Frequently Asked Questions


What if I don’t think my child’s needs can be met in their current placement?
If you feel your child’s placement is not appropriate, getting a private or out of district placement isn’t impossible, but it can be difficult. It is not something that can happen overnight and there is a process. Schools are required by state and federal law to educate children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. This means that that children with disabilities are educated in with children who do not have disabilities and removed to more restrictive settings only when, even with supplemental aides, services and supports, the child cannot be educated appropriately in that environment.  The burden of proof is on the parents to prove that the school district cannot meet the needs of their child in their current placement and require a more restrictive or private placement. For more information contact the Parent Information Center on Special Education.
What should I do if I want an out-of-district or private placement?
If you feel your child’s placement is not appropriate, getting a private or out of district placement isn’t impossible, but it can be difficult. It is not something that can happen overnight and there is a process. Schools are required by state and federal law to educate children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. This means that that children with disabilities are educated in with children who do not have disabilities and removed to more restrictive settings only when, even with supplemental aides, services and supports, the child cannot be educated appropriately in that environment.  The burden of proof is on the parents to prove that the school district cannot meet the needs of their child in their current placement and require a more restrictive or private placement. For more information contact the Parent Information Center on Special Education.
What if I disagree with the IEP team’s placement?
When parents have disagreements with the IEP Team or a proposal by the IEP team they can always request another IEP meeting to discuss their concerns. Parents also always have the right to request a facilitated IEP meeting, request mediation, request an neutral conference, or file a complaint or for a due process hearing. For more information on these topics, please contact the Parent Information Center on Special Education.

Placement


Girl with DownsOnce the IEP has been approved and signed by the school and the parent, the IEP team decides where the child’s individualized needs (IEP) can be met in the least restrictive environment (LRE).  This means that children with disabilities are to be educated in the regular classroom with children who do not have disabilities to the extent appropriate to meet their educational needs.

When a child can’t be educated appropriately in the regular classroom, alternative placements must be made available by the team. The range of educational settings includes:

  • regular classroom
  • regular classroom with consultative assistance
  • regular classroom with assistance by itinerant specialists
  • regular classroom plus resource room help  
  • regular classroom plus part-time special class
  • full-time special class
  • full-time or part-time special day school
  • full-time residential placement
  • home-based programming
  • hospital or institution

When a child with a disability, ages 6-21, requires home instruction, they must be provided a minimum of 10 hours per week. Related services are to be provided in addition to the ten hours per week of instruction.

The placement process is the same in that preschool children with disabilities must be educated in the least restrictive environment where the supports and services listed in the IEP can be delivered.  There is also a continuum of placements for preschool aged children.  This continuum includes:

  • community early childhood setting
  • home setting
  • early childhood special education setting – partially integrated setting
  • early childhood special education setting – specialized./therapeutic setting
  • early childhood special education setting – general self-contained setting
  • early childhood special education setting – specialized self-contained setting
  • separate school setting
  • residential setting

Next Step: Monitoring