Policy - IHBAG-R









Determinations regarding least restrictive programming shall be made by the student’s  Individual Education Program (IEP) Teamin the following manner:


   1.   The Individual Education Program (IEP) Teamshould first assess whether education in the regular classroom, with the use of supplementary aids and services, can be achieved satisfactorily. In making that determination, the Individual Education Program (IEP) Teamshould assess each of the following factors:


A.  What supplementary aids and services may assist the student in obtaining a satisfactory education in the regular classroom setting? 


Supplementary aids and services may include, but are not limited to, resource room services, itinerant services, assistive technology services, modifications of curriculum, use of teacher aides, and consultation service from special educators.


When assessing supplementary aids and services, the Individual Education Program (IEP) Teamneed not order placement in the regular classroom if it would require modification of the regular curriculum beyond recognition or would result in the student not having to learn any of the skills normally taught in that regular education curriculum.


B.  A comparison of the benefits the student would receive in the regular education classroom with those that the student would receive in a more restrictive setting, such as a self-contained program.


The assessment of benefits should consider both academic and social benefits of participation in the placement at issue. The Individual Education Program (IEP) Teamshould also assess academic and social detriments for the student that may arise from the placement at issue.


In some circumstances, large social benefits of regular education may outweigh small academic benefits; just as large academic benefits of a more restrictive setting may outweigh small social benefits of a regular education placement.


C.  What effect would placement of the student in the regular classroom have on other students in the classroom?


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The Individual Education Program (IEP) Teamneed not place a student in the regular classroom when the student’s behavior, even with supplementary aides and services, would be so disruptive that the education of other students is significantly impaired. Nor would the Individual Education Program (IEP) Teamneed to place the students in the regular classroom when the student would require so much of the teacher or the educational technician’stime that the rest of the class suffers.


                        D.  What the financial cost would be of the supplementary aides and

                        services accompanying an appropriate placement in the regular classroom.


Placement in the regular classroom may not be rejected under this factor simply because it would be incrementally more expensive than placement in a more restrictive setting. Yet the school unit need not educate a student in the regular classroom if the cost of other students. In most circumstances, the school unit need not place a student in the regular classroom if such placement requires that the student have his/her own full-time teacher.


     2.  If the Individual Education Program (IEP) determines after assessing the above factors that the student is unable to be educated satisfactorily in the regular classroom with supplementary aids and services, the Individual Education Program (IEP) shall then determine the maximum extent of mainstreaming that the student may appropriately receive.


In making this determination, the Individual Education Program (IEP) Teamshall consider the full continuum of alternative placements- such as placing the student in regular education of some academic classes and in special education for others, mainstreaming the student for nonacademic classes only, or providing interaction with non-disabled students during lunch and recess.


In making placements determinations, the Individual Education Program (IEP) Teamshall attempt to give preference to placements in the student’s neighborhood school district. When the special services needed by the student are sufficiently specialized or expensive that they are provided by the school unit only in a school building other than the student’s neighborhood school, the Individual Education Program (IEP) Teammay place that student in the school where the specialized services exist, rather than replicate those services in the neighborhood school. This determination should not impact, in most circumstances, on the Individual Education Program (IEP) Team’sdetermination regarding the extent to which the student is able to participate in regular education.


Placement in residential programs shall be made only when the Individual Education Program (IEP) Teamdetermines that the student is not otherwise able to receive some educational benefit from a day program.


 Legal Reference: 20 USC § 1412(a)(5)34 CFR §§ 300.550 – 552 ME. Dept. of ED. Reg. ch. 101§§ 11.1- 11.3 (Nov 1999)                                                                                                                                                                                                   Page 2 of 2