A time out room is a supervised area for a student to safely deescalate, regain control and prepare to meet expectations to return to his/her educational program. Time out rooms may only be used when needed for unanticipated situations that pose an immediate concern for the physical safety of a student or others, or in conjunction with a behavioral intervention plan in a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP). The district’s use of time out rooms shall conform to applicable state regulations.
Time out rooms shall allow for continuous visual and auditory monitoring of the student. The room shall be large enough to allow a student to move freely and lay down comfortably. Wall and floor coverings shall be designed to prevent student injury where possible, and there shall be adequate lighting and ventilation. The temperature of the room shall be within the normal comfort range, and consistent with the rest of the building. The room shall be clean and free of objects and fixtures that could be potentially dangerous to a student, and shall meet all local fire and safety codes.
Monitoring, Observation and Supervision
School staff shall continuously monitor the student in a time out room. The staff must be able to see and hear the student at all times.
Prohibition on Locks
Time out rooms or spaces shall be unlocked, and the door must be able to be opened from the inside.
A student’s IEP shall specify when a behavioral intervention plan includes the use of a time out room for a student with a disability, including the maximum amount of time a student will need to be in a time out room as a behavioral consequence, as determined on an individual basis, in consideration of the student’s age and individual needs. The behavioral intervention plan shall be designed to teach and reinforce alternative appropriate behaviors.
The factors that may lead to a student being temporarily placed in a time out room will depend on the particular student. Generally, time out rooms are to be used when a student needs to deescalate, regain control and prepare to meet expectations to return to his or her education program. A student in need of a time out room may be unable to control his/her actions, overwhelmed, overstimulated, exhibiting violent actions, or posing a danger to self or others.
The amount of time a student may spend in a time out room will vary with the student’s age, individual needs, behavioral intervention plan, and the specific circumstances. Students shall spend only as much time in the time out room as is necessary for them to deescalate, regain control, return to their educational programs, or no longer pose a concern for the physical safety of themselves or others. Students shall not be in a time out room for more than the maximum amount of time specified in their behavioral intervention plans. For emergency use, where a time out room is not specified in a student’s behavioral intervention plan, but where such emergency use is not inconsistent with the student’s IEP, the maximum time to be spent in a time out room shall be 30 minutes. If a student is not ready to return to the educational program after that period of time, he/she shall be provided with further interventions consistent with his/her behavioral intervention plan or IEP, or actions reasonably calculated to assist the student.
All staff authorized to place a student in a time out room shall receive training on the procedures for placing a student in a time out room, including situations warranting use of a time out room, IEP requirements, continuous monitoring, time limitations, and data collection. Only trained staff authorized by the school principal may place a student in a time out room. Staff not authorized to place a student in a time out room shall receive training on what to do and who to contact if a student is exhibiting behaviors indicating the need for use of the time out room.
Data Collection to Monitor Effectiveness
The district shall document the use of time out rooms, and monitor the effectiveness of the use of time out rooms to decrease the behaviors that led to the use of the rooms. Such documentation will include a record for each student placed in a time out room. Each record shall show, for each use of the time out room, the date, time, duration of stay, precipitating factors, staff members involved, and the student’s behaviors/condition before, during and after use of the time out room. Copies of these records shall be sent to the student’s teachers, CSE chairperson, Director of Pupil Personnel Services, and Building Principal. Appropriate staff shall meet regularly as needed to review the effectiveness of the time out room for each student placed in one. Building Principals shall periodically report on the use and effectiveness of time out rooms to the Director of Pupil Personnel Services and Superintendent.
Parent/Guardian Rights and Information
The district shall inform parents/guardians prior to the initiation of a behavioral intervention for their child which will incorporate the use of a time out room. Parents/guardians shall be given the opportunity to see the physical space used as a time out room. Parents/guardians shall be given a copy of this policy and regulation on time out rooms. The district shall notify parents/guardians each time a student is placed in the time out room.
Reviewed January 23, 2018