Table of Contents
Bullying Prevention Policy
Soaring Eagle Academy strives to provide a safe and nurturing environment for students with special needs and to ensure that students are cared for socially, emotionally, physically, and intellectually. Bullying, including harassment and intimidation, have no place at Soaring Eagle Academy and are contrary to the school’s mission to provide a therapeutic learning environment for its students.
Bullying on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental disability, military status, sexual orientation, gender-related identity or expression, unfavorable discharge from military service, association with a person or group with one or more of the aforementioned actual or perceived characteristics, or any other distinguishing characteristic is strictly prohibited at Soaring Eagle Academy. No student shall be subjected to bullying:
- During any Soaring Eagle Academy sponsored education program or activity;
- While in school, on school property, on school buses or other school vehicles, or at school-sponsored or school-sanctioned events or activities;
- Through the transmission of information from a school computer, a school computer network, or other similar electronic school equipment; or
- Through the transmission of information from a computer that is accessed at a nonschool-related location, activity, function, or program or from the use of technology or an electronic device that is not owned, leased, or used by a school if the bullying causes a substantial disruption to the education process or orderly operation of a school. This item (4) applies only in cases in which a school administrator or teacher receives a report that bullying through this means has occurred and does not require a school to staff or monitor any nonschool-related activity, function or program.
Bullying, includes cyber-bullying (as defined below), and means any severe or pervasive physical or verbal act or conduct, including communications made in writing or electronically, directed toward a student or students that has or can be reasonably predicted to have the effect of one or more of the following:
- Placing the student or students in reasonable fear of harm to the student’s or students’ person or property;
- Causing a substantially detrimental effect on the student’s or students’ physical or mental health;
- Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ academic performance; or
- Substantially interfering with the student’s or students’ ability to participate in or benefit from the services, activities, or privileges provided by the school.
Bullying may take various forms, including without limitation one or more of the following: harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft, public humiliation, destruction of property, or retaliation for asserting or alleging an act of bullying. This list is intended to be illustrative and non-exhaustive.
Cyber-bullying is defined as bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, including without limitation any transfer of signs, signals, writing, images, sounds, data, or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by a wire, radio, electromagnetic system, photo-electronic system, or photo-optical system, including without limitation electronic mail, Internet communications, instant messages, or facsimile communications. “Cyber-bullying” includes the creation of a webpage or weblog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages if the creation or impersonation creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying in this policy. “Cyber-bullying” also includes the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that may be accessed by one or more persons if the distribution or posting creates any of the effects enumerated in the definition of bullying per this policy.
Bullying is strictly prohibited by Illinois law and contrary to Soaring Eagle Academy’s policies.
Students and/or parents/guardian having knowledge of any such incident(s) are encouraged to immediately report bullying to the Principal. A report may be made orally or in writing to the above-named individual(s), whose contact information is provided below. Anyone, including staff members and parents/guardians, who has information about actual or threatened bullying is encouraged to report it to the Principal immediately. Anonymous reports may also be made in writing and provided to the address below.
Melissa Lind, Principal
Soaring Eagle Academy
800 Parkview Blvd, Lombard IL 60148
Phone: 630-323-2900 x2001
E-mail address: email@example.com
Consistent with federal and state laws and rules governing student privacy rights, as applicable, and Soaring Eagle Academy’s policies, the Principal or his/her designee, will inform all parents/guardians of those students involved in the alleged incident of bullying and discuss, as appropriate, the need for interventions, such as individual counseling, social work services, group counseling, and restorative measures. The following are interventions that can be taken to address bullying: school social work services, family processing, social-emotional development, counseling, school psychological services, and community-based services.
Please be advised that Soaring Eagle Academy serves a unique, disabled population of students whose primary diagnosis includes Autism. As a result, each reported instance of bullying is assessed on a case-by-case basis, as determined to be appropriate by Soaring Eagle Academy’s Principal in collaboration with the SEA Leadership Team, keeping in mind that our students may make verbal statements and/or physical overtures as a result of their diagnosis(es), impaired language capabilities, and comprehension delays, which may be misinterpreted and cannot be considered intentional acts of bullying. Soaring Eagle Academy has a process to investigate whether a reported act of bullying is within the permissible scope of the school’s jurisdiction. The safety and well-being of our students is Soaring Eagle Academy’s top priority, and intentional acts of bullying will be addressed and investigated as required by this policy.
Reports of bullying will be promptly investigated by appropriate Soaring Eagle Academy staff and/or administrators. Reasonable efforts will be made to complete the investigation within ten (10) school days after the date the report of the incident of bullying was received and taking into consideration additional relevant information received during the course of the investigation about the reported incident of bullying. Any reports of bullying will be kept confidential to the extent possible given the need to investigate the reported claim. School support personnel and other staff members with relevant knowledge and experience, may be involved in the investigation process, as deemed appropriate. The Principal, or his/her designee, shall be notified of all reports of bullying as soon as possible after the report is made. Consistent with the applicable federal and state law, and Soaring Eagle Academy’s policies regarding student privacy and confidentiality, parents/guardians of the students who are parties to the investigation may be provided relevant information regarding the investigation, as deemed appropriate by the Principal or his/her designee, and an opportunity to meet with the Principal, or his/her designee, to discuss the investigation, the findings of the investigation, and the actions taken to address the reported incident of bullying, as deemed appropriate.
Any student who is determined, after an investigation, to have engaged in bullying will be subject to disciplinary consequences as deemed appropriate and consistent with Soaring Eagle Academy’s disciplinary policies, and/or the disciplinary policies of the student’s referring school district, as applicable and deemed appropriate. Please be advised that Soaring Eagle Academy may share information regarding incidents of bullying with the referring school district(s) of those students involved in a bullying incident, and an individualized education program (“IEP”) meeting may be convened to discuss the impact, if any, on the student’s current educational program and supports and services. Additional services that are available within the referring school district and community, such as counseling, support services, and other programs, should be discussed directly with the student’s referring school district by the parent/guardian.
Students who make good faith complaints will not be disciplined. Any retaliation or reprisal against any person who reports an act of bullying per this policy is a violation of this policy and strictly prohibited. Further, consequences and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken as deemed necessary by Soaring Eagle Academy for the person engaging in retaliation or reprisal. Appropriate consequences and remedial action may also be taken against a person found to have falsely accused another of bullying as a means of retaliation or as a means of bullying.
This policy is consistent with Soaring Eagle Academy’s policies. Soaring Eagle Academy will periodically engage in a policy evaluation process to assess the outcomes and effectiveness of this policy by collecting and assessing the following information: 1) the frequency of victimization; 2) student, staff, and family observations of safety at a school; 3) identification of areas of the school where bullying occurs; 4) the types of bullying that are common or occurring; and, 5) bystander intervention or participation. Accordingly, relevant data may be collected or utilized for this purpose and any information developed as part of this evaluation process will be made available through the school’s website or otherwise provided to Soaring Eagle Academy’s board, administrators, school personnel, parents, and students.
As related to the requirements for development, notification, and posting, please be advised of the following:
- This policy is based on engagement with a range of school stakeholders, including students and parents/guardians.
- This policy is required to be posted where other policies, rules, or standards of conduct are posted in the school.
- This policy is posted prominently on our website and included in the school handbook.
- This policy shall be distributed annually to parents, guardians, students, and school personnel, including new employees when hired.
Policy for Non-Violent Crisis Intervention and Individualized Regulatory Support Plans
At Soaring Eagle Academy, Individualized Regulatory Support Plans (IRSP) are designed to address areas of unmet needs and support co-regulatory strategies to replace dysregulation and resulting challenging behaviors. These behaviors arise because of a student’s individual sensory profile, language comprehension and emotional processing challenges and developmental level. Supporting students in reaching a calm, regulated state with readiness to learn will be achieved using sensory supports, language comprehension strategies and co-regulatory strategies in natural environments throughout their day.
An individual Regulatory Support Plan (IRSP) is the completion of a complex assessment and resulting intervention Safety Plan when appropriate that is developed and updated regularly and reviewed at a student’s Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) meeting. The purpose of the plan is to expand the staff and parents understanding of the student’s regulatory profile in order to decrease behaviors and facilitate a calm regulated state throughout a student’s day.
Soaring Eagle Academy’s Individual Sensory Profile and Regulatory Assessment and the Individual Regulatory Support Plan (IRSP) contain many components including the following:
- Objective description of behavior
- Locations or situations where behavior occurs
- Locations or situations where the student is regulated and the behavior does not occur
- Events that happen just before the behavior
- Events that happen just after the behavior
- Additional information, including the student’s health, medication and strengths.
- Strengths of the student
- Additional supports and interventions that will be provided
- Data collection and evaluation
- Plan for communication with student’s family
Utilizing Soaring Eagle Academy’s Developmental Language and Developmental Individual Differences, Relationship-Based thinking, students must posses the following capacities to complete an intentional behavior.
- Develop relationships with classroom staff
- Be available for learning
- Understand the expectation
- Have an intent to avoid or escape an activity
- Have the capacity to pre-plan and comprehend an alternative solution to a challenging behavior
When this developmental level is reached, then additional developmentally appropriate supports will be added to the students IRSP and Safety Plan that facilitate positive relationships with staff and peers and continue facilitating the students sense of self and self-esteem while continuing to access Soaring Eagle Academy’s educational and social programming and the student’s IEP.
In the event that a student’s dysregulation results in behaviors that present imminent physical danger and less restrictive interventions have failed, procedures are in place for implementation of safe emergency intervention techniques to protect the safety of everyone involved through the Mandt System. “The Mandt System is a comprehensive, integrated approach to preventing, de-escalating, and if necessary, intervening when the behavior of an individual poses a threat of harm to themselves and/or others. The focus of The Mandt System is on building healthy relationships between all the stakeholders in human service settings in order to facilitate the development of an organizational culture that provides the emotional, psychological, and physical safety needed in order to teach new behaviors to replace the behaviors that are labeled “challenging”.
“The Mandt System integrates knowledge about the neurobiological impact of childhood trauma with the principles of positive behavior support and provides a framework that empowers service providers to do their work in a way that minimizes the use of coercion in behavior change methodologies.” Staff is trained in The Mandt System, Soaring Eagle Academy’s Individual Regulatory Support Plan, Safety Plan when appropriate and Relationship Based and Developmental Models by trained individuals, and supported in building healthy relationships. Additionally, regular mental health-based processing is available to all staff across classrooms and systems.
Soaring Eagle Academy’s behavior policies and procedures promote proactive developmental and emotionally affirming approaches that support students along a continuum of developing their ability to regulate him/herself. Soaring Eagle Academy does not use any behavior intervention strategies that would jeopardize the safety or security of students or that would rely upon pain as a method of control. Emergency behavioral management intervention techniques are only used to maintain a safe environment and only to the extent necessary to preserve the safety of the student and others. Such techniques are never utilized as a form of punishment.
Prior to enrollment at SEA, a copy of this Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Policy, that details our facility’s behavior management procedures, is provided to the parent/guardian with date received listed on the Nonpublic Facility Placement Contract. Parents are also required to sign and return the Non-Violent Crisis Intervention Policy Acknowledgement form after having reviewed the policy.
After enrollment at Soaring Eagle Academy, the Individual Sensory Profile and Regulatory Assessment is initiated. An Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting is then held at Soaring Eagle Academy to share
this additional information and update the student’s IEP. Additionally, a Safety Plan is provided at that time if needed.
Individual Sensory Profile and Regulatory Assessment:
The Individual Sensory Profile and Regulatory Assessment (IRSP) includes any or all of the following in the determination of an appropriate IRSP:
– Review of history, case records, health, medication
– Interview of parents, teachers, aides, therapists and/or primary caregivers;
– Direct observation of student across environments;
– Direct observation of the challenging dysregulation as it occurs;
– Frequency of dysregulation throughout a student’s day **
– Time of dysregulation throughout the student’s day
– Location of dysregulation throughout a student’s day**
– Detailed analysis of sensory profile needs, language comprehension and communication needs and affect/emotional processing needs.
– Profile Consideration that can negatively effect Regulation
- Hyper-responsivity or Hypo-responsivity to Auditory, Visual, Tactile, Vestibular or Multisensory input
- Specific variables in each area
- Auditory – Ex. Unexpected loud noises, crying
- Visual – Ex. Bright lights, people/objects moving near them
- Tactile – Ex. Unexpected touch, wet clothing
- Vestibular – Ex. Feet being off the ground, rotary movement
- Body Awareness/Postural Control – Ex. climbing, unstable surface
- Visual Spatial – Ex. Navigating self over/around school
- Language – Ex. Use of too much language, Not being able to understand what is requested or expected
- Motor Planning/Problem Solving – Ex. Transitions, getting on/off new equipment or objects.
- Emotions – Ex. High level of emotion positive or negative
- Sleep – Ex. Feeling tired/fatigued, not enough sleep
- Eating/Food – Ex. Not wanting food, eating too fast/slow
- Toileting – Ex. Having a bathroom accident. Frequently toileting
– Range of arousal
– Postural security
– Problem solving
– Trial interventions and strategies; support from the Occupational therapist, Behavior DIR ® Specialist (Substitute Teacher with additional training in the DIR® model supporting the Functional Emotional Developmental Levels of students), Speech Language Pathologist, Mental Health worker, Teacher and Behavior DIR ®Expert Clinician (Licensed Speech Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist or Counselor with additional training and expertise in DIR® model thinking from the DIR® certification organizations).
Developing Individualized Regulatory Support Plan (IRSP):
The IRSP is based on the Individual Sensory Profile and Regulatory Assessment and consist of:
– DIR ® individualized sensory processing and motor profile, and language comprehension, communication, and emotional processing capacities.
– Identification, description, location, frequency and length of dysregulation
– Identifying strengths of the student
– Identifying environments where the student is regulated and calm
– Identified variables and profile considerations negatively effecting regulation
– Underlying reason for dysregulation
– Identified anxieties contributing to dysregulation
– Proactive strategies and techniques including sensory profile plan and language comprehension strategies and supports designed to support the student’s optimal level of regulation
Auditory support – Ex. Working a quiet room, wear sound dampening headphones
Visual support – Ex. Prepare the student when someone or something is coming into their visual field, close blinds on sunny days
Tactile support – Ex. Towels ready to wipe clean, offer tools, gloves for unwanted textures
Vestibular (movement) Ex. Linear swinging, rolling
Proprioception support – Ex. Push heavy object when moving between rooms, bounce on a therapy ball or ball chair.
Oral-Respiratory Support – Ex. Blow bubbles, eat sour or crunchy foods
Visual Spatial support – Ex. Make student space organized and predictable,, define a large space by providing smaller areas for student to play and work in within large space.
Language support – Ex. Keep language to a minimum using more affect and gestures, use real pictures to support language comprehension
Motor Planning/Problem Solving – Ex. Make all actions engaging and meaningful, prepare for novel activities through use of pictures and video.
Social -Emotional – Ex. Provide transitional objects, express simple statements reflecting feelings or needs of student
Eating/Food – Ex. Allow enough time, prepare food items ahead of time
Toileting – Ex. Use visuals of bathroom, all time to transition to bathroom
– Least restrictive interventions (see Regulatory Interventions Hierarchy) to support regulation and coregulation in order to maintain safety during instances of dysregulation
– Interventions and strategies to reduce the need for more restrictive intervention techniques (if applicable)
– Data collection to monitor success of intervention plan and sensory supports
– Data collection to monitor the need for more restrictive intervention techniques (if applicable)
All individuals will be given the opportunity to participate in the development of his or her IRSP. Individuals can request changes to his or her plan by notifying any staff member.
Individual Regulatory Support Plan development for any individual will utilize the approach that best allows the student to self- regulate and regain a well-regulated state as established in the Regulatory Interventions Hierarchy and as determined by the sensory profile and regulatory assessment.
Regulatory Interventions Hierarchy:
I. Co-Regulatory Interventions that are least restrictive:
A. Procedures for increasing co-regulatory capacities:
1. Emotional Support Strategies: The identification of and capacity to empathically join the emotional state of the student during moments of negative affect (frustration, anger, embarrassment, rage, sadness, jealousy) while using language that is developmentally appropriate to the student’s linguistic level. Staff will create a safe and trusting emotional tone in the context of any dysregulation to support the student’s capacity to express his/her emotions freely and without judgment. Capacity to express emotions can be nonverbal or verbal. Any nonverbal attempt to express an emotional state will be interpreted and validated by staff. A warm and positive environment creates opportunities for thinking, learning and social interactions.
2. Environmental and Sensory Supports: With the support of the Occupational therapist, Behavior DIR ® Specialist and Behavior DIR ® Expert Clinician as well as the student’s individual sensory profile, specific environmental modifications will be made to support the student to maintain a well-regulated state. This may include reduction of visual information, movement near or around student, tactile information, auditory information, and/or increased active or passive movement to support regulatory capacities.
3. Contingent Communication:
a) Student’s emotional state is identified and responded to immediately by staff;
b) Reasons for student’s dysregulation are identified and responded to immediately by staff.
c) Staff provides matched affect or counterbalance affect state to support co-regulatory capacities
d) Student’s capacity to regulate is met with positive support and review by staff.
4. Providing support for student’s comprehension of language or the situation/context
a) Staff will be aware of student’s comprehension capacities when supporting regulatory capacities. Reduction of language or language that is developmentally appropriate will be used.
b) Use of visual supports/photos/gestures/facial expressions to aid in the student’s ability to understand the overall situation or context as well as to give ideas and options about regulatory alternatives will be provided for the student.
c) Staff will monitor rate of speech, pacing of interaction and vocal intensity to support student’s regulatory capacities.
5. Supporting new self regulatory capacities
a) Staff will initially help student find sensory, language, affect/emotional supports that lead to co-regulated states (Staff may choose the option that they know has helped the student in the past or introduce a sensory support to help the student).
b) Staff will provide student with a range of choices that have supported their regulatory capacities in past interactions. Student will be able to choose from these options given their own internal understanding about what supports their regulation.
c) Staff will comment on the student’s growing dysregulation and support their ability to think of a regulatory strategy that has worked in past interactions.
d) Student will experience dysregulation and spontaneously seek out or ask for strategies and supports that have successfully worked in past interactions.
B. Procedures for decreasing physical acts towards self or another (hitting, biting, throwing, etc…):
Soaring Eagle Academy is committed to understanding the reasons why a student engages in physical acts towards self or another. As stated in above sections, understanding the student’s unique profile is essential to understanding why these acts occur and how to support the student. Challenges in the student’s auditory sensitivity, visual spatial system, sensory processing capacities, motor planning and praxis capacities, comprehension of language capacities and expressive language capacities all contribute to physical acts towards another or towards oneself. Therefore, procedures for decreasing these acts will be directly tied to understanding the unique profile and applying strategies that support the deficiency or challenge within that capacity. This information will be part of the student’s Safety Plan when development of such plan is indicated.
1. Providing support for student’s unique individual sensory profile:
a) If student is hitting, in addition to above strategies under part (A), staff will determine if there are any underlying physical reasons or sensory needs when hitting occurs. If student’s motor planning capacities are compromised, hitting may be the easiest motor plan when they are in distress. Supporting motor planning capacities to develop will be a strategy when hitting is occurring. If student needs more proprioceptive or tactile input, hitting may serve as a way to obtain that input. Staff with support of an occupational therapist will explore providing other ways to achieve this input.
b) If student is biting, in addition to above strategies under part (A), determine if there are any underlying physical reasons or sensory needs when biting occurs. If student needs more proprioceptive or tactile input, biting may serve as a way to obtain that input. Staff with support of an occupational therapist will explore providing other ways to achieve this input.
c) If student is throwing, in addition to above strategies under part (A), staff will determine if there are any underlying physical reasons or sensory needs when throwing occurs. If student’s motor planning capacities are compromised, throwing may be an easy motor plan when they are in distress. Treating throwing as intentional, providing destinations for throwing and supporting intentional motor planning of this act will be strategies when throwing occurs.
2. Gentle physical guiding of student to safe place (ex. Sensory room) utilizing a visual of the room and their transitional items. Safe areas for students are the sensory room or therapy rooms located within each classroom system. Designated safe areas are mapped out along all transportation routes and off site locations. Egress is not restricted while a student is in the sensory room. At least one staff member remains in the room with the student unless requested by the student to leave the room.
3. Boundary and Limit Setting: Staff will support the student to feel safe in their environment. When students are ready developmentally for boundaries and limit setting, staff will place these boundaries and limits for safety, physical acts towards others or themselves by supporting the student’s comprehension through visuals (written and/or pictures) and verbally and nonverbally expressing/indicating that this is not acceptable. Verbal limit setting will take the form of staff members indicating to the student that they will not allow him/her to hurt another or themselves. Students will be supported in understanding what they can do through visuals of activities and ideas. Limit setting will typically be provided by the student’s team (Classroom Teachers, Behavior DIR® Specialist, Occupational Therapist, Code Blue Responder and Mental Health worker) versus 1:1 Teacher Assistant/Teacher Assistant.
4. Use of Emergency Alert Codes: When appropriate staff are required to wear a walkie talkie. All staff are trained to call codes for regulation support. 1:1 Teacher Assistant/Teacher Assistants step aside during the code allowing the response team to intervene with strategies to de-escalate and support the teacher assistant in bringing his/her student back to regulation and engagement. The codes, their meaning, the responders and the call is detailed as follows:
Yellow Code- Meaning: staff requesting support in a situation that has the possibility
for personal injury to staff or students due to student’s increased anxiety, loss of engagement, heightened demeanor, struggling to stay on schedule.
Responders: Classroom Teachers, Behavior DIR® Specialist, 1:1 Teacher Assistant/Teacher Assistant
Call: Code Yellow (classroom name)(classroom teacher) (place in school)
Example- Code Yellow Primary Lindsey Sensory Gym
Red Code-Meaning: staff requesting support in a situation that is currently involving personal injury to staff or students including hitting/hurting self or
others, throwing objects, fleeing building, disrupting other students, destroying property.
Responders: Substitute Teacher/Code Blue Responder (licensed as a substitute teacher, with additional training in SEA clinical model of DIR Floortime/Developmental Language Model and SEA’s nonviolent crisis intervention methods supporting student dysregulation/behaviors and MANDT) , Behavior DIR® Specialist , Classroom Teachers
Call: Code Red (classroom name)(teacher name) (place in school)
Example- Code Red Intermediate Brenna Tech Center
Red Spill Code- Meaning: Staff requesting support in a situation that is involving bodily
Fluid or excessive liquid that creates an environmental hazard.
Responders: Janitor, Classroom Teachers, Code Blue Responder, DIR® Specialist
Call: Code Red Spill (place in school)
Example- Code Red Spill High School Classroom
Code Blue-Meaning: Red Response team member is calling for Code Blue response team to assist and walk/accompany student from a situation that is currently involving personal injury to staff or students including hitting/hurting self or others, throwing objects, fleeing building, disrupting other students, destroying property.
Responders: Code Blue Response Team
Call: Code Blue(classroom name)(teacher name) (place in school)
Example- Code Blue Intermediate Brenna Tech Center
Code Green – Meaning: Code Blue Response team member is calling for additional
crisis team to assist and walk/accompany student from a situation that is currently involving personal injury to staff or students including hitting/hurting self or others, throwing objects, fleeing building, disrupting other students, destroying property that requires additional responders.
Responders: Crisis Team
Call: Code Green (classroom name) (teacher name) (place in school)
Example- Code Green High School Danielle Classroom
Behavior DIR® Expert Clinicians are called when the student continues to have Code Blues, a Code Green is initiated and the Individual Regulatory Support Plan and Safety Plan are not supporting the student to reach a calm and regulated state. The Principal and Licensed Speech Language Pathologist/Behavior DIR® Expert Clinician are contacted for any student or staff injury or property damage. Parents are contacted the day of the incident. The parents receive the ISBE Physical Restraint and Time Out Form within 24 hours of the incident. Soaring Eagle Academy’s Dysregulation Form is sent to the school district and parents within 48 hours.
II. More Restrictive Interventions:
Soaring Eagle Academy has adopted a relationship-based non-violent means of restrictive intervention called the Mandt System®. The Mandt System© is based on the philosophy that all people have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Mandt believes that relationships should be based on principles in which people are allowed to participate in decisions about their lives. Mandt recognizes and considers people’s behavior, even negative behavior, as a form of communication. The foundation for the entire program is to build healthy relationships between staff and students we serve to ensure that people feel safe, their needs are met, and goals are achieved.
Soaring Eagle is a “no holds” school that uses assisting and supporting instead of restraint. More Restrictive Interventions are trained for preventative measure only when there is an imminent danger that the student or another may be injured. It is the belief that when staff uses de-escalation tools and focuses on safety there is no need to do a physical hold. Teacher assistants and teachers are trained in assisting, supporting, and accompanying students. After a code is called the Teacher Assistant is supported in bringing his/her student back to regulation and engagement.
The Mandt System® program presents an education and training system of gradual and graded alternatives for de-escalating and supporting people, using a combination of interpersonal communication skills and physical interaction techniques designed to reduce injury to all the participants in an encounter ( ). Soaring Eagle has an on-site Mandt System® certified trainer who trains all staff annually in the use of this intervention. While Soaring Eagle Academy maintains a hands-off environment, it is essential that staff members are trained in an appropriate manner should a student become a safety risk to himself or others. All staff participates in an initial 6-hour training, with 1-hour training repeated every year for recertification. Additionally, bi-monthly preventative safety trainings and review of specific student safety plans are completed in each classroom system. Staff are certificated from MANDT after passing their test battery. The Response Team is led by a Licensed Speech Language Pathologist/ Behavior DIR® Expert Clinician or other designee and made up of 15 to 20 staff including classroom specific Code Blue Responders, Behavior DIR® Specialists, and some 1:1 Teacher Assistants specifically trained for More Restrictive Interventions. The MANDT trainer conducts every other week trainings for 20-30 minutes for these More Restrictive Interventions throughout the school year.
The following intervention hierarchy is implemented when a student is a danger to themselves or others.
A. Physical intervention Hierarchy:
1. Gentle physical guiding of student to safe place (ex. Sensory room) utilizing a visual of the room and their transitional items. Safe areas for students are the sensory room or therapy rooms located within each classroom system. Designated safe areas are mapped out along all transportation routes and offsite locations. Egress is not restricted while a student is in the sensory room.
B. Environmental Intervention:
1. If student is unable to be guided to a safe place (sensory room, floor time room, sensory gym) outside of the classroom environment within a relatively short period of time (5-10 minutes), staff will have other students move out of the classroom to a new location while supporting regulation of the student engaged in harm to self or others.
2. Staff will make the current environment as safe as possible by moving furniture out of the student’s way and ensuring safety of student and property within the environment.
3. Two staff members will stay within visual site and auditory contact of student at all times during dysregulation.
C. Parental Intervention:
If the student is unable to regulate themselves within a reasonable period of time (45-60 minutes), and physical acts continue despite all interventions, the staff will contact the student’s parents to come and assist in supporting with this process. Together, parents and staff will determine if the student should leave school for the remainder of the day. If a student leaves school early, then district will be notified.
Criteria for Implementing More Restrictive Interventions:
Rationale for use of an emergency or more restrictive intervention must be that imminent physical danger and risk of injury is present, less restrictive interventions have failed, and use of an emergency intervention is necessary to protect for the safety of the student and everyone involved. The risks associated with allowing the physical acts to continue without a more restrictive intervention must be more than the risks associated with use of a more restrictive intervention.
Emergency or more restrictive interventions may be implemented only with the approval of the MANDT trained Code Blue Responder or Behavior DIR® Expert Clinician. The Licensed Speech Language Pathologist/Behavior DIR® Expert Clinician, Principal or administrative designee will review all Dysregulation Reports. An exception may occur when extenuating circumstances occur in an environment where immediate supervisory or administrative support is not available (i.e.: in a community setting or while in a vehicle) where immediate use of a more restrictive intervention is necessary to provide for safety. In such cases, the staff member with the most seniority and/or most knowledge of the student may implement an approved more restrictive intervention to maintain care, welfare, safety and security.
Implementation of more restrictive interventions will be designated for safety and in the best interest of the individual and shall never be used as punishment, for staff convenience, or as a substitute for proactive co-regulatory strategies and interventions.
Examples of physical acts which may require the use of more restrictive interventions include:
– Any physical act (biting, hitting, scratching, pinching, punching) that continues without responding to coregulatory efforts and least restrictive measures/attempts by staff.
– Any repetitive self-injurious behaviors which are resulting in injury.
– Fleeing from the building
-Aggression towards students/adults in the community
Emergency or restrictive intervention in a Community Setting or Vehicle:
At times, dysregulation resulting in physical acts to others or self may occur while in vehicles or on a community outing. In such cases, staff will intervene following Mandt Training Protocol (see steps below). If least restrictive interventions are unsuccessful to provide for the immediate safety of everyone involved, more restrictive intervention may be necessary.
It is very important that signs of dysregulation and anxiety are identified and addressed at the earliest level possible to avoid dysregulation that may lead to physical acting out.
In the event of any instance of dysregulation in the community, the following steps will be taken:
1. As soon as signs of dysregulation or anxiety are noted, an available staff will phone Soaring Eagle Academy to notify the Behavior DIR® Expert Clinician on duty of the situation. The Principal or Behavior DIR® Expert Clinician may choose to immediately send additional staff to assist in regulation and/or transportation.
2. If physical acts meet the criteria under “physical acts which may require the use of more restrictive interventions” staff will implement approved more restrictive interventions as a last resort to provide for the immediate safety of all individuals involved.
3. After returning to Soaring Eagle Academy, the administrator on duty must be notified as soon as possible of the use of more restrictive intervention in the community.
4. Appropriate documentation of the incident through completion of a Dysregulation Report, and required State Board of Education form as deemed necessary, must be filed for review by Licensed Speech Language Pathologist/Behavior DIR® Expert Clinician, and Principal or administrative designee and other appropriate staff.
More restrictive interventions may include:
1. One Person Standing Side Body Hug Restraint
2. Two Person One Arm Standing Restraint/Side Body Hug
3. Moving Restraint One or Two person.
4. Restraining a person of small stature with one person kneeling.
If a more restrictive intervention is required to be used by staff, parents are contacted the day of the incident. The parents will also receive the ISBE Physical Restraint and Time Out Form within 24 hours of the incident. Report to the State Superintendent will occur per the regulations no later than two (2) school days from the date of the incident. Soaring Eagle Academy’s Dysregulation Form is also sent to the school district and parents within 48 hours.
A Dysregulation Report must be completed anytime there is a more restrictive intervention. Time outs and physical restraints are rarely required at Soaring Eagle Academy as a result of the methodology and lesser restrictive techniques utilized by the school. However, should a time out or physical restraint be utilized in emergency circumstances all regulations will be followed and a form prescribed by the Illinois State Board of Education will be completed and copy will be provided to parents/guardians within 24 hours and to the State Superintendent within 2 school days.
Restrictive Interventions may only be implemented by staff meeting criteria under “Staff Training” section (see below).
Physical restraint of student (unless required in an emergency due to an imminent danger to self/others and only through the above-stated holds in which staff is trained), mechanical restraint of student, or isolated time out are prohibited at Soaring Eagle Academy.
Meals and Snacks:
Restrictive interventions may occur during times that were scheduled for meal or snack times. The student will always be offered their meal or snack when they are regulated. Meals and snacks are never withheld for any reason.
Use of Sensory Room/Sensory Gym:
Each Pod at Soaring Eagle Academy has rooms designated space called “sensory rooms” in addition to a sensory gym. These rooms are designed to meet the specific needs of each student based on their individual profiles. Sensory rooms can be used for calming purposes, de-escalation and to meet sensory needs through low lighting and sensory objects/tools. Sensory gyms are spaces students can use to meet their sensory/regulatory needs on sensory equipment or for gross motor movement. Egress is not restricted.
Prior to implementing a more restrictive intervention, staff must successfully complete an initial MANDT Training lasting 6 hours and attend every other week trainings led by the MANDT Trainer. The Mandt Trainer reviews Mandt principles throughout the month and requires staff members to sign in and document their time for ongoing training above and beyond their required annual training. In total, staff who are involved in the supervision or implementation of any crisis behavioral management technique described in this policy, receive at minimum 8 hours of training annually in areas that include: crisis deescalation; restorative practices; identifying signs of distress during restraint and time out; traumainformed practices; and behavioral management policies.
Staff is instructed on the hierarchy of least to more restrictive interventions and is instructed that certain restraints and isolated time outs are prohibited and egress cannot be restricted. Authority of individual staff members in the implementation of more restrictive intervention techniques may be rescinded at any time by the Licensed Speech Language Pathologist/Behavior DIR® Expert Clinician, Principal or an administrative designee. Staff is required to participate in regulatory in-services on an annual basis. All staff participate in an initial 6-hour training, with 1-hour trainings repeated every year for re-certification. Staff are certified from Mandt after passing their test battery. Additionally, bi-monthly preventative safety trainings and review of specific student safety plans are completed in each classroom system. Staff are certificated from Mandt after passing their test battery. The Response Team is led by a Licensed Speech Language Pathologist /Behavior DIR® Expert Clinician and made up of 15 to 20 staff including classroom specific Code Blue Responders, Behavior DIR® Specialists, and some 1:1 Teacher Assistants specifically trained for More Restrictive Interventions. The MANDT trainer conducts every other week training for these More Restrictive Interventions. Staff are encouraged to wear long sleeve clothing to protect from scratching.
Individualized Regulatory Support In-services:
The Mandt System® program presents an education and training system of gradual and graded alternatives for de-escalating and supporting people, using a combination of interpersonal communication skills and physical interaction techniques designed to reduce injury to all the participants in an encounter ( ). Soaring Eagle has an on-site Mandt System® certified trainer who trains all staff annually in the use of this intervention. While Soaring Eagle Academy maintains a hands-off environment, it is essential that staff
members are trained in an appropriate manner should a student become a safety risk to himself or others. All staff participate in an initial 6-hour training, with 1-hour training repeated every year for recertification. Additionally, bi-monthly preventative safety trainings and review of specific student safety plans are completed in each classroom system. Staff are certificated from Mandt after passing their test battery. The Response Team is led by a Licensed Speech Language Pathologist/Behavior DIR® Expert Clinician and made up of 15 to 20 staff including classroom specific Code Blue Responders, some Behavior DIR® Specialists, and some 1:1 Teacher Assistants/Teacher Assistants specifically trained for More Restrictive Interventions. The MANDT trainer conducts every other week training for these More Restrictive Interventions. Staff members sign in and document their additional time for ongoing training above and beyond their training as described above.
Staff is required to be trained on a student’s Individual Regulatory Support Plan (IRSP) and Safety Plan prior to working with him or her. All team members are required to attend Safety Plan team meetings for all students to which they are assigned. The team is then required to review the updated Safety Plan with the student’s 1;1 Teacher Assistant.
Documentation of emergency or restrictive interventions:
Documentation for any more restrictive intervention procedure shall be reliable and accurate. Dysregulation reports are utilized for documentation. Physical restraint of student (unless required in an emergency due to an imminent danger to self/others and only through the above-stated holds in which staff is trained), mechanical restraint of student, or isolated time out are prohibited at Soaring Eagle Academy.
Data collection through a Dysregulation report will include the following:
– Name of individuals involved (including students and staff)
-Description of the Incident and student behavior leading to intervention
– Regulatory Intervention(s) implemented
– intervention(s) implemented
– Time intervention(s) began and ended
– Context and/or circumstances preceding physical act
– Least restrictive procedures attempted prior to use of restrictive intervention
– Indicating if a more restrictive intervention was used
– Physical act which necessitated the use of emergency intervention
– student’s reaction to the intervention and behavior during the intervention
– Documentation of student or staff injuries or property damage
-Planned approach to dealing with similar behavior in the future, including de-escalation methods or procedures to avoid the use of the intervention in the future.
Documentation of restrictive interventions is reviewed within 24 hours by the Principal or appropriate designee. The Licensed Speech Language Pathologist /Behavior DIR® Expert Clinician and Principal are responsible for the supervision of all restrictive interventions and shall regularly review data on physical acts as well as frequency of use of restrictive interventions.
Individual Regulatory Support Plan (IRSP) and Safety Plan Monitoring:
All Individual Regulatory Support Plans (IRSP) and Safety Plans will be reviewed during the annual IEP and more frequently as needed. Safety plans will be reviewed and shared for those students with these plans. Safety plans may be discussed and reviewed at weekly team meetings and/or case presentations. Parents and district are provided a copy of the updated Safety plan when developed.
Internal and External Monitoring of Restrictive Interventions:
At least one administrative designee (this may be the classroom teacher, Code Blue Responder, Behavior DIR® Expert Clinician) is available on premises during regular school hours. Staff is encouraged to contact the administrative designee for consultation and support during a student’s dysregulation. The administrative designee will assist in providing ideas and strategies for regulation.
An administrative designee will review each individual episode of restrictive intervention with the staff assigned to work with the involved student. When appropriate, the student will also participate in the meeting.
Districts and parents should contact Soaring Eagle Academy for a description of classroom availability to determine if their student’s age and ability is a match. If it is determined that SEA may have an appropriate classroom available for the student, then districts are asked to send a formal referral packet including a copy of the student’s most recent IEP. Interested parents and those seeking private pay placement will be able to schedule a formal tour of the facility.
After the referral packet has been received, the SEA intake coordinator reviews the paperwork to determine initial approval to continue with the admissions process. The school district is notified regarding SEA’s approval and the family is asked to schedule a formal visit at our school. Once the family has visited the school, the placing school district notifies SEA of their continued interest and the admissions/intake process begins. An observation at the current educational placement is then requested and a visit at SEA is scheduled. Parents are asked to schedule a time to meet with a DIR® Expert Clinician and student’s classroom team to discuss our school philosophy and parent commitment to the methodology. A parent interview is also conducted with the student’s team.
After the SEA team has determined that SEA may be an appropriate placement for the student, the placing school district is notified and the parents are requested to submit a formal application. Parents should complete the student application and other SEA admissions forms as well as other pertinent educational, medical, speech/language, occupational, mental health reports from the previous two years.
A visit is scheduled for the parents and child prior to enrollment.
IEP Meeting for Change in Placement
When it is determined that SEA is an appropriate placement for a student by the placing district and SEA, the district will hold an IEP to note a change in educational placement to SEA. This meeting is conducted at the home school or at SEA, depending on the district. SEA may or may not be requested to attend.
IEP Meeting for Review of Goals
An IEP review meeting is held 30 days after a student begins at SEA, to update the student’s goals appropriate to the placement. At this time, related therapy service minutes will be finalized for the school year. There will be opportunity for parents to share strengths and weaknesses as well as concerns for educational programming. Also, information regarding the child’s profile, environmental modifications and all other educational modifications will be listed in the accommodations section of the IEP. An individualized regulatory support plan will also be created.
Children who are not offered immediate placement at Soaring Eagle Academy (most likely due to availability) will remain on our active wait list for one year. After this, parents or districts can renew their wait list status through additional intake procedures.
Only children who are on the active waiting list are considered when the appropriate opening becomes available.