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Restraint and Seclusion

The use of Restraint and Seclusion in schools is governed by Vermont State Board of Education Rule 4500. 

Purpose of State Board Rule 4500

  • Create and maintain a positive and safe learning environment in schools
  • Promote positive behavioral interventions and supports in schools
  • Ensure that students are not subjected to inappropriate use of restraint or seclusion

Rule 4500 Guidance

Rule 4500: The Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Vermont Schools Webinar

A recorded webinar from September 2023 discusses what is permissible and what is prohibited under Rule 4500, including reporting requirements and debriefing.

Mandated Incident Reporting Forms

Rule 4500 dictates the appropriate reporting of any incidents of restraint or seclusion as follows:

  • Any person who administers a restraint or seclusion procedure shall report the incident to the school building administrator as soon as possible, but no later than the end of the school day.
  • Each use of seclusion and restraint must be documented in a written report containing all required information listed in Rule 4500, Section 4504.
  • Reports that meet the criteria outlined in Rule 4500, Section 4503.3 must be reported to the Superintendent.
  • Reports that meet the criteria outlined in Rule 4500, Section 4503.4 and listed below must be reported to the Secretary of Education:
    • There is death, injury requiring outside medical treatment or hospitalization to staff or student as a result of a restraint or seclusion
    • Physical restraint or seclusion has been used for more than thirty (30) minutes
    • Physical restraint or seclusion has been used in violation of these rules, including the use of any prohibited restraint or seclusion.

All reports that are sent to the Secretary must use the following required online incident report form. Any staff member may use the online form to report to the Secretary’s office. Before completing a 4500 report form after an incident has occurred, we recommend that staff consider the three criteria above and submit the form directly to the Agency if necessary.

A print version of this form is provided below for districts to use for internal reporting if they choose. We strongly recommend that districts use this format for their internal reports of restraint and seclusion, as it contains the required questions to maintain on file. Please do not submit online incident report forms unless they meet the criteria noted above for reporting to the Secretary.

(Note: this PDF version is provided as an optional reporting form for internal use only. All reports sent to the Secretary must be submitted virtually using the link above.)

Rule 4509 Recommended Physical Restraint Training Programs

Memo: Restraints and Seclusions of Students from Contracted Service Providers and/or Independent Schools

The Rule 4509 Recommended Physical Restraint Programs list reflects programs that submitted evidence that their training program aligns with the requirements of Rule 4509 in Rule 4500: Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Schools.

If an LEA is using a physical restraint training provider that is not on this list, or if a physical restraint trainer would like to be considered for inclusion on this list, the training program should submit the Rule 4500 Recommended Physical Restraint Training Program Request for Inclusion.

Universal Prekindergarten programs should contact the AOE Early Learning Team for questions regarding the developmental appropriateness of restraint and seclusion, for 3, 4, and 5-year-old children.

Contact: Tom Faris at