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Special Education

Special Education Placement

Oriole Park School parents often ask questions about special education placement and how decisions are made.
OPS Special Education Department believes that placement decision is one of the vital components in the development of a child's Individual Educational Program (IEP). It's influencing where a child spends his or her time at school, how services are provided, and the relationships the child develops within the school community. Indeed, proper placement or commonly called Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) is an important factor that improves outcomes for the child - in school and in life. 
In basic terms, LRE refers to the setting where the child with the disability can receive an appropriate education designed to meet his or her education needs, alongside peers without the disabilities to maximize extent appropriate.

Who Decides Placement?

1. The child's parents
2. Personnel who know the variety of placement options available to meet the child's needs
3. Individuals who understand the significance of the data used to develop the child's IEP
Points 2 and 3 include: Case Manager, District Representative, General and Special        
Education Teachers, Clinicians (Social Worker, Nurse, Psychologist, Speech Pathologist, etc.,     as needed).

The Key Terms in LRE

The law requires that the child with disabilities can be removed from the general education classroom ONLY if her or she cannot be satisfactorily educated in the regular educational environment with the use of supplementary aids and services.
In addition to general education classroom with supplementary aides and services, the IEP team has to consider the following options based on sufficient meeting of academic, behavioral / emotion needs:
LRE1 - General education with special education support 20% or less of the school day outside the general education setting.
LRE2 - General education with special education support 21 - 60 % of the school day outside the general education setting.
LRE3 - General education with special education support 61% or more of the school day.
However, if the IEP team determines that the child with the disability cannot be educated in the above placements, continuum of the alternative placements is available to meet the needs of the children with the disability. Options include: special classes, special schools, home instruction, instruction in hospital and institutions.
Placement, based on the individual needs of the child, specified in the IEP, has to be determined each and every year.
Should the parents disagree with the placement decision, they have recourse to IDEA's Procedural Safeguards, as a way of resolving conflict. Parents of a child with disability can also file a state complaint.

Contact Information

Please always feel free to contact Cara Howerter, Counselor, or James Cummings, Case Manager, for explanations and answers regarding any topic concerning rules, regulations and our Oriole Park students.
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