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Section 3

ak dept education

special ed handbook

The IEP Team must adhere to the following procedures when determining the educational placement decision of a child with a disability, including a preschool student with a disability:
  1. Placement based on IEP: The placement decision must be based on the child's IEP.

  2. Placement decision after IEP: The placement decision must be made after the IEP is completed.

  3. Placement decisions made by the IEP Team: The placement decision must be made by the IEP Team and must consider the continuum of placement options. All options must be available for consideration, even if a school site or District has a policy of being fully inclusive. The IEP Team must include persons knowledgeable about the child, the meaning of the evaluation data, and the placement options.

  4. Draw on a variety of sources: In making the placement decision the IEP Team must use information drawn from a variety of sources including teacher recommendations and parent input. Information may include achievement data, performance on social and behavior rating scales, and language spoken in the home.

  5. Continuum of alternative placements: Each District must have a continuum of alternative placements available at all times to meet the individual needs of children with disabilities (see Section 4 below).

  6. Consideration of harmful effects: In selecting the placement, consideration must be given to any potential harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services.

  7. Removal only when unsatisfactory achievement documented: Special classes, separate schooling or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular classroom environment may occur only when the nature or severity of the disability is such that education in regular classes with the use of supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily.

  8. Involvement with peers who do not have disabilities: Children with disabilities, including preschool children with disabilities, have the right to be educated in the regular setting to the greatest extent possible with their peers who do not have disabilities. This provision includes children with disabilities placed in a public or private institution or other care facility. The placement decision is not where the child is educated, but rather with whom.

  9. Modifications in the general education curriculum are not a basis for removal: A child cannot be removed from education in age-appropriate regular classrooms solely because of needed modifications in the general education curriculum.

  10. Placement in home school or closest home: A child with disabilities should be enrolled in the school he or she would attend if not disabled, unless the IEP requires another arrangement. If the child cannot be educated in the neighborhood school, the child must be provided an educational program as close to home as possible.

  11. Variety of educational programs and services equally available: Each District shall ensure that children with disabilities have the variety of educational programs and services available to children without disabilities.

  12. Participation in non-academic and extra-curricular activities: Children with disabilities must be allowed to participate with other children who do not have disabilities in non-academic and extracurricular services and activities to the maximum extent appropriate.

  13. Age-appropriate placements: In recommending a placement outside the regular classroom environment, the IEP Team shall recommend placement in classrooms and schools with similar age peers.

  14. Placement is determined annually: The placement, including the justification, must be considered at least annually.

  15. Parent refusal to initial consent for services: If the parent refuses to initial consent to services, the LEA shall not be required to provide special education services to the child.
Questions to ask to determine compliance with LRE requirements:
  1. Can education in the regular classroom be achieved satisfactorily with the use of supplemental aids and services?
  2. Have steps been taken to accommodate the child in a regular education environment? Have more than mere token gestures been made to accommodate the child?
  3. Will the child benefit from regular education?
  4. What has been the child's overall educational experience in regular education environments?
  5. What effect does the presence of the child with a disability have on a regular classroom environment?
  6. If education cannot be satisfactorily achieved in a regular classroom, has the child been included with children without disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate? For example, has the school taken intermediate steps, such as placing the child in regular education for some academic classes and in special education for others; including the child in non-academic classes only; or providing interaction with students without disabilities during lunch and recess?

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