Family Network on Disabilities

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On Supporting Behavior of Students with Disabilities

On Supporting Behavior of Students with Disabilities

Links updated, April 2017
A handout to accompany  CPIR’s webinar on Supporting Behavior of Students with Disabilities

This handout has been designed to support OSEP’s 16-page Dear Colleague Letter on Supporting Behavior of Students with Disabilities, released on August 1, 2016. OSEP also released a 2-page summary of that letter for stakeholders. We’ve taken the liberty of pulling out key terms and topics mentioned by OSEP and linking them to resources that Parent Centers can use to:

  • find quick answers for families about providing positive behavioral supports (PBS) to students with disabilities; and
  • build the Center’s capacity to respond to questions on important topics related to PBS, IDEA’s discipline provisions, and more.

The first alphabetical list below features terms and topics mentioned by OSEP in its Dear Colleague letter. The second alphabetical list  focuses on terms and topics generally associated with behavior or school discipline issues. And last but not least, the final section of this page connects you with many of the resources shared by OSEP in its full, 16-page Dear Colleague letter.


 Alphabetical List of Key Terms and Topics Mentioned by OSEP

Authority of school personnel to take disciplinary action upon student violation of code of conduct (School’s generalauthority)

Authority of school personnel to take disciplinary action under “special circumstances”

Behavioral interventions and supports |  In Spanish: El apoyo del comportamiento positivo

Behavior intervention plans (BIP) |  In Spanish: Aprendiendo los componentes de un plan comprehensivo para el manejo de la conducta

Change in placement as a result of disciplinary action

Continuum of placements |

Disciplinary removals (What are they?) | Are services provided during disciplinary removals?

Dispute resolution |  In Spanish: Cómo resolver disputas entre familias y escuelas

Eligible children with disabilities |  In Spanish: Categorías de discapacidad bajo IDEA 

Functional behavioral assessment (FBA) |  In Spanish: Evaluación funcional de la conducta

Free appropriate public education (FAPE) [IDEA’s definition] |  In Spanish: La definición de FAPE bajo IDEA 2004

IEP Team’s consideration of behavior as a special factor |  In Spanish: Tratando los problemas de la conducta

LRE | Least restrictive environment  [IDEA’s definition] |  In Spanish: La definición de ambiente menos restrictivo (LRE)

LRE | Considering LRE in placement decisions | In Spanish:  Ubicación en el ambiente menos restrictivo

Meaningful access to education

Multi-tiered system of behavioral supports

Parental right to request an IEP Team meeting at any time |  In Spanish: Cómo solicitar una reunión para revisar el IEP de su niño

Peer-reviewed research

Placement (in general) |  In Spanish: Determinando la ubicación del niño

Placement in the least restrictive environment (LRE) |  In Spanish:  Ubicación en el ambiente menos restrictivo

Positive behavioral supports (PBS) |  In Spanish: El apoyo del comportamiento positivo

Related services |  In Spanish:  Servicios relacionados

Special circumstances

Supplementary aids and services |  In Spanish: Ayudas y servicios suplementarios

Supports for school personnel

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Alphabetical List of Other Terms and Topics Related to Behavior and School Discipline

Appealing a disciplinary decision taken during disciplinary procedures |  In Spanish:  Apelación

Basis of knowledge

Manifestation determination

Placement during the appeal process

Restraint and seclusion

School authority to report crimes

Serious bodily injury

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 Resources Shared by OSEP in Its Dear Colleague Letter

Supporting and Responding to Behavior: Evidence-based Classroom Strategies for Teachers | A document summarizing evidence-based, proactive, and responsive classroom behavior support and intervention strategies for teachers.

Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports: Implementation Blueprint and Self-Assessment | A guide to develop local capacity for sustainable, culturally and contextually relevant, and high-fidelity implementation of multi-tiered practices and systems of support.

2014 School Discipline Guidance Package |  Guidance on how public elementary and secondary schools can meet their legal obligations to administer discipline without discriminating on the basis of race, color or national origin and a set of guiding principles to assist communities in improving school climate and school discipline.

Rethinking Discipline | Section of OSEP’s website under School Climate and Discipline, with multiple resources.

Guiding Principles: A Resource Guide for Improving School Climate and Discipline | Also from the Department of Education, designed to assist states, school districts, charter school operators, school staff, parents, students, and other stakeholders who are seeking to develop school climate and school discipline policies and practices that are both locally tailored and grounded in recognized promising practices and research.

Questions and Answers on IDEA Part B Dispute Resolution Procedures | Revised July 2013 (OSEP Memo 13-08)

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SOURCE ARTICLE: Center for Parent Information and Resources