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    Placement: Where will my student’s services be delivered?

    Placement defines the setting, intensity, and instructional content of each student’s services. Placement is a concept and term that is universal to special education under IDEA. It is a fundamental part of the IEP team process and it is recorded in the IEP in a variety of ways:

    Setting: Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

    Every student should learn in their least restrictive environment, or LRE. All students have a right to the general education setting, making it the default LRE. For some students, though, their specific learning needs make an alternative setting their LRE. Additionally, LRE will vary across instructional content and settings throughout the school day. The IEP services matrix and placement field will identify setting. A students setting is often summarized as the percentage of time spent in the general education setting.

    Intensity of Services

    Intensity of services is measurable through the IEP in both quantitative and qualitative ways.

    • Quantitative measures include: how many areas of special education instruction and related services, how many minutes of instruction and related service, how many accommodations, etc.
    • Qualitative measures are captured in narrative sections like the present levels of academic achievement and functional performance.


    Both are factors in describing the intensity of a student’s services.

    Instructional Content

    Instructional content is the scope of what is being taught beyond the general education curriculum. Under IDEA it is called Specially Designed Instruction or SDI.

    Placement does not guarantee or imply assignment to or attendance at a particular school.

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