expel and given procedural safeguards
Expulsion Within 10 school days of the date of the decision to expel Manifestation determination review is conducted and an IEP team meeting is held
ExpulsionAfter the first 10 days of suspension pending expulsionConduct a manifestation determination review to determine: Ø  If the conduct was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child’s disability; orØ  If the conduct was the direct result of the district’s failure to implement the IEP If the determination is made that the behavior is a manifestation of the student’s disability (e.g. causal), then one of the following MUST occur: Ø  Create an amendment IEP eventØ  If the student has a current BIP, review the BIP and revise as necessary or;Ø  If the student does not currently have a behavior intervention plan, the team will create one or; Ø  Determine the need for additional information to update the behavior plan and open an assessment plan for conducting a Functional Behavior Analysis (FBA) FBA resulting in a revised BIP; orStudent returns to placement from which student was removed unless the parent and district agree to a change in placement as part of the modification of the BIP.

Both the manifestation determination review AND the IEP team meeting to develop an assessment plan for an FBA or revise an existing behavior intervention plan can be done at the same time.

15.3            Manifestation Determination Meeting

In order to determine if the student’s behavior which resulted in their suspension from school or recommendation for expulsion was a manifestation of the student’s disability, a manifestation determination review must be conducted and meeting held for any student eligible for special education services or a student suspected of having a disability.

Although the manifestation determination review is not part of an IEP, it is recommended that an amendment IEP be held to make changes to the IEP.  IEP team members should be in attendance including:

  • Administrator or Administrative designee
  • Parent/Guardian
  • Student (if appropriate or over the age of 16)
  • School psychologist
  • Case Manager
  • Special education teacher (if different)
  • General education teacher (if the student is or may be participating in the general education environment)
  • Relevant related services providers

The meeting must be held within the required time lines whether or not the parent can attend.  Parent must be given notice of the meeting early enough to be able to participate.  If Parent requests an extension to be able to attend, a mutually agreeable time should be decided upon to enable their participation.

The IEP team must consider, in terms of the behavior subject to suspension or expulsion, all relevant information, including:

  • Evaluation and diagnostic results
  • Results or other relevant information supplied by the parents of the student
  • Observations of the student
  • Student’s IEP and placement 

 15.4            Placement Recommendations

15.4.1          Suspension Requiring Manifestation Determination

If…
  

 

Then…
The IEP team determines that the behavior is non-causal Proceed with suspending the student.  If the total days of suspension exceeds 10 school days, school site personnel must meet with the student’s teacher to determine what, if any, services are needed and where those services would be provided to the student.
The IEP team determines that the behavior is causal but that a different placement is not neededHold an IEP team meeting to address behavior.
The IEP team determines that the behavior is causal and that a different placement is appropriate (such as a more restrictive environment)Hold an IEP team meeting.  Write a new IEP with placement offer. 
The IEP team determines that the student needs a new placement because he/she is a substantial danger to themselves or othersHold an IEP team meeting.  Write a new IEP with placement recommendations. If parents do not agree to a change of placement, contact the Program Office.

  Note pic.jpgWhen addressing behavior, consider the following options: 

  • Create, review, or revise the current behavior intervention plan
  • If additional data is needed, develop an assessment plan for a FBA
  • Make a referral for a mental health assessment, if appropriate
  • Consider additional support resources   (See Section 44:  Mental Health Services)

15.4.2          Expulsion

If…Then…
The IEP team determines that the behavior is non-causal The expulsion process proceeds
The IEP team determines that the behavior is causal  In the manifestation meeting, address the student’s placement.  Student’s placement cannot be changed without parent consent.  If parents disagree with placement offer, contact the district level support person or the Program Office. 
The student engaged in a drug or weapon violation or committed an act of serious bodily injury and IEP team determined that the behavior was causalStudent may be placed in an IAES for up to 45 school days whether or not parent agrees to a change in placement.IEP services must be provided in the IAES.

 

              Only a hearing officer can order a change of placement if the parent disagrees with the IEP team’s offer, except for placing the student into an IAES for up to 45 school days for the reasons stated above

15.5            Roles and Responsibilities of School Personnel

 On the date that the decision is made to recommend a student for expulsion from school, the site administrator must:

  • Determine whether the student involved is currently enrolled in a special education program
  • Consult with their special education staff to determine whether the student had been referred for assessment or if an assessment is pending
  • Notify the student’s case manager of the decision to recommend expulsion
  • Notify the student’s parents of the decision to recommend expulsion, their procedural safeguards (by providing them a copy) and their right to participate in the manifestation determination IEP team meeting
  • Send the paperwork regarding suspension notification, expulsion recommendation and discipline record to Placement and Appeals within two days of the occurrence of the expellable act.
  • Attend the Manifestation Determination meeting. 
  • Immediately notify Placement and Appeals as to the outcome of the IEP team meeting and transfer the necessary paperwork (including the new IEP or first page of previous IEP and addendum with signatures) to Placement and Appeals whether or not the case is causal.

It is the case manager’s responsibility to:

  • Notify the parents of their rights
  • Arrange the meeting date and place
  • Hold the manifestation determination review and corresponding IEP amendment meeting
  • Complete the Manifestation Determination Documentation and submit it to Placement and Appeals along with a copy of page 1 and 2 of the student’s IEP and the Team Action Page.
  • Copy either the new IEP, if one is developed, or first page of previous IEP and addendum and immediately provide copies to the site administrator.

    Note pic.jpgThe meeting is not to appeal the underlying incident.  The district has a process to allow parents to appeal a suspension or expulsion.  The team should remain focused on determining if the incident was a manifestation of the student’s disability.