Where Can My Child Be Educated?
Your child should be educated in their neighborhood school, in the general education setting if that is what best meets his/her needs. If your child needs accommodations, again the general education setting is the first option, with needed accommodations provided there. If your child needs something more, then considering a 504 Plan or, if needed, special education services are the next steps.
Once your child is determined eligible for special education services within a school system, the individualized education program (IEP) team, which includes parents, uses evaluation results to determine which services and supports are needed and where services will be delivered. The setting in which your child is educated depends on the medical, communicative, and academic needs of your child. The ideal setting is one that can best provide supports and services for your child’s learning and health needs while also providing opportunities for social interactions with peers – the least restrictive environment (see LRE section).
Service delivery options may include:
- General education classroom full time with supplementary aids and support
- Resource support (special education classroom less than 40 percent of the day)
- Self-contained placement (resource room 40 percent of the day or more)
- Special education day school
- Residential environment
Note that services may be delivered in a combination of these settings depending on your child’s unique needs. It will be important to share both medical and educational information during this section of the IEP meeting to provide a more thorough and detailed view of your child’s strengths and needs, which will assist the team with planning the best possible learning situation for your child.