On November 20, 2019, Carole L. Clancy, Director of PDE’s Bureau of Special Education disseminated a memo via PennLink titled 2019-2020 School Year Restraint Information System Collection Tracking and Training – Second Quarter Reporting Window.The memo states that the 2019-2020 school year Restraint Information System Collection (RISC) is open for data entry. The system has been enhanced and gives local education agencies (LEAs) greater opportunity to provide both more detail about restraints and to analyze trends in reducing the use of physical restraints.
The Bureau of Special Education (BSE) continues to require LEAs to report the restraints that occurred in each quarter. This reporting process permits LEAs to report restraints in a timely manner which, in turn, allows LEAs to monitor patterns of episodic behaviors and address them accordingly. The quarterly windows of reporting for the 2019-2020 school year are as follows:
End Date: 12/31/2019
Last Report Day: 01/15/2020
Window Opens: 01/01/2020
Window Closes: 01/15/2020
Begin Date: 01/01/2020
End Date: 03/31/2020
Last Report Day: 04/15/2020
Begin Date: 04/01/2020
End Date: 06/30/2020
Last Report Day: 07/15/2020
The RISC reporting design provides an “End Date” for LEAs to comply with their end of quarterly reporting. In addition, there is a two-week window date labeled “Last Day to Report” to allow LEAs to gather and report on those students that attend an out-of-district facility where they were placed in a restraint during that quarter. This two-week period is also a designated time for LEAs that had no restraints during the quarter to report zero in RISC. BSE will continue to send out reminder PENN*LINKS about this quarterly reporting requirement.
BSE will continue to monitor the restraint information reported by LEAs. RISC continues to require each LEA to report the event prior to the incident, the incident, the unsafe behavior, and the de-escalation techniques utilized. The LEA must notify the parent(s) of the use of a restraint and convene an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting within 10-school days of the use of the restraint in the educational program, unless after written notice, the parent agrees in writing to waive the IEP meeting. Additionally, restraints occurring during Extended School Year sessions should be reported within three weeks of the start of the school year.
In reviewing restraints submitted in RISC, the Special Education Advisers of BSE will continue to focus on LEA monitoring responsibilities as well as:
- Training of staff in de-escalation techniques;
- Excessive time of restraint;
- Excessive use of parent waivers;
- Mechanical restraints;
- Number of restraints; and
- 10-day window (school days) to convene an IEP after a restraint occurs.
A RISC reporting webinar is posted on the RISC site at https://apps.leaderservices.com/_risc/index.aspx. The RISC reporting webinar link is located below the login box of the Leader Services RISC sign-in page. This webinar explains the reporting process and how to use the RISC system. The webinar also shares how to update your LEA’s contact information. All parties involved with RISC are highly encouraged to view this webinar to learn how to report restraints, how to use the system, and to understand the regulatory responsibility of LEAs.
Additionally, BSE’s “Guidelines for De-escalation and the Use of/and Reporting of Restraints in Education Entities” is available for review on the RISC site.