The Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD) does many things well; however, the Iowa Department of Education Accreditation Final Report Iowa City School District (Report), an audit of ICCSD’s provision of special education services, highlighted the need for improvement, including services related to student Behavior Intervention Plans.
With regard to behavior interventions, ICCSD board member, Chris Liebig, has written about ICCSD’s use of isolation boxes here and his post entitled Dismantle the boxes includes links to the articles written by The Gazette (Cedar Rapids’ newspaper). I would encourage readers to read board member Liebig’s blog post and The Gazette articles he links to.
ICCSD’s board’s December 13, 2016 Work Session Agenda includes a spreadsheet describing and detailing ICCSD’s reported isolation boxes (see here and referenced as “timeout rooms” in this attachment) along with three additional documents on the same topic (including two documents contributed by board member Phil Hemingway from a constituent). For added support for Mr. Liebig’s position, consider the following quotation from the Report that some of ICCSD behavior “treatment procedures” made behavior worse. These findings speak for themselves and deserve immediate further attention and researched-based child-centered solutions. Thanks to board member Liebig for following up on the use of isolation boxes and for bringing them to the board’s attention and to board member Phil Hemingway also.
The team reviewed 50 IEPs that contained behavioral intervention plans. No discernable Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) was found for 29 of these (58%), substandard FBAs for another 7 (14%) and minimally adequate to moderate adequacy for another 14 (28%). Most of the Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) reviewed did contain at least one behavior of concern that related to observable events that were measurable. Most of the BIPs reviewed also contained research – based functions identified (i.e., escape, attention, etc.), however, in several instances the treatment procedures that were associated with the BIP would tend to reinforce the identified problematic behaviors. This disconnect is likely to lead to the increased risk of restrictive procedures. (Emphasis added.) (Report pp. 17-18).