Guidance for Families about Special Education Services
Special Education Discipline Flowchart: Procedures and Protections (PDF)
Outlines steps taken when a student who receives special education services is suspended or expelled.
Key points to keep in mind:
- A student’s behavior should always be considered during IEP development. In the case of a student whose behavior interferes with their learning or that of others, the IEP team must consider the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports, and other strategies, to address behavior.
- A student with problem behaviors needs support to learn how to behave appropriately.
- A Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) can be conducted to analyze the student’s problem behavior (an FBA is required under certain circumstance related to discipline). An FBA helps to determine the:
- Purpose the behavior serves for the student (Does the behavior allow the student to avoid, escape or obtain something? Does it just feel good?)
- Existing “consequence” for the behavior
- Whether the consequence identified might actually reinforce, rather than discourage, the behavior (think outside the box).
- Circumstances that may increase the likelihood that the student will misbehave, if any.
- Information learned from conducting an FBA is used to inform an individualized behavioral intervention plan (BIP). A BIP is the same as a Behavioral Support Plan (BSP).
- Useful FBAs very specifically and concretely identify the information above. A “cookie cutter” FBA (simplistic assumptions made about the student’s problem behavior) is likely to result in an ineffective behavior plan.
- An effective BIP does not have to be long. What’s critical is the relevance and accuracy of information used to develop the BIP.