Special Education Placement: Checklist for Appropriateness
In Maine's Special Education Regulations, special education placement is defined in regulation 2.21 as "the instructional setting in which special education services are provided and is a physical location characterized by the enrollment of students with disabilities. A placement is neither a type of service nor a type of program." This placement will be decided upon by the Pupil Evaluation Team and spelled out in the student's Individualized Education Program. The following is a checklist of considerations as you decide what placement you think is appropriate for your child.
- The non-academic skills my child needs is taught in "natural" settings, that is, in situations where he or she would normally need them.
- My child is in the least restrictive educational alternative, i.e., in classes with peers without disabilities as much as possible.
- The instructional day for students with disabilities is the same length as that of students without disabilities.
- The building and classroom are physically accessible to students with mobility impairments.
- Students with disabilities are provided opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities on the same basis as students without disabilities.
- When deciding on the programs and services for students with disabilities, the school first uses resources that are available for all students.
- The district offers a continuum of placements.
- The placement decision is made at the P.E.T., not before.
Goals and Objectives Checklist for Parents
- Are the yearly goals and objectives based on information about what the pupil is able to do at the present time?
- Are the yearly goals and objectives the most important ones for the pupil?
- Are the yearly goals and objectives part of a long-range plan for the pupil's total education program?
- Do the yearly goals and objectives include opportunities for the pupil to be with students of the same age who do not have disabilities?
- Do the objectives help the pupil become less dependent on other people or aids?
- Does each objective require a skill or behavior that is useful in different situations, either in or out of school?
- Can the objective be carried out with activities that are appropriate for the pupil's age?
- Does each objective represent a step that will help the pupil achieve the yearly goals?
- Does each objective describe a skill or behavior that can be observed or measured?
- Are the criteria for achieving each objective clearly stated?
- Is the time allowed for reaching each objective realistic for the pupil?
Ongoing Measurement of Progress
- Is the information collected related to measurement of progress toward each objective?
- Is the information about pupil progress collected often enough to assist in making instructional decisions as soon as they are needed?
For more information on this or other topics related to the needs of children with disabilities, call or write Maine Parent Federation, P.O. Box 2067, Augusta, Maine 04338, 1-800-870-7746 (In-State Only) 207-623-2144 or email MPF at parentconnect.mpf.org.
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