The Board of Education (“Board”) of the North Colonie Central School District (“District”) recognizes that students with disabilities sometimes exhibit inappropriate behaviors that impede learning. As a result, students with disabilities may require unique approaches to discipline so that they can continue to benefit from their educational program. The Board further acknowledges that the use of aversive behavioral intervention, as defined in the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education, is prohibited unless the District has followed the procedures outlined below to allow for their use in a child-specific case. The use of a time out room will be in conformance with a child’s individual education program (IEP). Staff will adhere to federal and state statutes and regulation in the administration of these measures.
I. Time Out Room
A time out room is an area for a student to safely deescalate, regain control and prepare to meet expectations to return to his/her educational program. The room will only be used in conjunction with a behavioral intervention plan, as part of the student’s IEP. The room will provide a supervised area in order to facilitate self-control, or when it is necessary to remove a student from a potentially dangerous situation or unanticipated situations that pose an immediate concern for the physical safety of the student or others. A student should not be redirected to a time out room in situations where the student can be redirected to engage in classroom activities or can otherwise be left in the class without disrupting the education of his/her classmates.
A. The Physical Layout
All District time out rooms shall:
- Be of an adequate size to allow the students to move about and recline comfortably
- Be designed and furnished to minimize the risk of injury
- Have adequate lighting and ventilation and the temperature of the room shall be within the normal comfort range consistent with the rest of the building
- Be clean and free of any objects or materials that may be dangerous to a student and shall meet all local fire and safety codes
- Remain unlocked at all time, allowing a person to enter or exit at will
- Where possible, be somewhat soundproof to minimize distractions
The staff member assigned to escort a student to the time out room shall continuously monitor the student in the time out room and remain within sight and shall be able to hear the student at all times. Additionally, time out room doors are not permitted to be held closed. The need for an adult to be with a student in the time out room shall be determined on a situational basis.
A log shall be maintained which includes, at a minimum, the name of the student, the circumstances which precipitated use of the time out room, the time the student entered and left the time out room, a description of the student’s behavior while in the time out room and upon exiting the time out room, the name(s) of the staff member(s) or circumstances as applicable, that initiated, supervised, and removed the student from the time out room. Such a log shall be maintained by the individual responsible for collecting data to assess the effectiveness of various strategies in minimizing or extinguishing certain negative behaviors. The log shall become part of the students file and shall be reviewed by the Pupil Services Team (PST) and Committee on Special Education (CSE) in consultation with the principal at least quarterly. The principal shall also review the log at least quarterly to determine whether a student should be referred to the CSE for further evaluation.
Any student needing to spend time in the time out room on a regular basis should be referred back to the CSE to review the student’s behavior management plan and placement.
C. Parental Notification
The CSE Chairperson will inform parents prior to the initiation of a behavioral intervention plan that will incorporate the use of a time out room. Upon request, the parent will be shown the space that will be utilized. In addition, the parent will be provided a copy of this policy. If the time out room is used, the parent will be notified within one (1) school day.
Time out rooms will be paired with Self – Contained classrooms at designated elementary schools. However, a student may require the use of a time out room in conjunction with a behavior management plan in a school without a time out room. Atime out room may then be designed for temporary use as designated by the PST/ CSE provided that the parents have received a copy of this policy and are afforded notice of the opportunity to review the space prior to its use in conjunction with a behavioral support plan.
E. Time Limits
The student shall remain in the time out room no longer than the time provided in the behavior management plan which shall generally be no more than twenty (20) minutes. If, after twenty minutes, the student is not able to conduct himself/ herself in an appropriate manner, parents will be called and an alternative intervention will be determined by the administration that may include the Principal, Hall Principal, High School Supervisor of Special Education, Director of Pupil Services and/or Assistant Director of Pupil Services.
II. Physical Restraint
Staff will not use physical restraint as a substitute for systematic intervention to modify inappropriate behavior. Staff who may be called upon to physically restrain a student will be trained on safe and effective ways to do so. Physical restraint may be used in an emergency where no other approach would be effective in controlling the student’s behavior.
Emergency interventions for each student will be documented, including the name and date of birth of the student; the setting and the location of the incident; the name of the staff or other persons involved; a description of the incident and the emergency intervention used, including duration; a statement as to whether the student has a current behavioral intervention plan; and details of any injuries sustained by the student or others, including staff, as a result of the incident.
The parent of the student must be notified and documentation of emergency interventions shall be reviewed by school supervisory personnel and, as necessary, the school nurse or other medical personnel.
All staff assigned to implement a student’s behavioral plan that includes the use of a time out room will receive training by a designated Pupil Services staff member regarding applicable procedures and in strategies outlined to implement the student’s behavior management plan.
Training for staff on the policies and procedures related to the use of time out rooms, physical restraint and related behavior management practices will be provided quarterly. Additionally, trainings will also be provided to new staff when they enter the district.
This policy and regulation shall be reviewed annually by the CSE to determine whether the time out room is being used for the purpose for which it as designed. Input from participating teachers, administrators, parents and students will be solicited for review.
Ref: 8 NYCRR 200.22
Adopted: October 24, 2011
Amended: March 28, 2016
Amended: May 23, 2022