Understand your student’s placement options


The IEP drives student placement. Placement must be made in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). This means that students with disabilities must be educated with non-disabled peers to the greatest extent possible that is appropriate for the individual child.

Schools must provide supplementary aids and services to allow a child to stay in the least restrictive environment.

From least restrictive to most restrictive, the range of placement options is:

  • Regular classroom in a neighborhood school
  • Some time in a “resource” room
  • More than half the day in a “resource” room
  • A self-contained class in a general education school
  • A self-contained class in a separate public school
  • A self-contained class in a non-public school
  • A residential facility
  • Home and hospital instruction

What is a non-public placement?

If the IEP cannot be implemented in an appropriate public school placement, then the school system must pay for the child to attend a non-public special education school. The IEP must support the need for a non-public placement and the non-public school must be able to implement the IEP. There may be another required IEP team in order for the placement to be fulfilled.

Where can I find a list of non-public schools?

What is a parentally placed private school child?

Parents may choose to place their child in a private school and assume the tuition responsibility. In a private school, the student will not have an IEP, but may have a service plan. In a private school, you do not have entitlement to all rights.

What is Home and Hospital instruction for a student with an IEP?

Home and Hospital is the most restrictive educational setting. It is provided for students who cannot attend school due to a medically documented medical or mental health reason. It is a temporary placement. Students in an acute emotional crisis may not receive home teaching for more than 60 consecutive school days in any school year. Related Services must be provided while the child is on Home and Hospital instruction. Home and Hospital instruction cannot be force or be used as an alternative educational setting when a student has been suspended or expelled.

Maryland Home and Hospital Coordinators list

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