AP 364: Seclusion And Physical Restraint

Organization & Culture


Establishment of safe and caring schools is a priority in Parkland School Division. The Superintendent ensures that each student and staff member is provided with a safe environment. Occasionally, it may be necessary to use seclusion and/or physical restraint to ensure students and staff safety.


a)  Physical Restraint: Shall refer to any method of using physical contact for restricting or immobilizing another person’s freedom of movement, physical activity, or normal access to their body. It is a personal restriction that serves as a means of controlling an individual’s movement, reconstituting behavioural control, and establishing and maintaining safety for the individual and other individuals.

Physical restraint DOES NOT include physical escort, which may involve temporarily touching or holding of the hand, wrist, arm, shoulder or back for the purpose of accompanying and inducing a child/student who is beginning to act out or is slightly agitated to walk to a safe location. Such contact is often brief and directional and does not serve as an immobilization or means for reconstituting behavioural control.

b)  Seclusion: Shall refer to the involuntary confinement or isolation of a person alone in a room or area from which the person cannot freely exit or is physically prevented from leaving. This generally occurs in a room with a door that has a lock. The lock may be engaged, or if not engaged, the door is otherwise blocked or held shut.

c)  Time-Outs: Shall refer to a behaviour intervention for the purposes of reducing or stopping challenging behaviour in the long-term, while seclusion and physical restraint are emergency or safety procedures that are to be used in exceptional situations for immediately preventing harm to self or others.

Positive Behaviour Support Principles

A. Safety or crisis management strategies for children/students are to promote the rights of all children/students to be treated with dignity.

B. All students shall receive necessary educational programming and learning support in a safe and least-restrictive environment.

C. Positive and appropriate educational interventions shall be provided to all children who need them.

D. Preventative and positive behaviour supports are expected to be in place to help prevent the use of seclusion or physical restraint. Seclusion or physical restraint are not substitutions for comprehensive, proactive and positive behaviour supports.

E. Seclusion and/or physical restraint are measures of last resort in crisis situations.


1. The Principal shall ensure that staff training meets the expectations as set out in Appendix A “Knowledgeable and Skilled Staff” within the Ministerial Order.

2. The Principal shall review annually, and on an ongoing basis as necessary, the Ministerial Order: Seclusion and Physical Restraint in Schools and Time-Out in Schools Standards (#039/2019) with all staff, to ensure school staff are in full compliance with the Ministerial Order.

3. Principals shall ensure the Parkland School Division Critical Incident Report Form is completed within twenty-four (24) hours, after the implementation of physical restraint or seclusion:

3.1.  The Director of Student Services maintains a copy of the completed form.

3.2.  The Director of Student Services shall complete the monthly reporting form as required by Alberta Education.

4. Staff who seek direction or guidance with respect to the Ministerial Order shall seek guidance from the Director of Student Services.




Date Approved: September 9, 2019

Reference: Education Act:31-33, 197
Alberta Education: Seclusion Standards
MO: Seclusion and Physical Restraint in Schools and Time-Out in School Standards (039/2019)

Reviewed or Revised:
Executive: September, 2019

References shall be updated as required and do not require additional approval.