September 29, 2015: USOE has updated recommendations for Utah schools, Local Education Agencies (LEA) for behavior interventions.
Least Restrictive Behavioral Interventions (LRBI) Technical Assistance (TA) Manual
The LRBI Technical Assistance Manual has been revised to clearly reflect the following core principles:
■ All students can learn and achieve high standards if provided sufficient, appropriate opportunities to develop skills as a result of effective teaching.
■ Intervening at the earliest indication of both behavioral and academic needs is necessary for student success.
■ A comprehensive system of tiered interventions is essential for addressing the full range of student needs.
■ Student outcomes improve when ongoing behavioral and academic performance data inform instructional decisions.
■ All school personnel share responsibility for effective instructional practices and monitoring student progress.
■ Effective leadership at all levels is crucial for the maximum achievement of student outcomes.
Disability Law Center (DLC), May 8, 2015, “Utah Educators Limit the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Schools”
On May 8th the Utah State Office of Education amended a state rule regarding school and district discipline plans. The revised rule prohibits restraint or seclusion of a student for disciplinary purposes. Under the rule, seclusion or restraint is only permissible if the student poses an immediate danger to him/herself or others. Even then, staff must be appropriately trained, follow certain procedures, and collect and report data regularly.
USDOE is required to review and grade each state on how well it complies with Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). In the last two years, USDOE has stricter measures to assess compliance with IDEA and ESEA by each state.
“Previously, states were graded based on their adherence to procedural requirements like completing evaluations or due process hearings. Now, however, federal officials are taking into account student performance and functional outcomes for kids with disabilities in addition to compliance.”
(Disabilityscoop, November 20, 2015, see separate post on USDOE ranks states in this blog.)
Utah is ranked as “Needs Assistance”
Utah Office of Education (USOE) implemented a plan to bring Utah into compliance with IDEA/ESEA The following two statements are found in the Utah State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP), April 2015.
“Utah’s 2013–2014 SAGE tests show 42.2% of students without disabilities in grades three through eight and ten were proficient in mathematics, but just 12.9% of students with disabilities were proficient: a 29.3% achievement gap. To address this achievement gap, the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) brought together a variety of education and community stakeholders to create the FFY 2013 State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) Phase I.”
“This document represents Utah’s Phase I plan for the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP), and describes the state system and its capacity to assist Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to develop the needed capacity to improve outcomes for students with disabilities. These improvement efforts align with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The success of the SSIP requires systematic improvement across the Utah State Office of Education (USOE) and LEAs to leverage existing strengths while simultaneously closing system gaps. ”
Feds: Most States Failing To Meet Special Ed Obligations by Michelle Diament | July 14, 2015, Disabilityscoop (email)
(Note: Utah’s status is “Needing Assistance”)
“Federal officials indicate that less than half of states are meeting their obligations under special education law.
The U.S. Department of Education says that just 19 states qualified for the “meets requirements” designation for the 2013-2014 school year. The rest of states were classified as “needs assistance” or “needs intervention.”
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Education Department must evaluate states annually on their efforts to implement special education programs.
Please refer to a separate post on the response from the state of Utah State of Education (USOE) to its rating of “needs assistance”. (Phase I plan for the State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP))