This month's Special EDition is the first of a two–part discussion about the principle of least restrictive environment (LRE). If a student with a disability qualifies for specialized instruction and services (special education) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the student must receive a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment.
What is the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)?
The school district must ensure that:
- To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities are educated with children who do not have disabilities; and
- Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of students with disabilities from regular education happensonly if the student's disability is so significant that education in regular classes, even with the use of additional aids and services, cannot be achieved satisfactorily.
The regular education classroom is the first placement the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team must consider. An IEP team, which must include parents, thinks about where a student will be educated, asks: What can we provide so that this student can learn in regular education classes?
The team must consider what "supplementary aids and services"(extra supports) will allow each student, as an individual, to make educational progress with peers at school who do not have disabilities.
Read more HERE.