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MDE OSE releases updated guidance on Least Restrictive Environment: Nonacademic Settings

December 04, 2023

The Michigan Department of Education Office of Special Education (MDE OSE) has released updated guidance on the Least Restrictive Environment: Nonacademic Settings

"The purpose of this document is to build awareness and assist districts in developing a deeper understanding of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) least restrictive environment (LRE) requirement governing nonacademic settings, including but not limited to meals, recess periods, transportation, and extracurricular activities.

Although the IDEA presumes the general education classroom to be LRE for students with disabilities, the general education classroom may not be an appropriate setting for some students. Receiving specially designed instruction in another setting does not mean a student with a disability will not or cannot participate in other opportunities with nondisabled peers. Individualized Education Program (IEP) Teams have an obligation to consider the needs of each student with a disability and determine not only the learning environment that is most appropriate for the student but what supplementary aids and services can be provided so the student can participate with nondisabled peers in nonacademic settings, including extracurricular activities to the maximum extent appropriate. This document will review LRE requirements, will discuss what is considered a nonacademic setting."

(MDE OSE, 2023)

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Page last modified December 4, 2023