Today's Quick Tip - Transportation and the IEP

Today's Quick Tip - Transportation and the IEP

Did you know? If your child has an IEP and Transportation is written in the IEP and your child gets suspended from the bus that IF the school doesn't provide another means of getting your child to school during the bus suspension that those days are counted against the 10 school days that your child can be sent home, suspended, RPC'd without the district having to provide FAPE. 

Here is a section of IDEA 2004 from that explains this protection:

Discipline and Transportation

Question:    If transportation is included in the IEP for a child with a disability who has documented behavioral concerns on the bus, but not at school, when may a school district suspend the child from the bus for behavioral issues and not provide some other form of transportation to and from school?

Answer:    If transportation is included in the child’s IEP, a bus suspension must be treated as a suspension and all of the discipline procedures applicable to children with disabilities would apply. An LEA is not required to provide alternative transportation to a child with a disability who has been suspended from transportation for 10 school days or less unless the LEA provides alternative transportation to children without disabilities who have been similarly suspended from bus service. 

If a child with a disability is suspended from transportation for more than 10 school days in the same school year, and transportation is included in the child’s IEP, during any subsequent suspensions the LEA must provide services to the child to the extent required.  Generally, this means that the child must (1) continue to receive educational services so as to enable the child to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress toward meeting the goals set out in the child’s IEP, and (2) receive as appropriate a functional behavioral assessment, and behavioral intervention services and modifications that are designed to address the behavior violation(s) so that they do not recur. 

Additionally, the suspension of a student with a disability from transportation may constitute a change of placement if a district has been transporting the student, suspends the student from the transportation as a disciplinary measure, and provides no other form of transportation.  If a student is suspended from transportation for more than 10 consecutive school days, or is repeatedly suspended, and such suspensions constitute a pattern. (2), a change of placement has occurred.  In such situations, the LEA, parent, and relevant members of the IEP Team must determine whether the conduct was a manifestation of the child’s disability, using the process.  If the conduct is a manifestation of the child’s disability, the IEP Team must take the steps outlined in IDEA 204, and also must return the child to the placement from which the child was removed, unless the parent and the LEA agree to a change of placement as part of the modification of the behavioral intervention plan.  

Regardless of the procedures discussed above, school personnel may remove a student to an interim alternative educational setting for not more than 45 school days without regard to whether the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the child’s disability, if the child has taken any of the actions specified in IDEA 2004 regarding weapons, illegal drugs, or the infliction of serious bodily injury. 

Brief Definitions:

LEA - Local Educational Agency typically a Principle, Vice Principle, someone in Administration that knows the curriculum, the IEP requirements and laws, and knowledgeable of programs, services, and resources so that they can inform, explain, and answer questions parents might have in those areas. You can find the LEA on the signature page of your child's IEP. They are a required member. They LEA may change from time to time as well. You can also look on your Written Prior Notice if you have a meeting scheduled.

Placement - That is your child's educational services, related services, specially designed instruction, aids/supplements, accommodations, and modifications. All of those combined determines placement where the educational, behavioral, social/emotional, and related services are delivered to your child. This is an IEP team decision. It could be Gen Ed setting all services/supports are delivered in the class with no pull outs, it could be a mix of pull outs and Gen Ed, it could be Self-Contained (the are many types and vary State to State on the names they call these classrooms), then there is Special Schools, Hospitals, Home-bound.

Drugs, Weapons, and Bodily harm (the 3 deadly sins) can result in your child being removed immediately from school for up to 45 school days without regards to a Manifestation. YOUR CHILD CANNOT BE EXPELLED. After the 10th school day (in total all year) the school MUST provide services that allow your child to continue to work on their IEP goals, Related Services, Accommodations, specially designed instruction, and the supports necessary for your child to continue to make progress towards those goals. A Functional Behavioral Assessment should be conducted, a positive behavior intervention plan that addresses teaching the child about the action committed to ensure that it will not happen again, and if need be discussed and decided as a team - adding goals/services to address behavior/teach appropriate behavior. Your child needs to be provided access to the Gen Ed curriculum during this time. (FAPE)

Interim Alternative Educational Setting (IAES) - This could look very different for every child. This could mean a be behavior school for the length of the discipline action, 1:1 services provided for 6-10 hours per week at the home (you can advocate for more especially if your child has a lot of needs), meeting a teacher at public local to deliver services - again, it all depends on the child, the offense, the child's needs, etc. If services haven't begun and your child's been out of school for over 10 school days - call your district office! There should be a department that handles the IAES services - Interim Alternative Instruction (IAI) is what are district calls their department.