Manifestation Determination Hearing


Manifestation Determination Hearings are to take place when a Special Education student has reached seven (7-8) total suspension days within one school year.

The following must be included at the Manifestation Determination Hearing

1. Introduction of members of committee & sign form (MDH document)

2. Provide Procedural Safeguards to parent 

3. Statement of purpose of the meeting (i.e., manifestation determination based on incident)


The team members are tasked to answer two questions:

  1. Was the IEP and Positive Behavior Support plan roperly implemented by the school?
  2. Was the behavior substantially related to the student's disability for which he or she is being served in special education.

Meeting discussion guidelines:

Reviw the informaiton about the misconduct

  • Information from the student
  • Information from the parent
  • Information from administrators and other staff members who have knowledge about the event

Review the student’s special education categorical placement

  • Team members determine whether or not the misconduct engaged in by the student is or is not substantially related to the child’s disability.
  • Determining whether or not misconduct is a manifestation of the disability is not based on disability category. 

Review IEP and PBSP

  • Team members determine whether or not the personnel in the school system implemented the IEP and PBSP appropriately.
  • Depending upon the student’s behavior, a new FBA and PBSP may be recommended by the team.

If the student’s behavior is not substantially related to the disability, and if the school system implemented the IEP/PBSP appropriately one of following may occur:

  • The IEP team may return the student to his/her previous placement.
  • If the incident resulting in the suspension was of a serious nature, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken.

If the student’s behavior is related to the disability, OR if the school system failed to implement the IEP or the PBSP, the student remains in his/her current placement and is not subject to the usual disciplinary ladder.


Review the findings, seek clarification if it is needed, and adjourn the meeting.


Send a copy of the Manifestation Determination to the Special Education Supervisor for review. The Supervisor will instruct the teacher on the next steps in the process.


1. Always inform the Special Education Supervisor PRIOR to these meetings.

2. Thoroughly review the student’s IEP, PBSP, and placement prior to the meeting.

For example: the PBSPshould be written based on individual student’s needs and should not reiterate the school’s discipline ladder. Let the Supervisor know if you have any concerns well in advance of the meeting. Do not wait until the last minute to do this review.

3. Manifestation Determination meetings may be highly charged emotionally for the parent, student, and sometimes the staff. Be sure to have someone on the team who is able to defuse emotions in case anyone in the meeting becomes overly upset.

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