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 As a result of substantive comment on these proposed rules, the initially proposed rules were withdrawn and a new CR-102 was filed on October 2, 2015.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.

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