Least Restrictive Environment is defined as “In General. To the maximum extent appropriate, children with disabilities, including children in public or private institutions or other care facilities, are educated with children who are not disabled, and special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only when the nature or severity of the disability of a child is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily” 20 U.S.C § 1412(a)(5)(A). Below is list of educational placements from least restrictive to most restrictive:
1. General Education (Only accommodations no additional services)
Students with disabilities are educated with students without disabilities, to the maximum extent possible.
2. General Education (push in services)
Is a collaborative teaching model; the Resource Specialist or other therapists provides assistance to students who require help accessing the curriculum in the general education classroom.
3. Resource Specialist (pull out services)
Students are pulled out of the general education classroom by the Resource Specialist to receive academic instruction in a small group.
4. Special Day Class
Is an intensive educational program designed for students who have special needs such as Autism, Learning Disabilities or Mental Health issues when they cannot be appropriately educated in a general education environment. The types of classes available usually include mild, moderate or severe.
5. Non-Public School
An elementary or secondary school within the state, other than a public school, offering education for grades kindergarten through 12, or any combination of thereof, wherein any child may legally fulfill compulsory school attendance requirements. Placement in Non-Public Schools occurs via an IEP when the public school is not able to fulfill its requirements to provide a free appropriate public education. Many Nonpublic schools specialize in Autism, Learning Disabilities and other special needs.
6. Day Treatment Center
A program designed to address a student’s Mental Health and Educational needs during the school day only. It usually refers to a licensed or certified facility which is licensed to provide a behavioral health treatment program, outpatient care, and treatment of mental or nervous disorders under the supervision of physicians.
7. Residential Treatment Center
A program designed for a student who suffers from Severe or Chronic Emotional Disabilities in a residential setting. Residential treatment centers generally are clinically focused and primarily provide behavior management and treatment for adolescents with serious issues.
8. Home and Hospital Instruction Program
Home and Hospital Instruction Programs serve students who have a disability, which makes attendance in the regular day classes or alternative education program impossible or inadvisable. The district in which the home or residential health facility is located is responsible for instructing and educating pupils who must be hospitalized or remain at home due to disability issues.