Following the development of the IEP goals and identification of services, the special education team will discuss placement options. The placement decision is based on the services your child needs and takes several factors into consideration. The IEP team is required by law to place your child in his/her least restrictive environment.
Least Restrictive Environment:
The law requires each child with a disability be educated, to the maximum extent appropriate, with children without disabilities. The IEP team must first consider if your child can remain in the regular education classroom and achieve the IEP goals and objectives with the help of supplementary aids and services. If the team agrees this cannot be achieved satisfactorily, the team must then decide the route that will allow your child opportunities to be integrated with peers without disabilities to the maximum extent possible and as close to his or her home school as possible.
Considerations for removing a child from a regular education classroom:
- The nature or severity of a child's disability is such that his or her education in the regular education class, with the use of supplementary aids and services, cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
- A child is so disruptive in the regular education classroom that the education of the other students is significantly impaired.
Removal from regular education must be based on the following factors:
- The nature and severity of the disability (cannot be the only factor).
- The diverse learning styles that would require your child to be educated in a setting other than the regular education classroom.
- The need for specially designed materials, supplies or equipment that would prohibit access to the curriculum and goals of the regular education class.
- Significant modifications to the regular education curriculum that would have an adverse effect on the educational program and learning environment for other students in the class.
- The extent to which your child is distractible.
- The inability of your child to engage appropriately with other students.
Special education placements - K-12:
- Inside regular class at least 80 percent of the time
- Inside regular class 40 percent to 79 percent of the time
- Inside regular class less than 40 percent of the time
- Public separate school – day facility
- Private separate school – day facility
- Public residential facility
- Private residential facility
Early Childhood special education (ECSE) placements:
- Early childhood setting
- Early childhood/special education (ECSE) setting
- Part-time early childhood/part-time ECSE
- Residential setting
- Separate school
- Itinerant service outside the home
While the majority of students with disabilities are educated in their home buildings, several highly specialized classrooms have been established throughout the district to meet the unique educational needs of students with more significant needs. Specialized classrooms offer the opportunity for the district to provide more specialized training to educators working with students in those classrooms. Additionally, students placed in these classrooms benefit from similar instructional practices and classroom structures. The degree of instruction required in the district classroom varies significantly from student to student. While the district may determine a student would benefit from the district classroom, the student's special education placement (category of removal from the regular education classroom) may not differ from the degree the student would be removed in his or her own building. If the district classroom is not housed at the student's home school, special transportation is provided at no cost to the parent.