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Least Restrictive Environment


The Least Restrictive Environment

School districts are required to educate students with disabilities in the regular education classroom with appropriate aids and supports with their nondisabled peers to the maximum extent appropriate. When a student does not participate full time with students without disabilities in the regular education classroom, extracurricular activities and other non-academic activities, the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) must be addressed. This decision takes place at the IEP team meeting. 


  • The LRE statement must explain the extent of nonparticipation. An LRE explanation is based upon the statements of student needs addressed earlier in the IEP and answers the question, “Why can’t the student’s instructional needs be met in the regular education classroom?”


  • The LRE statement must describe why the child is being removed from the regular education setting to receive services. What is it about the nature or severity of the disability that makes this necessary?


  • The LRE statement must identify what the student will be missing in the regular education setting.


LRE Guidelines/Considerations:

  • The IEP team always considers the regular education classroom first. 
  • The IEP team considers what accommodations and modifications will allow the student to be successful and participate in the regular education classroom.
  • The IEP team considers the student’s need for assistive technology and services.
  • The IEP team considers the student's academic, communication, cognitive, health, physical, sensory, social, emotional, behavioral and language needs. 
  • The IEP team considers what positive behavior strategies and interventions may be appropriate for students with behavior that impedes their learning or the learning of others.