Each student with special need is also entitled to a

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disabilities who have been suspended or expelled from school.” Each student with special needs is also entitled to a FAPE within the least restrictive environment (LRE) which means, “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 non-disabled (IDEA, 2017).” Every student is different, therefore, their placements are based on their Individual Education Program (IEP). There is a continuum of movement educators must evaluate to determine if the placement for a student is in their best interest. The first and foremost must begin with a regular education classroom. Often these placements are referred to as inclusion or mainstream placements. According to McGovern (2015) inclusion, “refers to a more comprehensive education practice in which students learn exclusively in the regular classroom.” The benefit of these classrooms allows students the emotional and social supports of learning with non-disabled students the same age. Although, one major drawback is the student does not receive the consistent individual support they may need to be successful in the classroom. Students struggling in a specific subject like math, reading or writing may spend part of their day in a resource room where they receive specific instruction from a special education teacher relating to that subject. This is to help the student keep up with their peers in the same
DETERMINING THE LEAST RESTRICTIVE ENVIRONMENT 4 grade-level work. Although, one drawback is there may not be as much structure or routine for the student. Both of these placements can be considered mild LRE allowing for students with special needs to remain in a regular classroom per the requirements of FAPE under the IDEA. A self-contained classroom might be considered a moderate placement because it is in a controlled setting with a special education teacher instructing the classroom. These classrooms can either have different levels of disabilities, or they can be disability-specific (e.g. autism support classroom). In some cases there are both different levels and disability-specific classrooms. For example, an autism support classroom can have students who are all autistic but their grade levels may vary. Self-contained classrooms are more individualized with supporting staff, along with structure and routines to meet the needs of students with disabilities. A drawback within this setting could be that only one or two schools in the district have these classrooms. Therefore, a student may have to travel farther on the bus to attend making it a long day. Another drawback is that these students have fewer interactions with same age peers.

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