"Manifestation Determination" is a process to determine if a student’s behavior problem was or
was not a manifestation of the student’s disability. A Manifestation Determination is completed as part of an IEP team meeting. The IEP team must convene no later than 10 school days when:
• A parent requests such a meeting following a disciplinary incident.
• A student is suspended for 5 or more consecutive days.
• A student is suspended for more than 10 cumulative days in a school (and for every suspension thereafter).
• A change in placement for more than 10 consecutive days is being sought for disciplinary reasons.
• Exclusion or expulsion is being considered.
IEP Team Meeting for a Manifestation Determination:
In order to determine if the behavior was or was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, the team needs to follow the steps below:
1. Prior to the IEP meeting, information such as evaluation and diagnostic results, observations, current IEP, placement information and other relevant information supplied by the parents must be gathered for review by the IEP team.
As part of the discussion, the team must determine if:
• the information gathered is sufficient information to make the manifest determination.
• further information is needed in order to make the manifestation determination.
• there is a need for changes in the student’s current special education program.
If further information is needed, the IEP team must follow the due process steps in obtaining written parent consent for an evaluation.
The IEP team must discuss the characteristics of the student’s disability (e.g., withdrawn, aggressive, impulsive, academic or cognitive deficits, information processing, organizational deficits, peer relationships, etc.). This information should come from current data, observation and parent reports as well as from the IEP, evaluations (ESR), teacher reports, discipline records, etc.
2. The IEP team discusses the following four questions. If the team is unsure about any of these questions, the behavior is automatically assumed to be a part of the student’s disability. If there is disagreement among the team members, the administrator makes the final determination.
• Are the IEP and placement, supplementary aids and services judged to be appropriate by the IEP team?
Initially, this is based on the current IEP. As the discussion progresses, it may be decided that one or the other, or both needs to be changed.
• Are IEP services and behavioral intervention strategies described on the IEP consistently applied?
This is based on the identified needs in the current IEP.
* Does the disability impair the student’s ability to understand the impact and consequences of the behavior?
In addition to the cognitive component, the IEP team should explore the way in which the rules were presented to the student and if they were understood. Consider chronological age, maturity and developmental level.
3. Manifestation Determination
If the student’s behavior is not a manifestation of his or her disability, the relevant disciplinary procedures applicable to students without disabilities may be applied to the student in the same manner in which they would be applied to students without disabilities.
If the behavior is determined to be a part of the disability, the IEP team makes an appropriate plan to address some or all of the following areas (the student may not be expelled from the school system):
• Consistently implement the IEP as written.
• Change the IEP as needed (e.g., adaptations, service, alternative consequences, etc.).
• Complete additional evaluations to provide additional service, if needed.
• Conduct a Functional Behavior Assessment to develop more effective behavior
The District shall notify the parent of the decision to take disciplinary action and of the procedural safeguards no later than the date on which the decision is made. If the parent disagrees with a determination that the student’s behavior was not a manifestation of the student’s disability, or with any decision regarding placement, the parent has the right to an "expedited" due process hearing. If the District places the student in the allowed interim placement, the "stay put" placement is that setting until its expiration or until the hearing officer’s decision, whichever is first.