August 30, 2016

OSERS Letter: Guidance for Ensuring Equity and
Providing Behavioral Supports

From: Pent
Sent: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 9:43 AM
Subject: OSERS letter: Guidance for Ensuring Equity and Providing Behavioral Supports

Greetings and Welcome Back to the 2016-2017 school year!

On August 1, 2016, OSERS released a letter to provide LEAs and other responsible public agencies guidance in the use of positive behavioral interventions and supports. External link opens in new window or tab.

While this guidance letter is non-binding and does not create or impose new legal requirements, it clarifies that "the failure to consider and provide for needed behavioral supports through the IEP process is likely to result in a child not receiving a meaningful educational benefit or FAPE." In addition, the letter "serves to remind school personnel that the authority to implement disciplinary removals does not negate their obligation to consider the implications of the child's behavioral needs, and the effects of the use of suspensions (and other sort term removals) when ensuring the provision of FAPE."

The letter covers these five areas:

  • IDEA's procedural requirements regarding evaluations, eligibility determinations, IEP's, and behavioral supports;
  • IDEA's IEP content requirements related to behavioral supports;
  • Circumstances that may indicate potential denials of FAPE or of placement in the LRE;
  • Implications for short-term discipline removals and other exclusionary discipline measures;
  • Conclusion, including additional information for parents and stakeholders.

At the end of the letter are links to two good documents that provide additional information on evidence-based classroom strategies to support and respond to behavior and on organizing practices in an integrated manner in a multi-tiered system of support.

We hope you will find this information useful to you in your practice.

Valerie Johnson, Psy.D.
Diagnostic Center, Southern California
Phone: (323) 222-8090
Fax: (323) 222-3018