Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of Jan. 1997 (IDEA) is a federal law which guarantees all students with disabilities between the ages of 3 through 21 the right to a free appropriate public education designed to meet their individual needs. It also offers protection for the rights of students with disabilities and their parent/guardians or education surrogate parents.

The Indiana Special Education rules, known as Article 7, provide the legislative and department of education guidelines for implementing special education programs in Indiana, effective June 21, 2000. Article 7 regulates special education programs and related services provided by the public school as well as the state operated and state supported programs.

General education educators and special education educators work together to implement the responsibilities of public schools defined in Article 7. Parents are also involved in every step of planning educational services for a student with a disability. Students who are to receive special education services must be evaluated by a multidisciplinary evaluation team and, at a case conference, must be determined eligible based on one of the following eligibility categories: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Communication Disorder, Emotional Disability, Learning Disability, Mental Disability, Multiple Disability, Orthopedic Impairment, Other Health Impairment, Traumatic Brain Injury, Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Deaf/Blind and Developmental Delay.

The case conference committee, which includes the students’ parents, will then develop an individualized education program (IEP). The IEP will be designed to meet the students’ unique needs and will include related and other supportive services as needed in order to assist a student with a disability to benefit from special education. Each student with a disability will be educated in his least restrictive environment. The amount of time that the student with a disability spends within a general education setting will be determined on an individual basis.

Referral for Education Evaluation

A parent, teacher, school administrator or specialist may initiate an educational evaluation for a student. Students are referred for an educational evaluation when:

  • general education intervention procedures have been exhausted, or
  • the nature and severity of the suspected disability is such that general education intervention would be of no benefit, or
  • review of recent diagnostic and treatment information from a hospital psychiatric unit or residential treatment center by the school psychologist indicates the need for further evaluation, or
  • the parent has requested an educational evaluation and does not elect to withdraw or delay the request.

The parent, teachers, school administrator or specialist can obtain a referral form from the principal/designee. This form should be completed and returned to the principal/designee.

Seclusion and Restraint

General Guidelines

Any behavioral interventions must be consistent with a student’s right to be treated with dignity and respect and to be free from abuse.

Any behavioral intervention used must be consistent with the student’s most current individualized education program (IEP) and with the student’s behavior intervention plan (BIP), if applicable.

Every effort must be made to eliminate or minimize the need for the use of seclusion or restraint with a student, including the use of prevention, positive behavior intervention and support, and conflict de-escalation prior to the use of seclusion or restraint, except in the case of an emergency, as defined below.

Seclusion and restraint are to be used only: 1) as a last resort safety procedure employed after another, less restrictive procedure has been implemented without success; and 2) when there is an imminent risk of injury to the student, other students, school employees, or visitors to the school.

Seclusion and restraint may be used only for a short period of time or until the imminent risk of injury has passed.

Any instance of seclusion or restraint must be documented as indicated below.

A student’s parent must be notified as soon as possible when an incident involving the student that includes the use of seclusion or restraint occurs, and a copy of an incident report must be sent to the student’s parent, as indicated below.

Regular training of appropriate school employees/staff members on the proper use of effective alternatives to seclusion and physical restraint and the safe use of seclusion and physical restraint in situations involving imminent danger or serious harm to the student, school employees or others is required, as indicated below.

Seclusion and restraint must not be used as a means of punishment or discipline, coercion or retaliation, or as a matter of convenience.

Seclusion and restraint must never be used in a manner that restricts a child’s breathing.

The student must be monitored by a staff member at all times during the use of seclusion or restraint to ensure the appropriateness of its use and the safety of the student or others.

For additional information please reference LCIS Policy GEN3_SEclusionRestraint.