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Special Education   >   Technical Assistance   >   Placement/Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

Technical Assistance
Placement/Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

Location, location, location. Yes, it does matter. The research overwhelmingly supports serving students in their least restrictive environment – which is why the following mandate is included in the federal legislation:

34 CFR 300.114 (a)(2) – Each public agency must ensure that – (i) 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 nondisabled; and (ii) Special classes, separate schooling, or other removal of children with disabilities from the regular educational environment occurs only if 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.

Technical assistance resources on this page include research, articles, tools, templates, technical assistance centers, and Web sites. An overview (PPT) of the two State Performance Plan indicators related to Placement/LRE is also provided.
(Note: Use of the resources included on this site does not guarantee that the district’s performance or determination status under section 616(d), will improve for the next reporting period.)

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) – Ages 6 through 21 (Indicator 5)

  • Strategies to Improve Access to the General Education Curriculum (The Access Center, 2008) (PDF) - The Access Center compiled information on strategies in the following areas: Instructional Methods and Practices, Media and Materials, Supports and Accommodations, and Assessment then classified the strategies on a continuum depending on their research base. “Green light” strategies are evidenced based practices while “yellow light” strategies are promising practices but require further validation and thus should be used with caution.
  • Placement Issues and Resources (National Dissemination Center for Children with Disabilities, 2008) - Where will a student with a disability receive his or her special education and related services? IDEA requires placement in the least restrictive environment (LRE) for each child, a setting that is based on the child's IEP. Use the options and paths on this site to find out more about who decides placement and how they decide it; what LRE is and why it's a foundation element in IDEA and in deciding a child's placement; and how placement can be affected if a child with a disability violates certain codes of student content.
  • The IRIS Center Web site - Online interactive resources that translate research about the education of students with disabilities into practice. Materials cover a wide variety of evidence-based topics, including behavior, RTI, learning strategies, and progress monitoring.

Preschool Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) (Indicator 6)

Old Capitol Building, PO Box 47200, 600 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, WA  98504-7200  (360) 725-6000  TTY (360) 664-3631
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