Manifestation Determination Review (MDR)

What's Required

Within 10 school days of any decision to change the placement of a student with a disability, the LEA, the parent and relevant members of the student’s IEP Team (as determined by the parent and the LEA) must conduct a manifestation determination review (MDR). 34 CFR 300.530 (e). The committee must review all relevant information in the student's file, including: the student’s IEP, any teacher observations and any relevant information provided by the parents 300.530(e)(1)(i)1415(k)(1)(E)(i)(I)

The conduct is a manifestation of the child's disability if the committee determines that either one of the following conditions are met: if the conduct was caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child's disability 300.530(e)(1)(i)1415(k)(1)(E)(i)(I); or If the conduct in question was the direct result of the LEA's failure to implement the IEP 300.530(e)(1)(i)1415(k)(1)(E)(i)(I) If conduct in question was found to be the direct result of the LEA’s failure to implement the IEP, immediate steps must be taken to remedy deficiencies. 34CFR 300.530(e)(3)

If the conduct in question involved drugs, weapons, or *serious bodily injury, the student may be removed for a period of up to 45 school days. *[As defined in 18 U.S.C. §1365(h)(3)]. School personnel may remove the student to an Interim Alternative Education Setting (IAES) for no more than 45 school days without regard to whether the behavior is determined to be a manifestation of the student's disability. 34CFR 300.530(g)Proceed with process for manifestation determination review to determine if student can be held to regular disciplinary standards (i.e., longer than 45 days of school).

If the conduct in question involved bullying, harassment, and making hit lists, the student may not be disciplined until an admission, review, and dismissal committee meeting has been held to review the conduct. TEC37.001 

If the behavior is a manifestation of the student’s disability, the student must be returned to the placement from which the student was removed, unless the parent and the LEA agree to a change of placement as part of the modification of the behavior intervention plan 34 CFR 300.530 (f)(2). Additionally, the IEP Team must either: (1) Conduct a functional behavioral assessment (FBA) for the behavior(s) causing the disciplinary action if not previously completed, and implement a behavioral intervention plan (BIP) developed for the student; or (2) If a BIP already had been developed, review the BIP, adjust and revise it, as necessary, to address the behavior. 34CFR 300.530(f)(1)
If conduct in question was found to not be a manifestation of the student’s disability, relevant disciplinary procedures may be applied in the same manner and for the same duration as the procedures would be applied to students without disabilities. The services provided in the IAES must allow the student to continue to receive educational services so as to enable the student to continue to participate in the general education curriculum, although in another setting, and to progress toward meeting the student’s IEP; and receive, as appropriate, a functional behavioral assessment, and behavioral intervention services and modifications, that are designed to address the behavior violation so that it does not happen again. 34CFR 300.530(d)(1) The IEP Team determines the appropriate setting and services. 34CFR 300.530(d)(5) Campus administrators should be mindful of the multiple interventions that can and should be used before considering any level of removal. Possible interventions to consider include but are not limited to conferences, detention, mentor program, referral to social services, and school/community work hours.

What We Do

If a student violates the Student Code of Conduct and the disciplinary action may result in a student's change of placement, then the Campus Diagnostician or ARD Facilitator schedules a staffing and the Manifestation Determination Review (MDR) within ten (10) school days.

  1. Prior to the ARD/IEP committee meeting, the Campus Diagnostician or ARD Facilitator schedules a staffing. 
  2. The student’s Case Manager gathers student data to review at the staffing including the incident report, all behavior documentation, discipline records, student discipline report from eSchool, and attendance records. 
  3. The MDR ARD/IEP meeting is held:
    • If the conduct in question is found to be a manifestation of the student’s disability, the ARD/IEP committee should conduct a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA) or review the existing FBA as well as the student’s Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP). 
    • In the case of drugs, weapons or the infliction of severe bodily injury a maximum of 45 school day placement is allowed. 
    • If no manifestation is determined, the student can receive a disciplinary consequence as recommended by the campus administration. 
    • Once the MDR is complete, a copy of the ARD is provided to the campus administrator to submit to the district office with the DAEP Removal Request Form.


Note: The MDR process is also required for students suspected of having a disability but whose eligibility is not yet determined.

Additional Resources