A Message from Education Specialist Kathy Giordano on Manifestation Determination Meetings

As Spring arrives each year, TAA seems to receive an increase in calls regarding suspensions. TAA Education Specialist Kathy Giordano provides the most current information regarding the legalities for obtaining manifestation for students with IEP’s or 504 Plans, as well as students with neither of these.
 
A manifestation determination occurs when a child who has an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or a 504 Plan is facing possible long-term suspension as a result of a violation or multiple violations of the school's written code of conduct.
 
The purpose of the manifestation determination is to determine whether the behavior for which the student has been suspended is the direct result of the student's disability; whether it was the direct result of the school's failure to implement the student's IEP or it was unrelated to the student's disability.
 
IDEA specifies that the manifestation determination is to be conducted by the IEP team and that it should review all relevant information including the student's IEP, teacher observations, information from the parent and from the student, when age appropriate.  The manifestation determination is especially important for students with the complex neurobiological condition, Tourette Syndrome, as their symptoms are often misunderstood.  When conducted properly, manifestation determination should be helpful to a student with TS.
 
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“As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or honor, hurt or heal.”Haim Ginott

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