Reminder: PDE RISC Quarter 2 Reporting Window Open (December 3, 2021)

On BSE Director Carole L. Clancy disseminated a PennLink titled 2021-22 School Year Restraint Information System Collection Tracking and Training Second Quarter Reporting Window. It stated that the Restraint Information System Collection (RISC) is open for data entry for the first quarter (restraints occurring between October 1 – January 1 of the 2021-22 school year). 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.

Throughout the 2021-22 school year, LEAs will be required to report RISC data regardless of their instructional delivery method (in-person, virtual, blended, etc.). This will also include reporting zero restraints during a quarter when restraints did not occur.

In addition, LEAs are still required to comply with 22 Pa. Code § 14.133(f) or 22 Pa. Code § 711.46(f) Positive Behavior Support related to training of personnel in specific procedures, methods and techniques. However, 22 Pa. Code § 14.133(f) and 22 Pa. Code § 711.46(f) Positive Behavior Support does not require LEAs to acquire certification in this process and leaves this up to the LEAs and their specific training model. The training of personnel should provide varied intervention and strategies needed to address problem behaviors. These types of intervention chosen for a specific student or eligible young child shall be the least intrusive necessary. The use of restraints is considered a measure of last resort, only to be used after other less restrictive measures, including de-escalation techniques.

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 2021-22 school year are as follows:

Qtr 2
Begin Date: 10/01/2021
End Date: 12/31/2021
Last Day to Report: 01/15/2022
Zero Window Opens: 01/01/2022
Zero Window Closes: 01/15/2022

Qtr 3
Begin Date: 01/01/2022
End Date: 03/31/2022
Last Day to Report: 04/15/2022
Zero Window Opens: 04/01/2022
Zero Window Closes: 04/15/2022

Qtr 4
Begin Date: 04/01/2022
End Date: 06/30/2022|
Last Day to Report: 07/15/2022
Zero Window Opens: 07/01/2022
Zero Window Closes: 07/15/2022

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 monitor the restraint information reported by LEAs. RISC requires each LEA to report the event that occurred prior to the incident, the incident, the unsafe behavior, and the de-escalation techniques utilized. The LEA must notify the parent(s)/guardians of the use of a restraint and schedule an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting within 10 school days of the use of the restraint in the educational program, unless the parent(s)/guardians, after written notice, agree(s) 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 of school-age IEP students, 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;
  • Injuries;
  • Number of restraints;
  • 10-day window (school days) to convene an IEP meeting after a restraint occurs; and
  • Handcuffing of students or students charged with a safe school’s offense.

A RISC reporting webinar is posted on the RISC website: 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 website.

Questions regarding RISC should be directed to Keith Focht: 717-783-6921 or kfocht@pa.gov.