Spectrum of SPED Services
When a student is eligible for special education services, the type of services the student will receive is individualized and will depend on the needs of the student and the environment of the school. Schools are required to place the student in the Least Restrictive Environment. This means that the student is to be educated with her peers to the greatest extent possible. If she can succeed in an inclusion classroom, then she will not be placed in a special education classroom. Least Restrictive Environment is mandated through IDEA 2004. The IEP committee will determine the Least Restrictive Environment for each student as part of the Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
A student receiving monitor services will be fully included in a regular education environment. The special education case manager will meet daily, monthly, or weekly (depending on the need outlined in the IEP) for a set amount of time to address organizational, behavioral, or academic issues. The case manager will also follow up with the teachers to ensure that the student is doing well and step in when necessary.
An inclusion setting occurs in a regular classroom, and is co-taught by a regular education teacher and a special education teacher. The students consist of regular and special education students learning together in one classroom. The special education teacher ensures that the accommodations and services of the students with IEPs are being followed. In the upper grades, a student can be in an inclusion setting for only the classes in which he needs the support and regular education classes for those he does not.
The special education room used to be the norm for children in special education, but this is becoming less common. The resource room is a classroom containing only special education students and the curriculum is geared at the level of the students in the class. A student may come to the resource room for one or two classes. However, in some instances the student is in this room for the core classes or all day.
When the student’s needs are not able to be met within the public school, the student might attend, a local day placement facility. The entire student body will likely consist of special education students with significant needs. The students are taught by special education teachers.
The student lives on campus of a residential facility and school. The services are 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is the most restrictive service available and is only provided in extreme circumstances.