Least Restrictive Environment Placements


There may be times when a parent of a child with special needs may ask you about alternate placements. If this occurs you will need to provide the parents with information on the least restrictive environment. The concept of least restrictive environment (LRE) applies to the placement of disabled students in the most advantageous educational placement suitable for their needs . Contrary to the belief of many teachers and parents, LRE does not mean every disabled student being placed in a regular classroom. The concept should be fully understood by special education teachers so that they can relieve the anxiety of teachers, parents and students when it comes to appropriate educational placement.

The placement of disabled students is the responsibility of the Committee on Special Education (Eligibility Committee, IEP Committee depending on the state in which you live)  with the input of staff and consent of parents. The Eligibility Committee must analyze all the available information and determine the best "starting placement" for the child that will ensure success and provide the child with the highest level of stimulation and experience for his specific disability and profile of strengths and weaknesses.

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