There are five themes in the federal and state regulations that guide ACPS discipline requirements for students with disabilities:
- All students deserve safe, well-disciplined schools and orderly learning environments grounded in the framework of positive behavioral interventions and supports;
- Teachers and school administrators should have the tools they need to assist them in preventing misconduct and discipline problems and to address these problems, if they arise;
- There must be a balanced approach to the issue of discipline of students with disabilities that reflects the need for orderly and safe schools and the need to protect the rights of students with disabilities to a free appropriate public education;
- Appropriately developed Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) with well-developed behavior intervention strategies decrease school discipline problems; and
- School personnel may consider any unique circumstances on a case-by-case basis when determining whether a change in placement is appropriate for a student with a disability who violates a code of student conduct.
In the event the student’s behavior impedes the student’s learning or that of others, the IEP team must consider the use of positive behavioral interventions, strategies and supports to address the behavior.
The IEP team must consider either:
- Developing goals and services specific to the student’s behavioral needs; or
- Conducting a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and determining the need for a behavioral intervention plan (BIP) to address the student’s behavioral needs.
If the student engages in behavior that results in disciplinary action that leads to, or may lead to, short-term or long-term removal, the IEP team shall address the behavior violation. IEP team discussions and revisions must focus on efforts to address the student’s behavioral problems in order to minimize and/or prevent the behavior from recurring. Appropriate supports and services that may be considered include:
- Conducting a functional behavioral assessment (FBA)
- Developing or revising a behavior intervention plan (BIP)
- Providing counseling
- Providing social skills training
- Providing adaptive behavior technique training (i.e., teaching of replacement skills designed not to have the behavior recur)
- Providing conflict management skills
- Providing peer mediation skills