Recall the law: Districts “must take steps, including the provision of supplementary aids and services determined appropriate and necessary by the child’s IEP Team, to provide nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities in the manner necessary to afford children with disabilities an equal opportunity for participation in those services and activities. (b) Nonacademic and extracurricular services and activities may include counseling services, athletics, transportation, health services, recreational activities, special interest groups or clubs sponsored by the public agency.” 300.107 […]
LRE is an acronym that stands for least restrictive environment. IDEA does not define “least restrictive environment” in its definitions section. However, it requires that each student receive special education and related services in the “least restrictive environment” and describes what this means.
Least restrictive environment refers to the IDEA’s mandate that students with disabilities should be educated to the maximum extent appropriate with peers without disabilities. The LRE mandate ensures that schools educate students with disabilities in integrated settings, alongside students with and without disabilities, to the maximum extent appropriate.
Inclusion helps everyone become a contributing member of a community. Teachers report that the overall classroom climate becomes more respectful and productive when students with disabilities are included.