Behavior & Discipline

Behavior & Discipline

The ABC's of Challenging Behavior

Behavior problems involve any challenging behavior that lasts over time and is working for the child, meaning bringing the results he or she wants. This takes the form of a child not doing what is wanted, or doing something that isn't wanted by adults. Before we can address a challenging behavior, we need to be able to identify and define the problem clearly.

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Removal of Students with Disabilities From School

It is important for parents to understand their child's rights when the school requests parents to pick up their child due to behavior. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation act protects students with disabilities, including those with IEPs, from discrimination. They are entitled to the same education as other children and have a right to a free and appropriate education (FAPE).

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Discriminatory Use of Student Discipline Guidance (Released July 2022)

The guidance reminds public elementary and secondary schools of their obligations under a Federal disability civil rights law, Section 504, to provide the services, supports, interventions, strategies, and modifications to policies students with disabilities need to address any disability-based behavior, including behavior that could lead to discipline.

Read the OCR Info here

Discipline in an IEP

The administration of appropriate disciplinary procedures for students with disabilities can be complex and requires consideration of multiple factors. In general, students with IEPs are subject to the same code of conduct provisions as all students. However, the discipline for students with IEPs may be different than for the other students when: An IEP or BIP has provisions for responding to a student's behavior that is different than the LEA code of conduct, or a disciplinary action (e.g., suspension, expulsion) constitutes a change in placement for the student.

Visit the i3 Website

Functional Behavior Assessment: Guide for Parents

Your role in the FBA process is critical! It is important for you to share information about behavior you see at home. This will allow the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team, of which you are a member, to look for similarities and differences between your child's behavior at home and at school. By working together, you and the school will be able to make plans to help your child improve behavior which will allow more time to learn. You are an important partner in your child's success!

Read the Iowa IDEA Information PDF

Behavior Intervention Plan: Guide for Parents

Your role in the BIP process is critical! It is important for you to share information about your child and what you know about their likes and dislikes as well as what works at home. This will allow the IEP team, of which you are a member, to identify reinforcements to increase positive behavior that can be used at home and at school. It is also important for you to understand the intervention strategies designed for your child. By working together, you and the school will be able to make plans to help your child improve behavior which will allow more time to learn. You are an important partner in your child's success!

Read the Iowa IDEA Information PDF

ASK an Expert: Understanding How the Challenging Behavior Team Can Support IEP Behavior Goals

In this webinar, you can learn about the methods used to understand and change behavior through a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) from an AEA Challenging Behavior Team member. She also describes when the Challenging Behavior Team is able to provide support to IEP teams.

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ASK an Expert: Developing an Effective Behavior Intervention Plan and Reintegration Plan

:This webinar includes information about developing a Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) for a student by breaking down each piece of the plan and including some important tips. A description of reintegration plans that can be used to add time back to a student’s school day if there have been significant removals is also included.

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Seclusion and Restraint in Schools: Chapter 103

When a school district uses “time out” (or a seclusion room) or a student is restrained by school staff to control the student’s behavior, the school must follow Chapter 103. Find out more about this law and the rights parents and students have related to seclusion and restraint in Iowa schools.

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A Chapter 103 Checklist for Parents During and After an Incident of Seclusion or Restraint

This checklist, based on the Chapter 103 rules, will guide parents to understand the necessary documentation of an incident of seclusion or restraint involving their child. If parents have concerns they should document them in writing and ask the school to explain. A team meeting may be helpful to everyone to get on the same page.

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Safe Classroom Learning Environments - Classroom Clears and Therapeutic Classrooms: Senate File 2360

A new law (Senate File 2360: Safe Classroom Learning Environments) was put into place with the intent to create a safe learning space for students and teachers. Immediate action by school districts was required in the area response and reporting of school behavioral challenges. The restrictions on use of classroom clears applies to all classrooms, general and special educa-tion, ages 3-21, when a child is served in a setting that is using public funds for educational purposes.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Senate File 2360: Safe Classroom Learning Environments

This resource answers common questions from educators regarding Senate File 2360 and state guidance. The Iowa Department of Education (Department) anticipates this document will expand as it works through the rules writing process, the Therapeutic Classroom Grant, and development of standards and guidelines for response to classroom behavior. This represents the most current official position of the Department related to these questions and supersedes previous Department guidance on this topic. The Department will continue to review previous and new FAQs to include here and to ensure complete alignment with these responses.

Read the IDOE PDF

Manifestation Determination

Special considerations may be necessary for students with an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan in order for the student to have access to making academic progress when behavior has been a concern at school.

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Manifestation of Disability Flowchart

This flowchart will help walk you through the decision if your child's behavior is a manifestation of their disability.

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Special Education Discipline Step by Step Guide to Suspension

There are many scenarios to consider when disciplining students with special education plans. This guide shows the steps educators must follow for discipline.

Read the PDF from the Iowa Department of Education

Discipline, in Detail (Part B of IDEA)

This collection of resources provides information about the IDEA requirements in specific disciplinary areas. It includes information about what happens during a disciplinary removal or during an appeals process. It also explains the special circumstances that apply if the situation involves drugs, weapons, or serious bodily injury.

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Social Emotional Behavior in an IEP

This webpage from Iowa’s IDEA Information site describes when and how an IEP team should consider addressing behavior concerns. Additional details about Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA)s and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP)s are included.

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504 plans and Discipline

This resource provides information on what to expect if your child has a 504 plan and has been expelled.

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School Refusal: How to Help Kids Cope

This article provides some tips for situations when a child has school refusal behaviors such as meltdowns, refusal to get dressed or refusal to get in the car.

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Children may miss school for lots of reasons. Students may be sick, afraid of being bullied, or too depressed to attend. If they have not had success in school, they may start to dread going. As students get older, parents may find it harder to make children attend. One response to poor attendance is to label the student as a "truant." This article will deal with truancy laws.

Visit the Iowa Legal Aid Website

Communication with the Corrections System: What Should Parents Know?

A brief guideline for parents of children with mental health, behavioral, cognitive, or learning disabilities.

Read the PACER Center PDF

The Solution: Trauma Sensitive Schools

Once schools understand the educational impacts of trauma, they can become safe, supportive environments where students make the positive connections with adults and peers they might otherwise push away, calm their emotions so they can focus and behave appropriately, and feel confident enough to advance their learning-in other words, schools can make trauma sensitivity a regular part of how the school is run.

Learn More from Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network:

This website provides a description of how trauma can impact children and includes a resources section with information about how to address specific traumatic situations that children might be involved in like a natural disaster, bullying, or grief from the loss of someone close.

Learn more from the NCTSN

Tantrums, Tears and Tempers: Behavior is Communication

This document has some questions you can consider asking about your child’s challenging behaviors and some steps you can take to help decrease the likelihood of that behavior from happening again.

Learn more from PACER

Challenging Behaviors Tool-kit for Autism

This toolkit from Autism Speaks includes a wide range of information about things to consider when challenging behavior is getting in the way. The toolkit includes information on who can help, positive strategies, managing a crisis situation, and long-term solutions.

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Behavior at School

School presents a unique challenge for children with behavior issues. Teachers need tools to use to help provide support and guidance. Administrators need methods for creating a positive learning atmosphere within the entire school. Parents need information on how to work with school staff to address their child's behavior challenges in the school setting.

Visit the Parent Center Hub

ASK an Expert: Challenging Behavior

This webinar is designed to help parents understand the functions of a child’s behavior. The ABC (antecedent, behavior, consequence) model is explored which can be used to help better understand and change behavior.

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ASK an Expert: Restraint and Seclusion: Legal Requirements in Iowa Schools

This webinar describes the law in Iowa around restraint and seclusion in schools. It includes information about the requirements for documentation of the incident and the debrief meeting.

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ASK an Expert: Classroom Clears and Therapeutic Classrooms

This webinar shares information on the Iowa law around “classroom clears”. It also discusses the opportunity that schools have for possible additional funding to create a “therapeutic classroom” for students who are struggling with social/emotional or behavioral issues that interfere with their ability to be successful in their current classroom.

Watch the ASK an Expert Webinar

Challenging Behavior in School

Having a consistent response is so important for kids, especially when it comes to behavior. A behavior plan is the best way for all of the school staff, parents, and the student to be on the same page about how behaviors will be handled at school so that no matter who is involved the response to a problem behavior is the same, and the strategies used will be most effective in deescalating the situation.

Learn more from ASK Resource Center