Schools planning for students to return to campus in person this fall are confronting many significant challenges, including how to support students who may need physical restraint while also maintaining safe practices to minimize the risk of Coronavirus transmission. Schools and IEP teams should start planning to address this issue, such as considering whether additional PPE is needed, whether alternative behavior strategies and interventions could be effective, and whether other changes to the student’s  IEP, including placement, may be warranted to safely provide the student an appropriate education.

Additionally, staff need training to understand and comply with the new physical restraint and time out rules issued this spring. While some of the required training can be done remotely, training related to physical restraint must be done in person. ISBE advised in its recently updated Guidance and FAQ document that the required eight hours of annual training for the 2020-2021 school year must be completed by December 31, 2020.

Given the significant changes to the rules over the last few months, schools may need to revise policies, procedures, and plan additional training opportunities for staff. To help provide clarity on the current rules, this chart sets forth the key elements of the new permanent rules.

Note that proposed legislation to further restrict and regulate the use of restraint and time out in schools was not enacted this spring but continues to be on the agenda for the fall veto session.

If you have any questions about the content or implementation of the new permanent rules on time out, isolated time out, and physical restraint, please contact your Franczek attorney.