This FAQ aims to address some of the most common questions and inquiries regarding Indicator 5 and Least Restrictive Environment. The topics listed below are areas for which the Indiana Department of Education, Office of Special Education and IEPRC staff have been asked to provide guidance and clarification to assist LEAs in the proper reporting of LRE data.

ED Part Time/Full Time

Q: What factors determine whether a student is reported as Emotional Disability (Full-Time) or Emotional Disability (Other)? Is this affected by LRE?

  • According to the current SE layout:
    • Emotional Disability (Full Time) means that the student receives special education services more than 50% of the instructional day.

    • Emotional Disability (All Other) means that the student receives special education services for 50% or less of the instructional day.

  • LEAs are required to identify students with emotional disabilities as ED (Full Time) and ED (Other) in the DOE-SE collections. This distinction determines the APC funding category for ED students reported in first collection window of the SE (typically December 1). Students with ED (Full Time) identified as their primary exceptionality are classified as APC Funding Level 1. Students with ED (Other) identified as their primary exceptionality are classified as APC Funding Level 2.
  • The threshold for Full Time and Other designations for children with emotional disabilities is not dependent on the setting(s) in which the child receives special education services. Special education services in both general education and special education settings are included in determining whether the student should be reported as ED (Full Time) or ED (Other). This also means that LRE placement categories should have no influence in determining which ED type to select for students.
    • Percentage calculation for Full Time and Other designation includes all special education services—regardless of whether they are specifically related to the student’s ED or any other disabilities.
    • Instructional day – this implies that only instruction time is included, which may not necessarily be the same as the “school day”

LRE 57

Q: What qualifies a student to be required to have an LRE code 57 selected in his or her IEP? If a student does not meet the requirements needed to be reported as LRE code 57, how do we determine the appropriate LRE code for the student when s/he is receiving services at home and does not spend any of his/her school day with other students—disabled or non-disabled?

  • From Indiana's DOE-SE Layout*:

LRE 57 = Student’s disability requires home services as determined by case conference committee

Do not change LRE placement to code 57 if the student is being placed temporarily on homebound services due to an illness or injury

 Special ed student  IEP placement is homebound and Homebound is not due to temporary illness or injury  Report on SE only
 Special ed student  IEP placement is NOT homebound and Student receives homebound due to injury or temporary/chronic illness  Report on SE and HB
 General ed student  No IEP and Student receives homebound services due to injury or temporary/chronic illness in accordance with 511 IAC 7-42-12  Report on HB only
  •  LRE Placement Codes for students who are:
    • (1) eligible for special education and related services; and
    • (2)unable to attend school as described in subsection (b) of 511 IAC 7-42-12; should be reported using the LRE code that would be appropriate for the student if s/he were receiving services in a school

*Updated versions of the DOE-SE layout can be found in the IDOE - Data Collection community in Learning Connection

DOE-HB (Homebound/Hospitalized)

  • Homebound instruction and related services for a special education student must be provided by appropriately licensed personnel in accordance with the student’s IEP (511 IAC 7-42-12).
  • For a student who is eligible for special education and related services, instruction and related services must be provided by appropriately licensed personnel (511 IAC 7-42-12).
  • Schools who provide homebound services in accordance with 511 IAC-42-12 should report these students in the DOE-HB report.

Additional guidance from the DOE-HB layout:

  • Report data for students that receive instruction at home or at a hospital due to an injury or a temporary or chronic illness during the collection period, December 2, 2016 through December 1, 2017. Report data only on those students for whom the school has received a written statement from the student’s doctor or Christian Science practitioner, in accordance with 511 IAC 7-42-13, indicating that he student has an injury, temporary or chronic illness, or other medical condition that will require the student’s absence for an aggregate of at least twenty (20) instructional days. If there are fewer than 20 instructional days remaining in the school year, and the student needs instruction to meet promotion or graduation requirements, the statement must indicate that the student will be unable to attend school through the end of the school year.
  • Students who are eligible to receive homebound instruction can be reported by parent/guardian by providing the school with:
    • (1) a temporary illness injury that will require the student’s absence from school for a minimum of twenty (20) consecutive instructional days; or,
    • A chronic illness or other medical condition that will require the student’s absence for an aggregate of at least twenty (20) instructional days over the period of the school year.

  • A student with an IEP has provided a doctor’s statement that he/she has an injury, temporary or chronic illness or other medical condition that will result in the student being absent at least twenty (20) consecutive or aggregate instructional days during the school year, the student should be counted on the HB report as long as he or she is receiving educational services, including special education and related services by appropriately licensed personnel.
  • A student with a doctor’s statement indicating that the student cannot attend school for at least twenty (20) days (due to pregnancy or birth of a child), the student may be counted on the HB report as long as educational services are being provided to the student by appropriate personnel as described in 511 IAC 7-2-12.

Student Discipline and Attendance

Q: Can we report a student in the DOE-SE if s/he is not in attendance on the count day for disciplinary reasons?

  • Students with IEPs who are enrolled in a school and receiving special education services from an LEA should be reported in the DOE-SE collection regardless of whether they are serving a suspension or an expulsion on the DOE-SE child count date.
  • A student who is enrolled in a school and receiving services from an LEA during the DOE-SE child count date is not prohibited from being reported in the SE collection if s/he is not in attendance due to an excused or unexcused absence.

Calculating Percentage of Time in the General Education Setting/Environment

Q: How do we determine the default school day for students? Does the length of the school day have a different definition than the length of the instructional day?

  • 511 IAC 7-32-22 "Day" defined:
    • (c) "Instructional day" means any day or part of a day that students are expected to be in attendance.
  • 511 IAC 7-36-4 Elementary and secondary instructional day; school calendar; extended school year services
    • Sec. 4. (a) The length of the instructional day for elementary and secondary students with disabilities shall be the same as the instructional day for nondisabled elementary and secondary students, respectively, in the same school building, unless the CCC: 
      • (1) determines the length of the student's instructional day should be different; and 

      •  

        (2) documents the justification in the written notice described in 511 IAC 7-42-7.

Q: Do we include lunch, recess, passing periods, study hall?

  • From C002 – Children with Disabilities (IDEA) School Age File Specifications
    http://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/edfacts/eden/non-xml/c002-13-0.doc:

    • How is the percentage of time calculated?
      • To calculate the percentage of time inside the regular classroom*, divide the number of hours the child spends inside the regular classroom by the total number of hours in the school day (including lunch, recess and study periods). The result is multiplied by 100. Time spent outside the regular classroom receiving services unrelated to the child’s disability (e.g., time receiving LEP services) should be considered time inside the regular classroom. Educational time spent in age-appropriate community-based settings that include individuals with and without disabilities, such as college campuses or vocational sites, should be counted as time spent inside the regular classroom.
      • *Indiana’s interpretation of time inside the regular class is time in the presence of general education peers (including lunch, recess, and study periods).

Transportation

Q: Is the time a student spends receiving special education transportation services in her/his considered time spent in the special education setting? Does this impact LRE?

  • No. The school day is the same for all students regardless of whether they have an IEP.
    • 511 IAC 7-32-22 "Day" defined:
      (c) "Instructional day" means any day or part of a day that students are expected to be in attendance.

    • 511 IAC 7-36-4 Elementary and secondary instructional day; school calendar; extended school year services
      Sec. 4. (a) The length of the instructional day for elementary and secondary students with disabilities shall be the same as the instructional day for nondisabled elementary and secondary students, respectively, in the same school building, unless the CCC:

      • (1) determines the length of the student's instructional day should be different; and
      • (2) documents the justification in the written notice described in 511 IAC 7-42-7.
  • Additionally, from http://idea.ed.gov/explore/view/p/%2Croot%2Cdynamic%2CQaCorner%2C12%2C
    • Duration of Travel and Time on Learning
      • Authority:  The term “school day” is defined in the regulations in 34 CFR §300.11(c).
    • Question: If a child with a disability spends a significant amount of time being transported to and from school, as well as to and from another location to receive special education and related services, is the child entitled to receive additional school time to make up for the time lost in transportation?

      Answer: Neither Part B of the IDEA nor the regulations address the issue of the length of a school day. Determining the length of a school day is a decision left to the SEA. However, the IDEA defines school day as any day, including a partial day, that children are in attendance at school for instructional purposes. Additionally, school day has the same meaning for all children in school, including both those with and without disabilities. In general, a school day for a child with a disability should not be longer or shorter than a school day for general education students. However, if a child’s IEP Team determines a child needs a shorter or extended school day in order to receive FAPE, then appropriate modifications should be incorporated into the IEP. However, these modifications must be based on the unique needs of the child, as determined by the IEP team, and not solely based on the child’s transportation time.

Move-Ins

Q: Should an LEA be held accountable for the LRE placement of a student if s/he had an IEP from another LEA or state prior to enrolling in our LEA?

  • A student who enrolls in a school with an existing IEP from another LEA or another state needs to be provided with services comparable to those listed in her/his previous IEP immediately following enrollment. An SWD who enrolls in a district and has not yet received a new IEP from his/her current LEA should be reported in the DOE-SE collection submission with an LRE code that is equivalent to his/her previous IEP so long as the student is receiving services during this time.

  • LEAs are not required to select the same LRE placement from a student’s previous IEP from another LEA when creating a move-in IEP. LRE placement decisions in a student’s move-in and subsequent IEPs are determined by the CCC.

  •  From 511 IAC 7-42-8:

    • (e) If a newly enrolled student received special education services from another public agency within the state, and enrolls in a new public agency within the same school year, the new public agency, in consultation with the student's parent, must immediately provide the student with a free appropriate public education, including services comparable to those described in the student's IEP from the previous public agency, until the new public agency either:
      • (1) adopts the student's IEP from the previous public agency; or
      • (2) develops, adopts, and implements a new IEP that meets the applicable requirements of this rule.

Virtual Education

Q: How do LEAs determine location/setting in an online environment?

  • For virtual charter schools that operate as LEAs, how are the Special Education and General Education settings defined?
  • Is setting determined by the composition of the students in the physical space from which the online instruction is being accessed?
  • Is setting determined by the composition of the students within the virtual environment where online instruction and/or online student interaction occur, regardless of the composition of the students occupying the physical space from which the online content is being accessed?
  • Relevant Resources

Do you have a question about LRE?

Matt Johnson, IEPRC Consultant, provides a brief overview of the Continuum of Services, or placement options for students with disabilities as defined in Article 7.

 

Knowledge to Action

Key practices support the implementation of high quality inclusive programs. Use the rating continuum to indicate the description that best applies to your district at the current time and to identify area(s) in need of improvement.

A Closer Look at LRE Practices

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) per IDEA 2004 requires that states monitor the implementation of the Least Restrictive Environment requirement of IDEA and report the overall proportion of students educated in a number of educational placement categories from each LEA compared to state targets for these placement categories.

More from IDOE's website:   http://www.doe.in.gov/specialed/indicator-5-least-restrictive-environment-lre

Dr. Mitch Yell outlines common placement issues and solutions for Special Education Programs and Teachers.

Defining Least Restrictive Environment with Dr. Mitch Yell

Case Law and Least Restrictive Environment with Dr. Mitch Yell

Placement and Least Restrictive Environment with Dr. Mitch Yell

Associated Downloads:

Dr. Mitch Yell outlines common placement issues and solutions for Special Education Programs and Teachers in this document.

Local policies and procedures provide guidance regarding the school district’s interpretation and implementation of the state requirements included in Article 7. They support consistency in decision making, promoting equitable and appropriate services for students in the least restrictive environment.

Policies & Procedures for LRE

Policies & Procedures Rubric for LRE

LRE Provisions