NORWICH FREE ACADEMY
SECLUSION, RESTRAINT AND EXCLUSIONARY TIME OUT
The Norwich Free Academy (NFA) believes that maintaining an orderly, safe environment is conducive to learning and is an appropriate expectation of all staff members within NFA. To the extent that staff actions comply with all applicable statutes and NFA policy governing the use of physical force, including physical restraint of students and seclusion of students, staff members will have the full support of NFA in their efforts to maintain a safe environment.
NFA recognizes that there are times when it becomes necessary for staff to use reasonable restraint or place a student in seclusion as an emergency intervention to protect a student from harming himself/herself or to protect others from harm.
Physical restraint means any mechanical or personal restriction that immobilizes or reduces the free movement of a person’s arms, legs or head, including, but not limited to, carrying or forcibly moving a person from one location to another. Excluded from this definition is briefly holding a person in order to calm or comfort the person; restraint involving the minimum contact necessary to safely escort a person from one area to another; medical devices including but not limited to, supports prescribed by a health care provider to achieve proper body position or balance; helmets or other protective gear used to protect a person from injuries due to a fall; or helmets, mitts and similar devices used to prevent self-injury when the device is part of a documented treatment plan or individualized education program pursuant to Connecticut’s special education laws or prescribed or recommended by a medical professional and is the least restrictive means to prevent such self-injury; and an exclusionary time out.
Life-threatening physical restraint means any physical restraint or hold of a person that restricts the flow of air into a person’s lungs, whether by chest compression or any other means, or immobilizes or reduces the free movement of a person’s arms, legs or head while the person is in the prone position. The use of prone restraint is prohibited.
Seclusion means the involuntary confinement of a person in a room, from which the student is physically prevented from leaving. Seclusion does not include an exclusionary time out. Seclusion does not mean any confinement of a student where the student is physically able to leave the area of confinement including in school suspension and time-out.
Psychopharmacologic agent means any medication that affects the central nervous system, influencing thinking, emotion or behavior.
Exclusionary Time Out means a temporary, continuously monitored separation of a student from an ongoing activity in a non-locked setting, for the purpose of calming such a student or deescalating such student’s behavior.
School employee means a teacher, substitute teacher, school administrator, Head of Schools/Superintendent, school counselor, psychologist, social worker, nurse, physician, behaviorist, intervention specialist, campus safety officer or coach employed by NFA; or any other individual who, in the performance of his/her duties has regular contact with students and who provides services to or on behalf of students enrolled at NFA pursuant to a contract with NFA.
Conditions Pertaining to the Use of Physical Restraint and/or Seclusion
A. NFA employees shall not use a physical restraint on a student or place a student in seclusion unless he/she has received certification on the proper means for performing such physical restraint or seclusion.
B. School employees shall not use a life-threatening physical restraint on a student under any circumstance.
C. If any instance of physical restraint or seclusion of a student exceeds fifteen minutes an administrator or his/her designee, or a school health or mental health personnel, or a board certified behavioral analyst, who has received training in the use of physical restraint and seclusion shall determine whether continued physical restraint or seclusion is necessary to prevent immediate or imminent injury to the student or to others. Upon a determination that such continued physical restraint or seclusion is necessary, such individual shall make a new determination every thirty minutes thereafter regarding whether such physical restraint or seclusion is necessary to prevent immediate or imminent injury to the student or to others.
D. No student shall be placed in seclusion unless:
a. The use of seclusion is as an emergency intervention to prevent immediate or imminent injury to the student or to others, provided the seclusion is not used for discipline or convenience and is not used as a substitute for a less restrictive alternative.
b. Such student is continually monitored by an NFA employee during the period of such student’s seclusion. Any student voluntarily or involuntarily placed in seclusion or restrained shall be regularly evaluated by an NFA employee for indications of physical distress. The NFA employee conducting the evaluation shall enter each evaluation in the student’s educational record. Monitor shall mean by direct observation or by observation using video monitoring within physical proximity sufficient to provide aid as may be required.
c. The area in which such student is secluded is equipped with a window or other fixture allowing the student a clear line of sight beyond the area of seclusion.
d. No psychopharmacologic agent will be administered to a student in the absence of applicable medication orders from the student’s physician, in accordance with the medication administration policy 5141.2.
e. In the event that physical restraint or seclusion is used on a student four or more times within twenty school days:
1. An administrator, one or more of such student’s teachers, the parent/guardian of such student and, if any, a mental health professional shall convene for the purpose of:
i. Conducting ore revising a behavioral assessment of the student;
ii. Creating or revising any applicable behavioral intervention plan; and
iii. Determining whether such student may require special education.
f. The parent/guardian of a student who is placed in physical restraint or seclusion shall be notified not later than twenty-four hours after the student is placed in physical restraint or seclusion. A reasonable effort shall be made to provide such notification immediately after such physical restraint or seclusion is initiated.
g. NFA shall:
1. Record each instance of the use of physical restraint on a student;
2. Specify whether the use of seclusion was in accordance with an individualized education program;
3. Specify the nature of the emergency that necessitated the use of such physical restraint or seclusion; and
4. Include such information in an annual compilation on its use of such restraint and seclusion on students.
E. NFA shall provide such annual compilation to the CT Department of Education in order to examine incidents of physical restraint and seclusion at NFA.
F. Any use of physical restraint or seclusion on a student shall be documented in the student’s educational record. The documentation shall include:
a. The nature of the emergency and what other steps, including attempts at verbal de- escalation, were taken to prevent the emergency from arising if there were indications that such an emergency was likely to arise; and
b. A detailed description of the nature of the restraint or seclusion, the duration of such restraint or seclusion and the effect of such restraint or seclusion on the student’s established educational plan.
G. Any incident of the use of restraint or seclusion that results in physical injury to a student shall be reported to the State Board of Education.
Conditions Pertaining to the Use of Exclusionary Time Out
A. Exclusionary time outs are not to be used as a form of discipline.
B. At least one NFA employee must remain with the student, or be immediately available to the student such that the student and school employee are able to communicate verbally, throughout the exclusionary time out.
C. The space used for an exclusionary time out is clean, safe, sanitary and appropriate for the purpose of calming such student or deescalating such student’s behavior.
D. The exclusionary time-out period terminates as soon as possible.
E. If the student is a child requiring special education, as defined in Section 10-76a or a child being evaluated for special education, pursuant to section 10-76d and awaiting a determination, and the interventions or strategies are unsuccessful in addressing such student’s problematic behavior, such student’s planning and placement team (PPT) shall convene as soon as is practicable to determine alternative interventions or strategies.
Crisis Intervention Teams
Annually, NFA shall identify a crisis intervention team. Such team shall consist of NFA professionals, intervention specialists and administrators certified in the use of physical restraint and seclusion.
Such team shall respond to any incident in which the use of physical restraint or seclusion may be necessary as an emergency intervention to prevent immediate or imminent injury to a student or to others.
Each member of the crisis intervention team shall be recertified in the use of physical restraint and seclusion on an annual basis.
Required Training and Prevention Training Plan
Training regarding physical restraint and seclusion of students shall be provided by NFA to members of the crisis intervention team. NFA may also provide training to any teacher, administrator, school professional, intervention specialist or other NFA employee designated by the house principal and who has direct contact with students. Such training shall include, but not be limited to:
A. An overview of the relevant laws and regulations regarding the use of physical restraint and seclusion on students. (Such overview is to be provided by the Department of Education on
or after July 1, 2017 and annually thereafter, in a manner and form as prescribed by the Commissioner of Education.)
B. The creation of a plan by which the Head of Schools/Superintendent or his or her designee will provide school professionals, intervention specialists and administrators with training and professional development regarding the prevention of incidents requiring physical restraint or seclusion of students.
C. The creation of a plan requiring the training of appropriate school professionals, intervention specialists and administrators regarding the proper means of physically restraining or secluding a student, shall include, but not be limited to:
a. Verbal defusing and de-escalation;
b. Prevention strategies;
c. Various types of physical restraint and seclusion;
d. The differences between life-threatening physical restraint and other varying levels of physical restraint;
e. The differences between permissible physical restraint and pain compliance techniques;
f. Monitoring methods to prevent harm to a student who is physically restrained or in seclusion, including training in the proper means of physically restraining or secluding a student; and
g. Recording and reporting procedures on the use of physical restraint and seclusion.
Legal References: Connecticut General Statutes
10-76b State supervision of special education programs and services. 10-76d Duties and powers of boards of education to provide special education programs and services.
46a-150 Definitions. (as amended by PA 07-147 and PA 15-141)
46a-152 Physical restraint, seclusion and use of psychopharmacologic agents restricted. Monitoring and documentation required.
46a-153 Recording of use of restraint and seclusion required. Review of records by state agencies. Reviewing state agency to report serious injury or death to Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities and to Office of Child Advocate. (as amended by PA 12-88) 53a-18 Use of reasonable physical force or deadly physical force generally. 53a-19 Use of physical force in defense of person.
53a-20 Use of physical force in defense of premises. 53a-21 Use of physical force in defense of property.
PA 07-147 An Act Concerning Restraints and Seclusion in Public Schools. PA 15-141 An Act Concerning Seclusion and Restraint in Schools.
State Board of Education Regulations Sections 10-76b-5 through 10-76b- 11.
Policy adopted: December 10, 1991
Policy Revised: May 22, 2007, August 21, 2012, September 17, 2019