2019 Wisconsin Act 118 - Pupil Restraint and Seclusion
2019 Wis. Act 118, which revises Wisconsin state law on addressing the use of seclusion and restraint in schools, went into effect on Wednesday, March 4, 2020. Some of the changes include requiring parents to be provided with a copy of the written incident report, clarifying that the notice and reporting requirements apply to incidents involving law enforcement officers, prohibiting the use of prone restraint, revising the required training components, requiring school staff to hold a meeting after each incident of seclusion or restraint to discuss topics specified in the Act, conducting an IEP team meeting within ten school days of the second time seclusion or restraint is used on a student with a disability within the same school year, and requiring each governing body to submit an annual report to DPI by December 1. This law applies to both students with and without disabilities.
Data and Information Resources
Academic Year 2020-2021
Statewide school-level data on pupil seclusion and restraint during the 2020-2021 school year may be found in the file above, in addition to an official statewide data analysis conducted by DPI. Keep in mind that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some Wisconsin schools canceled in-person instruction and shifted to virtual learning. Therefore, the number of in-person days is unknown for each district, making it difficult to compare incident rates across schools and to the previous academic year. Each record contains the total number of incidents of seclusion and restraint in a given school, as well as the number of students involved, disaggregated by students with disabilities. Data was collected by DPI from 10/1/2021 - 12/1/2021 via a Qualtrics survey administered to all District Administrators in Wisconsin.
Summary of Changes: This document provides a summary of the change made through 2019 Wis. Act 118.
Comparison Chart Document: This document provides a side-by-side comparison of the new requirements compared to the requirements under the previous law, 2011 Wis. Act 125.
Resources for Practices that Support the Reduction of Seclusion and Restraint
Wisconsin School Mental Health Framework: The framework includes six components of a Comprehensive School Mental Health System (CSMHS) and provides guidance on implementing them from a trauma sensitive lens.
Trauma Sensitive Schools: By becoming a trauma sensitive school, schools can become a protective factor for students exposed to traumatic events and increase the social and emotional and academic skills of the entire school body.
Wisconsin Center for Resilient Schools: Looking for support to implement TSS, SEL and School Based Mental Health Systems? The WCRS provides coaching to school and district teams to strengthen student and adult resilience through equitable, comprehensive school-based mental health and trauma sensitive social emotional learning in order to promote academic success for every student.
College and Career Ready Individual Education Plans (CCR IEPs): For students with disabilities, an IEP based on the CCR IEP five beliefs of High Expectations, Culturally Responsive Practices, Student Relationships, Family & Community Engagement and Collective Responsibility is designed to identify and meet student learning needs through appropriate individualized services.
- Social Emotional Learning (SEL): Provides the essentials for implementing a comprehensive approach to SEL.
Supporting Neurodiverse Students: The vast majority of students in Wisconsin who are secluded or restrained are students with disabilities, many of whom are neurodiverse. This website contains many resources for training and support in working with this population of students.
- Examples of recording forms: DPI does not review or approve recording forms used by school districts. The following are links to example forms developed by school districts.
In May 2012, the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) of the U.S. Department of Education released Restraint and Seclusion: Resource Document. The document identifies 15 principles for States, local school districts, preschool, elementary, and secondary schools, parents, and other stakeholders to consider when developing and implementing policies and procedures related to physical restraint and seclusion.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) and the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) issued a joint memo on March 13, 2009 entitled Prohibited Practices in the Application of Emergency Safety Interventions with Children and Adolescents in Community Based Programs and Facilities. Prohibited practices include prone restraints as well as other techniques.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) supports the information contained in these Department of Health Services memos:
- Prohibitive Practices in the Application of Emergency Safety Interventions with Children and Adolescents in Community-Based Programs and Facilities (Division of Quality Assurance)
- Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Guidelines and Requirements for the Use of Restrictive Measures (Division of Long Term Care)
Please review these memos if you have not already done so and be sure staff is familiar with its contents.
For questions about this information, contact Tim Peerenboom (608)266-1999