Least Restrictive Environment
Understanding the Law as it Relates to Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
Least restrictive environment (LRE) as stated in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA-2004), ensures that 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; and that special classes, separate schools, 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”.
Therefore, it is important that our school district considers the full range of supplementary aids and services, including the modification of the curriculum content, before contemplating a more restrictive environment. Additionally, it is important to note that in accordance with IDEA and the spirit of the Gaskin Settlement Agreement (2004), that the IEP team begins placement decisions with the consideration of the general education classroom with the supplementary aids and services first; and that benefit from being in those classrooms is not measured by mastery of the general education curriculum, but rather toward the progress on IEP goals and objectives in the student’s IEP.