Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
Least restrictive environment (LRE) means that a student who has a disability should have the opportunity to be educated with non-disabled peers, to the greatest extent appropriate. They should have access to the general education curriculum or any other program that non-disabled peers would be able to access. The student should be provided with supplementary aids and services necessary to achieve educational goals if placed in a setting with non-disabled peers. Should the nature or severity of his or her disability prevent the student from achieving these goals in a regular education setting, then the student would be placed in a more restrictive environment. Generally, the less opportunity a student has to interact and learn with non-disabled peers, the more the placement is considered to be restricted.
To determine what an appropriate setting is for a student, an ARD Committee will review the student’s strengths, weaknesses, and needs, and consider the educational benefits from placement in any particular educational setting. With the differences in needs varying broadly, there is no single definition of what an LRE will be, and each student has an Individual Education Plan (IEP). A continuum of instructional settings for special needs may be found on each campus.