Kendall County Special Education Cooperative Logo Kendall County Special Education Cooperative

Lynda Shanks


Amy Lee

Assistant Director
(630) 553-5833  |  Fax: (630) 553-5872

506 Serving Students in the Least Restrictive Environment


  1. Overview Of Placement
  2. Participation in Regular Education Programs
  3. State-Operated of Nonpublic Special Education Facility
  4. Continuum of Placement Options
  5. Determining Educational Placement
  6. Nonacademic and Extracurricular Services
  7. Legal Reference

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A. Overview of Placement

  1. The School District supports the right of children with disabilities to be 
    educated with nondisabled children to the maximum extent appropriate.
  2. The child’s placement shall be based on the child’s IEP and shall be as close as 
    possible to the child’s home. Unless the IEP of a child with a disability requires 
    some other arrangement, the child shall be educated in the school that he or 
    she would attend if nondisabled. A placement determination based solely 
    upon the category of a child’s disability or on the current configuration of the 
    School District’s service delivery system is prohibited. In selecting the least 
    restrictive environment (LRE), consideration shall be given to any potential 
    harmful effect on the child or on the quality of services received.
  3. Children with disabilities must be allowed to participate to the maximum 
    extent appropriate with nondisabled children in nonacademic and 
    extracurricular activities (including meals, recess periods, athletics, clubs and 
    recreational activities).
  4. Parental participation shall be encouraged. Informed written parental consent 
    is required only before initial special education placement. In cases in which 
    informed written parental consent cannot be obtained, the School District may 
    request a due process hearing to compel services/placement in special 
    education, except in an initial placement of a child in special education.

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B. Participation in Regular Education Programs

  1. The School District shall take steps to ensure that children with disabilities
    have equal access to the variety of educational programs and services available
    to nondisabled children.
  2. Steps taken by the School District to ensure the availability of regular educational programs and services to children with disabilities may include, but not be limited to:
    1. Modification of instructional methodologies, staffing, materials and equipment to permit effective participation as appropriate; and
    2. Individualization of the instructional program including staffing, curriculum modifications, classroom accommodations, modified grading, assistive technology and instructional materials to permit the effective participation of children with disabilities.
  3. The IEP must include a statement describing how the child’s disability 
    adversely affects the child’s participation in, and progress toward general 
    education curriculum objectives, including:


    1. Participation in extracurricular and other nonacademic activities;
    2. The extent to which the child will be educated and participate with 
      nondisabled children;
    3. An explanation of the extent, if any, to which the child will not participate 
      with nondisabled children; and
    4. A statement of any individual modifications in the administration of State 
      or School District-wide assessments necessary in order for the child to 
      participate in the assessments. If the IEP Team determines that the child 
      cannot participate in State or School District-wide assessments, the IEP 
      Team must explain why and describe how the child will be alternately 
      assessed. (See Section 5, Students’ Participation in Assessments).

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C. State-Operated or Nonpublic Special Education Facility

When an IEP Team determines that no less restrictive setting on the continuum of
alternative placements will meet a child’s needs, the child may be placed in a State-
operated or nonpublic special education facility. In such a case, the use of a State-
operated program should be given first consideration if appropriate. The
determination shall be based on recent diagnostic assessments and other pertinent
information and made in light of other factors such as proximity to the child’s home.
Before the School District places a child or refers a child to such a facility:

  1. The School District will convene an IEP meeting and invite representative(s)
    of the State-operated or nonpublic school to attend to assist in identifying or
    verifying the appropriate placement for that child. If one or more needed
    representatives cannot attend, the School District will use other methods to
    ensure their participation.
  2. With respect to the annual review and revision of the IEP of a child with a
    disability placed or referred to a State-operated or nonpublic school by the
    School District, the School District may permit the nonpublic school to initiate
    IEP meetings which will be conducted as described above, provided that the
    parent(s) of the child and a representative of the School District are invited to
    participate in any decision about the child’s IEP and agree to any proposed
    changes in the IEP. The School District remains responsible for the
    development and implementation of the child’s IEP and for convening any
    needed IEP meetings, including annual reviews.

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D. Continuum of Placement Options

The School District will ensure that a continuum of alternative placement options is
available to meet the needs of children with disabilities. This continuum will include
instruction in regular classes, special classes, special schools, home instruction, and
instruction in hospitals and institutions. The continuum will also make provision for
supplementary services (such as resource room or itinerant instruction) to be
provided in conjunction with regular class placement.

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E. Determining Eductional Placement

  1. In determining any educational placement of a child, the School District shall 
    ensure that:


    1. The placement decision is made by a group of persons, including the
      parent(s), and other persons knowledgeable about the child, the meaning
      of the evaluation data, and the placement options, and is made in
      conformity with the least restrictive environment requirements;
    2. The child’s placement is determined at least annually, is based on the
      child’s IEP, and is as close as possible to the child’s home;
    3. Unless the IEP of a child with a disability requires some other arrangement,
      the child is educated in the school he/she would attend if nondisabled;
    4. In selecting the LRE, consideration is given to any potentially harmful effect
      on the child or on the quality of services that the child needs; and
    5. A child with a disability is not removed from education in age-appropriate
      regular classrooms solely because of needed modifications in the general
  2. When making a placement determination on behalf of a child with a disability between the ages of 3-5, the School District must provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment. The least restrictive environment alternatives may include:
    1. Providing opportunities for the participation (even part-time) of preschool
      children with disabilities in other preschool programs operated by public
      agencies (such as Head Start);
    2. Placing children with disabilities in private school programs for
      nondisabled preschool children or private preschool programs that
      integrate children with disabilities and nondisabled children; or
    3. Locating classes for preschool children with disabilities in regular
      elementary schools.
  3. In the event the School District must remove a special education child from his/her current program because of behavior that causes serious bodily injuryor due to a weapons or drug violation, the IEP Team shall identify an interim alternative educational setting (IAES). This setting will enable the child to continue to progress in the general curriculum and to receive those services and modifications as described in the child’s current IEP.
  4. Homebound instruction may be recommended by the IEPTeam in accordance with subsection C of this Section and the eligibility requirements under 23 111. Admin. Code §§ 226.300.

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F. Nonacademic and Extracurricular Services

  1. The placement decision shall permit the child to participate, as appropriate, in nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities (e.g., meals, recess, recreational activities, and clubs sponsored by the School District). According to the needs of the child, as articulated in his/her IEP, the School District may provide service(s) to a child in order to allow him/her to access participation in nonacademic or extracurricular activities.
  2. A child with a disability may be excluded from participation in nonacademic and extracurricular activities for misconduct provided the exclusion is consistent with the School District’s disciplinary code, is applied to children without disabilities and takes into consideration the special needs of the child.

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20 U.S.C. §§ 1412 (State eligibility), 1412 (a)(7), 1413 (local educational agency eligibility).

34 C.F.R. §§ 300.305 (program options), 300.345 (parent(s) participation), 300.346 (development review and revision of IEP), 300.347 (content of IEP), 300.350 (general LRE requirements), 300.551 (continuum of alternative placements), 300.552 (placements), 300.553 (nonacademic settings).


105 ILCS 5114-1.02 (children with disabilities), 5115-8.02 (identification, evaluation and placement of children).

23 111. Admin. Code. §§ 226.240 (determination of placement), 226.300 (continuum of placement options), 226.310 (related services), 226.530 (parent(s)’ participation), 226.720 (facilities and classes), 226.220 (development, review and revision of the IEP), 226.230 (content of the IEP).