Reject Proposed 2016-17 Transportation Standards

Dear School Board Directors:

The Transportation Standards for 2016-17 were introduced at the School Board meeting on October 21, 2015. They include a new provision that affects students receiving special education services. Specifically, the new Transportation Standards propose to create an exception to the District’s legal requirement of providing transportation for certain special education students. The following exception is proposed to be added to the Transportation Standards:

District transportation will not be provided for [special education] students that are enrolled in a school other than their assigned school by parent/guardian and/or student choice.

Special education students are entitled to transportation as set forth in the IDEA and as decided by IEP teams. Issues such as assignment plans, administrative convenience, and capacity management cannot interfere with an IEP team’s decision on appropriate placement. As past OSPI citizen complaints have noted, capacity management concerns and assignment of special education students can, and has, been shown to be arbitrary, not in the students’ best interest, and/or carried out without a proper IEP (e.g. Pinehurst/Licton Springs, and Old Van Asselt). A school district policy cannot override the district’s legal responsibility to provide transportation to special education students. The district is heading in the wrong direction with this proposal.

We strongly urge you not to vote in favor of the new Transportation Standards unless this provision is deleted. If the new Transportation Standards are adopted with this language, you should expect challenges from the families of special education students. Please request the Superintendent to remove this provision from the Standards.

Respectfully,

Cecilia McCormick, President                                                                                                               -Seattle Special Education PTSA

Janis White, Parent Advocate

Lori Hiltz, Vice-President

Ayn McNutt, Treasurer

Michael Minard, Secretary

Mary Griffin, Legislative Chair

Lauren Feaux, Staff Representative

Rulemaking on the use of isolation, restraint and restraint devices in the State of Washington

There is a limited time window for individuals to comment on proposed rulemaking.  Submit your comments to OSPI by November 12, 2015.

Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 392-172A – Proposed Rule Making to Address SHB 1240 and Other Proposed Rule Changes

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Special Education Section, filed a notice of proposed rulemaking (CR-102) with the Office of the Code Reviser on July 1, 2015. A public hearing was held on the proposed rules on August 13, 2015. As a result of substantive comment on these proposed rules, the initially proposed rules were withdrawn and a new CR-102 was filed on October 2, 2015. The new proposed rules will be published in the Washington State Register on October 2, 2015. The newly proposed rules amend, add, and repeal sections under Chapter 392-172A WAC. OSPI is proposing these rules to address changes in Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 28A.155 consistent with Substitute House Bill 1240, Laws of 2015, “An Act Relating to Restraint and Isolation of Students, Including Students with Disabilities in Public Schools.” OSPI is also proposing to amend WAC 392-172A-05125 so that it is consistent with the federal Department of Education rules at 34 CFR 300.518, which address a student’s status during due process proceedings.

The purpose of the proposed rule changes is to amend the special education rules so that parents of students eligible for special education, local school districts, and other entities providing special education and related services understand the strict limitations associated with the use of isolation, restraint and restraint devices in the State of Washington. The changes include adding definitions relevant to the limited use of isolation, restraint, and restraint devices, repealing certain sections of the current aversive intervention rules, and addressing advanced educational planning in the case of emergency response situations. In addition to these proposed changes and the proposed change to WAC 392-172A-05125, OSPI is also making changes to correct typographical errors or make other changes that are technical in nature.

OSPI has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed rule changes for November 12, 2015 at 1 p.m. at: OSPI, Old Capital Building, in the Brouillet Conference Room #430, Olympia, Washington. More information about the proposed rule changes, the public hearing, and how to submit comments is contained in the CR-102. A copy of the CR-102 and the proposed rules can be found at http://www.k12.wa.us/SpecialEd/Rulemaking.aspx. Please note that written comments have the same weight as public comments.

If you have questions about the rulemaking process, please contact Abigail Westbrook at 360-725-6075 or by email at abigail.westbrook@k12.wa.us, the TTY is 360-586-0126. Otherwise, please provide comments consistent with the information provided in the CR-102.

Since there may be situations that currently impact the delivery of special education services in our state that are being addressed in this proposed rule change, the following resources from other states that have adopted similar rules are being made available to assist school districts and families in Washington.

Once the final rules are adopted, OSPI will revise the model state forms as appropriate, and create a Q & A document for our website. Please note that one of the major issues that resulted in this legislation was a strong perception of the over use of isolation and restraint as a behavior management technique.

Washington State Law on Use of Restraints and Seclusion‏

Dear Dr Nyland and Board Directors

The Washington State Legislature passed new legislation in the last session to prohibit aversive intervention plans, and to limit the use of isolation and restraint to situations in which there is an imminent likelihood of serious harm. The new law went into effect as of July 24, 2015.

At the Special Education PTSA meeting on Monday, September 28, 2015, SPS administrators were asked what training the District had provided to staff over the summer regarding the new law. We were concerned about the response as it indicated that SPS did not want to get ahead of itself implementing the new law until OSPI had issued final rules explaining what the new law means.

While the OSPI rulemaking process will provide additional guidance, the law is in effect now and needs to be enforced now – in fact, OSPI has advised districts not to wait for OSPI rulemaking.1

On behalf of all parents in SPS who have children receiving special education services, the Seattle Special Education PTSA urges you to immediately ensure that all principals, assistant principals, security personnel and special education staff, at a minimum, are fully aware of the new law and its significant restriction on the circumstances under which school staff are legally permitted to use restraint and isolation. In addition, we believe it is incumbent upon the Special Education Department to audit IEPs, identify all IEPs that include aversive intervention plans and call IEP team meetings to remove those plans and ensure that restraint and isolation are not used as methods of discouraging undesirable behavior when there is no imminent risk of harm – as required now by Washington law. This is a major compliance issue.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter. We look forward to partnering with you in the implementation of the new law, and in the identification of proactive, positive behavioral supports to replace the use of restraint and isolation in non-emergency situations.

Sincerely,

Cecilia McCormick
President

Janis White
Parent Advocate

Lori Hiltz
Vice-President

Ayn McNutt
Treasurer

Michael Minard
Secretary

Mary Griffin
Legislative Chair

1. http://www.k12.wa.us/bulletinsmemos/Memos2015/M050-15.doc “In the meantime, districts are encouraged to review existing IEPs and 504 plans and remove restraint and isolation provisions or aversive interventions, unless there is a likelihood of an emergency situation that may result in serious harm (emphasis added)”.

Why “disciplining” our children for their disability is just wrong

The Justice Department also urged the court to consider whether the officer’s decision to handcuff little kids was “punitive, rather than necessary to ensure safety.” It pointed out that the officer had told the child “to behave the way you’re supposed to or you suffer the consequences,” a statement that indicated the handcuffing was punitive.

The department also said that an “improperly implemented [school resource officer] program can unnecessarily exacerbate the school-to-prison pipeline and cause significant harm to students.”

School resource officers, DOJ lawyers wrote, “must respect the constitutional and statutory rights of the citizens they serve. This is particularly critical in the school context, where the impact of a police interaction on a child can last a lifetime.”

Video of what NOT to do is here

The District has said it is working towards training administrators, teachers, and staff on how to appropriately respond to our kids’ actiing out behavior. It has also promised to engage parents to learn how best to help their children during these episodes so we all work to help our kids the best way possible.