Student Placement IEP Special Education Santa Clara County Part 1
What Classroom is Appropriate For My Child?
The U.S. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) says least restrictive environment (LRE) means that a student who has a disability should have the opportunity to be educated with non-disabled peers, to the greatest extent appropriate. Like much of special education, the hard part is in the details. How does one define opportunity? What is the greatest extent appropriate? What are the options open to students with disabilities who have an IEP?
There is a range of service and placement options, shown in the attached graphic (graphic courtesy of www.lightinghomes.net). The bottom of the triangle is the LRE, and the top is the most restrictive.
Being fully included with typically developing peers is the least restrictive environment. It is not common for an student with an IEP to have no direct special education supports and services
General Education Within Class, Direct Special Education Services and Other Related Services
Student attends general education classes, and receives special education support.This can include push in services from a credentialed special education teacher, co-teaching in the general education classroom, special education teacher adapting or modifying general education curriculum and assessments to meet student’s needs, and individualized or small group instruction
Pull-Out Education Services and Other Related Services
Regular education is the student’s placement. Special education teachers or therapists pull the child out for additional instruction in areas where the child needs additional support. For many, this is math and/or English, although it can be in any subject where the IEP team determines the child needs support.
Primary student placement is in a special classroom. In some districts, students have regular mainstreaming opportunities, meaning they have some classes with their typical peers. We often find this is dependent on who the special education and regular education teacher are, if they have staff available, and if they deem the child ready for inclusion. Susie and Leigh have been to many IEP meetings where the district proudly tells us they include special education students during lunch and recess. We call this inclusion by air. It is not a compliment, and it’s not inclusion.
The most restrictive options are non-public schools, children who are unable to attend school because they are too sick or home-bound, and a handful of other exceptions. These students have no school time with their typically developing peers.
What does all this mean, and how can it benefit your child? Give us a call.
As parents, we understand, As experienced and trained advocates, we can help.
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