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Continuum of Special Education Placements

The Continuum of Special Education Placements is something that an IEP team will generally discuss when determining which type of educational placement will be most appropriate for any particular student. This term and the subsequent discussion that follows this term is one that can be confusing for any parent.

Based upon Federal Law all schools must provide each Student with the opportunity to make academic progress within the least restrictive environment (LRE) possible. It is in attempting to determine the LRE within which any individual student will have the opportunity to progress, that an exploration of the continuum of special education placements will be beneficial.

Below I have outlined a brief list of possible educational placements, beginning with the lesser restrictive environments, and ending with the most restrictive educational environment. Again, the goal will be to educate all students in the least restrictive environment that will allow them the opportunity to progress:

· Resource Specialist Program (RSP): This is generally the first consideration for a student who is eligible for special education services and is not exhibiting the ability to progress academically within the general education classroom environment. These services can consist of additional support being "pushed in" to the general education environment, or can also be provided by pulling the student out of the general education environment and placing them within a smaller educational environment for a specific amount of time or for specific subjects.

· Special Day Class (SDC): For students who are exhibiting specific needs which cannot be met through RSP support, it is likely that a SDC should be considered. These are generally much smaller academic environments that students will be in for a majority of their school day. Possible SDC placements can include Mild to Moderate classrooms, Moderate to Severe classrooms, as well as classrooms specifically for students with social emotional and behavior based concerns.

· Non-Public Schools (NPS) placements: If a school district does not have an educational placement that will provide a student with the opportunity to progress, the next step would likely be to consider specific NPS placements that may be able to appropriately address a student's unique needs.

· Residential Treatment Center (RTC) placements: For students whose needs cannot be met within any of the above discussed placements, placement within a RTC may be a necessary consideration. RTC placements provide students with a connected educational and living environment, and therefore can generally provide students with constant educational, behavior, and social-emotional care.

Contact Our Office

Navigating the road of special education law can be difficult and confusing, if you have any questions about your child's special education placement or services, Contact us by email or call us at 714-602-1498 or 866-781-7723 (toll free) for more information.

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Augustin Egelsee L.L.P.
8141 East Kaiser Boulevard
Suite 315
Anaheim Hills, CA 92808

Toll Free: 866-781-7723
Phone: 714-602-1498
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