The Anchorage School District (ASD) agreed to settlement terms as requested by the Department of Justice (DOJ). This site provides resources to help the community better understand the expected outcomes of the settlement.
The DOJ investigation alleged that ASD violated Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). As a result, we entered into a Settlement Agreement deal with the DOJ. Our efforts to end the use of seclusion and reform the use of restraint will now include collaboration with the DOJ, an entity that has a shared view that these practices need to be eliminated in our country.
In accordance with the settlement agreement, we have made a concerted effort to substantially decrease the use of seclusion by March 20, 2023 and seclusion will be prohibited beginning with the 2023-2024 school year. Furthermore, physical restraint may not be used except in an emergency situation in which it is necessary to protect a student or other person from imminent, serious, physical harm after other less intrusive, nonphysical interventions have failed or been determined inappropriate.
Did you know?
In the past seven years, the Office of Civil Rights has opened and completed
43 investigations regarding restraint and seclusion practices in school districts.
Summary of Settlement
The settlement contains the following key terms:
- ASD will hire a Behavior Support Administrator to implement programmatic changes contemplated in the agreement.
- Classroom-Wide Behavior Management Plans.
- ASD will implement these plans in the Whaley and SBBS programs.
- End use of seclusion.
- ASD will eliminate seclusion rooms in ASD schools (defined as rooms with locks where students are isolated without adult supervision).
- Modifications to the use of physical restraint to conform to federal regulations and best practices.
- Certain Documentation and Monitoring/Reporting requirements.
- Allow for a parent complaint procedure.
- Training and Professional Development.
- Compensatory education for students who were secluded five hours or more.
- Modify Board Policy 5142.3 to be consistent with the settlement. A redline and clean copy of the modified Board Policy is attached to this memorandum.
- For more information and timeline details, click here.
What is the Settlement Summary Timeline?
How did we get here?
What is "Restraint" and "Seclusion"?
What solutions beyond the DOJ settlement are being implemented?
In what circumstances would restraint be appropriate?
Who is qualified to isolate/restraint?
How many schools have a seclusion room? Can you describe a seclusion room?
Is ASD eliminating restraint?
Why are you waiting until the beginning of the next school year to end the practice of seclusion?
Do parents know if their child has been restrained/secluded?
The usage of restraint/seclusion seems out of sync with ASD’s efforts to enforce social emotional learning?
Solutions Beyond Settlement
- Iris Samuels, ADN "U.S. Justice Department finds Anchorage School District illegally restrained and secluded students" Published: Feb. 16, 2023
- Associated Press "DOJ faults Anchorage School District for use of seclusion, restraints" Published: Feb. 16, 2023
- Jeremy Hsieh, Alaska Public Media "Anchorage schools to stop secluding students after Justice Department investigation" Published: Feb. 16, 2023