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Special Services - Least Restrictive Environment

Least Restrictive Environment
When a student is provided special education and related services, the IEP team must examine and consider the Least Restrictive Environment (referred to as LRE) for students. The Least Restrictive Environment is defined in the New Jersey Administrative Code (6A:14- 2.10): "each public agency shall ensure that: to the maximum extent appropriate, a pupil with an educationally disability shall be educated with children who are not educationally disabled; special classes, separate schooling or other removal of a pupil with an educational disability from the pupil's regular class occurs only when the nature or severity of the educational disability is such that education in the pupil's regular class with the use of appropriate supplementary aids and services cannot be achieved satisfactorily."

In considering LRE, the team must consider a variety of factors such as, but not limited to, student-teacher ratio and degree of inclusion. The progression of special education services is typically:
  1. General Education with modifications/accommodations
  2. General Education with paraprofessional support
  3. General Education with in-class resource support
  4. Resource Center Replacement
  5. Special Class (Self-Contained)
  6. Out of District Placement
Other considerations in providing LRE include, but are not limited to participation in general education programs, such as guidance groups or Lunch Bunch