Manifestation Determination Review (MDR)

Manifestation determination review (MDR) means a process to review all relevant information and the relationship between a student’s disability and the behavior subject to the disciplinary action.

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and its implementing regulations narrowed the standard for IEP teams to apply in making manifestation determinations. In summary, the mandate requires that the IEP team must review all relevant information in the student’s file, including the child’s IEP, any teacher observations, and any relevant information provided by the parents to determine if the conduct in question was:

  • caused by, or had a direct and substantial relationship to, the child’s disability; or
  • the direct result of the LEA’s failure to implement the IEP.
    [34 CFR §300.530(e); corresponding Virginia Regulations at 8 VAC 20-81-160 D]

As of November, 2017, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) Guidance Document on Manifestation Determination Review is under revision, but information on MDR and other information pertaining to discipline of students with disabilities is included in the VDOE’s  DISCIPLINE OF CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES: TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE RESOURCE DOCUMENT and in the VDOE Parent’s Guide to Special Education.

Need more information?  You can contact the Parent Resource Center at 703.228.2739 or We look forward to talking with you.