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Tamalpais Union HSD |  AR  6159.4  Instruction

Behavioral Interventions For Special Education Students   

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All assessment, intervention and evaluation activities related to a special education student's behavioral intervention plan shall be authorized, facilitated and supervised by the IEP team. Qualified staff, trained in behavior analysis with an emphasis on positive behavioral interventions, shall participate in developing and implementing the plan.


Serious behavior problems are behaviors that are pervasive and maladaptive requiring frequent and systematic use of behavioral interventions, and behaviors that are self-injurious, assaultive, or cause serious property damage, and can lead to suspension or expulsion. (5 CCR 3001(aa))

Behavioral intervention means the design, implementation, and evaluation of individual or group instructional and environmental modifications that results in lasting positive changes in the student's behavior. Behavioral interventions should be designed to provide greater access to community settings, social contacts and public events and ensure placement in the least restrictive environment, pursuant to the student's IEP. The use of behavioral interventions shall not cause pain or trauma, shall respect the individual's human dignity and personal privacy, and shall assure his/her physical freedom, social interaction, and individual choice. (5 CCR 3001(d))

A behavioral intervention plan is a written document which is developed when the student exhibits a serious behavior problem that significantly interferes with the implementation of the student's IEP. (5 CCR 3001(f))

A behavioral intervention case manager is a designated certificated school/District/county staff member or other qualified personnel contracted by the District or county office, and trained in behavior analysis with emphasis on positive behavioral interventions. (5 CCR 3001(e))

A behavioral emergency is the demonstration of a serious behavior problem which has not previously been observed and for which a behavioral intervention plan has not been developed, or for which a previously designed behavioral intervention is not effective. (5 CCR 3001(c))

Functional Analysis Assessment

If the student's behavior is significantly interfering with the implementation of the goals and objectives in his/her IEP, the student's IEP team shall determine whether the instructional/behavioral approaches specified in the student's IEP have proven ineffective. If the IEP team finds that these approaches have been ineffective, a functional analysis assessment shall be conducted. (5 CCR 3052(b))

Before assessment for a behavioral intervention plan begins, parents/guardians shall be notified and consent obtained pursuant to Education Code 56321. (5 CCR 3052(b))

Qualified assessment staff shall: (5 CCR 3052(b)(1))

1. Observe the targeted inappropriate behavior, its frequency, duration and intensity.

2. Observe events immediately preceding the behavior.

3. Observe the consequences of the behavior to determine the purpose it serves for the individual.

4. Analyze the environment in which the behavior most frequently occurs.

5. Analyze records for medical and health factors which may influence behavior.

6. Review the history of the behavior, including the effectiveness of interventions used in the past.

The parent/guardian shall receive a complete written report of the assessment including a description of the nature and severity of the targeted behavior(s) in objective and measurable terms, with baseline data and an analysis of the antecedents and consequences that maintain the

behavior; a functional analysis of the behavior across all appropriate settings in which it occurs; a description of the rate of alternative behaviors, their antecedents and consequences; and a proposed behavioral intervention plan for consideration by the IEP team. (5 CCR 3052(b)(2))

Behavioral Intervention Plan

Within 10 business days after removing a student for more than 10 school days in a school year or commencing a removal that constitutes a change in placement, the District shall implement a behavioral intervention plan in accordance with 5 CCR 300.520(b).

The functional analysis assessment shall be conducted by, or be under the supervision of, a person with documented training in behavior analysis with an emphasis on positive behavioral interventions. (5 CCR 3052(b))

Based on the functional analysis assessment, the IEP team, including a behavioral intervention case manager, shall meet to determine whether a behavioral intervention plan is needed. If a behavioral intervention plan is needed, the IEP team qualified staff knowledgeable of the student's health needs, and others with expertise as deemed necessary by the parent/guardian, District or Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA). This team shall develop a written behavioral intervention plan which includes: (5 CCR 3001(f))

1. A summary of information gathered from the functional analysis assessment

2. An objective description of the targeted maladaptive behavior(s) and replacement positive behavior(s)

3. The student's goals and objectives specific to the behavioral intervention plan

4. A detailed description of interventions to be used and the circumstances for their use

5. Specific schedules for recording the frequency of intervention use and the frequency of the targeted and replacement behaviors, including specific criteria for discontinuing an ineffective intervention or replacing it with a specified alternative

6. Criteria by which the procedure will be phased out or less frequent restrictive behavioral intervention schedules or techniques will be used

7. The extent to which the behavioral interventions will be used in the home, residential facility, work site or other settings

8. Specific dates when the IEP team will periodically review the efficacy of the program

9. The frequency of the consultation to be provided by the behavioral intervention case manager to the staff and parents/guardians who are responsible for implementing the plan.

The behavioral intervention plan shall become a part of the student's IEP and shall be sufficiently detailed so as to direct the plan's implementation by, or under the supervision of, staff with documented training and qualifications in behavioral management techniques. 5 CCR 3052(c))

Based on the results of the functional analysis assessment, interventions may include: (5 CCR 3052(d))

1. Altering the identified antecedent event to prevent the behavior from occurring

2. Teaching the student alternative behaviors that produce the same consequences as the inappropriate behavior

3. Teaching the student adaptive behaviors; or

4. Manipulating the consequences of behaviors so that the alternative behaviors more effectively produce desired outcomes.

Acceptable responses to targeted behavior may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following: (5 CCR 3052(e))

1. Ignoring the behavior but not the student;

2. Redirecting the student to an activity;

3. Providing verbal feedback;

4. Acknowledging the message of the behavior; or

5. Providing a brief physical prompt to interrupt or prevent aggression, self-abuse or property destruction.

At intervals scheduled by the IEP team, the behavioral intervention case manager, parent/guardian and others as appropriate shall evaluate the effectiveness of the behavioral intervention plan in accordance with law. (5 CCR 3052(f)(4))

If the IEP team determines that major changes in the behavioral intervention plan are necessary, the teacher and behavioral intervention case manager shall conduct additional functional analysis assessments and propose changes. The parent/guardian and the behavioral intervention case manager or qualified designee may make minor modifications in accordance with law without an IEP team meeting. The IEP team also may include in the plan contingency schedules for altering specified procedures, their frequency or their duration, without reconvening the IEP team. (5 CCR 3052(f)(5), (g) & (h))

Emergency Interventions

Only emergency interventions approved by the SELPA may be used. Emergency interventions not specified in a student's behavioral intervention plan shall be used only as long as necessary to control unpredictable, spontaneous behavior which poses clear and present danger of serious physical harm or property damage and which cannot be prevented by a less restrictive response. Upon the prolonged use of an emergency intervention, staff shall seek the assistance of the principal or law enforcement agency as necessitated by the situation. Emergency interventions shall not be used as a substitute for systematic behavioral intervention plans. (5 CCR 3052(i))

Emergency interventions may not include: (5 CCR 3052(i)(4))

1. Locked seclusion, unless otherwise licensed or permitted by law;

2. Use of any material or objects which simultaneously immobilize all hands and feet, except prone containment or similar techniques as a limited emergency intervention by trained staff; or

3. Force exceeding what is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances.

Parents/guardians shall be notified within one school day whenever emergency intervention is used. A behavior emergency report shall immediately be completed, kept in the student's file, and forwarded to the Superintendent or designee for review. This report shall include: (5 CCR 3052(i)(5))

1. The name and age of the student

2. The setting and location of the incident

3. The name of the staff or other persons involved

4. A description of the incident and the emergency intervention used

5. A statement of whether the student is currently engaged in a systematic behavioral intervention plan

6. Details of any injuries sustained by the students or others, including staff, as a result of the incident

If the behavioral emergency report deals with a student who does not have a behavioral intervention plan, the Superintendent or designee shall, within two days, schedule a functional analysis assessment leading to an IEP review and meeting to develop an interim behavior intervention plan. (5 CCR 3052(i)(7))

If the behavioral emergency report deals with a student who has a behavioral intervention plan, the IEP team shall review the incident and determine whether the student's plan needs to be modified. (5 CCR 3052 (i)(8))

7. Prohibited Interventions

The District prohibits any use of the following: (5 CCR 3052(l))

a. Any intervention designed or likely to cause physical pain

b. Releasing noxious, toxic or otherwise unpleasant sprays, mists or substances near the student's face

c. Any intervention that denies adequate sleep, food, water, shelter, bedding, physical comfort or access to the bathroom

d. Any intervention that subjects the student to verbal abuse, ridicule, humiliation or excessive emotional trauma

e. Use of any material or objects which simultaneously immobilize all hands and feet, except prone containment or similar techniques as a limited emergency intervention by trained staff

f. Locked seclusion, unless in a facility otherwise licensed or permitted by law to use a locked room

g. Any intervention that precludes adequate supervision of the student

h. Any intervention that deprives the student of one or more of his/her senses

i. Force exceeding what is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances

Legal Reference:


49001 Prohibition of corporal punishment

56321 Notice of parental rights; consent of parents

56500-56508 Procedural safeguards, including due process rights

56520-56524 Behavioral Interventions


3001 Definitions

3052 Designated positive behavioral interventions


1412 State eligibility

1415 Procedural safeguards


300.1-300.818 Assistance to states for the education of students with disabilities

Management Resources:


Rules and Regulations, August 14, 2006, Vol. 71, Number 156, page 46539-46845


approved: January 18, 1994 Larkspur, California

revised: October 25, 1994

revised: November 12, 2002