In determining the educational placement for a child with a disability, a school district is charged with ensuring that the placement is as close as possible to the child's home. Unless the child's IEP requires another arrangement, the child is to be educated in the school that he or she would attend if non-disabled. (34 C.F.R. § 300.116(b)(3), (c)).
As federal law states, all students should be placed at his home, or residence school, so long as that school has a program that will fit that individual student's unique needs. For example, if a particular student requires 60 minutes per day of Specialized Academic Instruction services, and 30 minutes per week of individual counseling services, and that student's residence school is capable of providing those services, it is likely that that student should be educated within their residence school environment.
On the other hand, if a particular student requires an Autism specific classroom placement, and that student's home school does not currently have that type of program, it is at that time that alternative educational placements may need to be explored. Alternative educational placements can range from another comprehensive public school campus, to a non-public school, or even to a residential treatment center (should the student's unique needs require that level of care).
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These are just a few brief suggestions to keep in mind prior to your child's IEP meeting; 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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