Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) Checklist

The School

  • Does your child attend a regular public school?
  • Is this the same school s/he would attend if s/he did not have a disability?
  • Is the school physically accessible (Are water fountains, bathrooms, & other facilities accessible?)

Physical Integration

  • Does your school see special education as a service not a place?
  • Are special education services available in general education classes & settings?
  • Are special classes & programs spread throughout the school (as opposed to being congregated in a separate section or wing)?
  • Are special classes & programs located alongside regular classes?
  • Are special classes & programs indistinguishable from regular classes (e.g., Room 220 instead of the Resource Room)?

Social Integration

Does your child use:

  • The cafeteria at the same times as other students?
  • Hallway lockers at the same time as other students?
  • The school playground with other students
  • Regular school buses with other students?
  • The school library or media center in a small group?

Does your child participate in (to the same extent as other students):

  • School assemblies
  • Graduation exercises
  • School social activities
  • Clubs
  • Regular music classes
  • Regular art classes
  • Regular physical education classes
  • Homeroom
  • Study Halls
  • Field trips with other students
  • Does your child perform the same school jobs as other students (e.g., attendance monitor, audio visual equipment aide, or cafeteria help)?
  • Is your child integrated with regular education students when s/he participates in regular activities?
  • Does your child’s school encourage students without disabilities to become helpers &/or friends of students in receiving special education services?


  • Does the IEP specifically address the LRE/Least Restrictive Environment?
  • Does the IEP provide for participation in regular academic or extracurricular activities?
  • Does the School District have written criteria for making decision the LRE?
  • Are supportive services (aides, interpreters, equipment) provided when you child participates in general education activities?
  • Are resource rooms used as a supplement to regular education programs rather than being used as placements (i.e., do students spend more time in regular programs than resource rooms)?
  • Does the IEP specify criteria for movement to a least restrictive program?
  • Does the IEP focus on the student’s strengths?

Parent Involvement

  • Are you encouraged to provide ideas & suggestions on integrating your child into regular school activities?
  • Does the school encourage parents of special education students to participate in the PTA?
  • Does the school explain the program options available to students to parents?


  • Are typical students encouraged to interact with special education students?
  • Do social studies, health & other academic courses include sessions on disabilities?
  • Do regular school teachers promote positive attitudes among regular education students?
  • Does the school have books, films, & media presentations on disabilities?
  • Are parents of students with disabilities & adults with disabilities invited to speak regular classes?


  • Do special education teachers coach athletic teams, serve as homeroom teachers, sponsor school service clubs, & perform other faculty responsibilities?
  • Do regular education & special education teachers share the same lounge?
  • Do regular & special education teachers hold joint staff meetings?
  • Are in-service training sessions on special education offered to all school personnel?
  • Do regular & special education teachers plan integrated activities together?
  • Are consultants available to help special & regular education teachers with curricula?
  • Does the principal demonstrate support for integration with staff & parents?
  • Is the principal involved with special education programs?