Southeast Delco School District employs an inclusion model for students who require special education services. Education is both a human right in itself and an indispensable mean of a better future. Inclusion provides children with special educational needs and disabilities the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Inclusion of students who require special education services is accomplished through team planning and the effective use of supplementary aids and services. Implementing the use of supplementary aids and services in the general education classroom is a primary component of the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) as stated in the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA).
LRE means that, to the maximum extent appropriate, school districts must educate students with disabilities in the regular classroom with appropriate aids and supports, referred to as "supplementary aids and services, " along with their nondisabled peers in the school they would attend if not disabled, unless a student's IEP requires some other arrangement. This requires and individualized inquiry into the unique educational needs of each disabled student in determining the possible range of aids and supports that are needed to facilitate the student’s placement in the regular educational environment before a more restrictive placement is considered.
In implementing IDEA's LRE provisions, the regular classroom in the school the student would attend if not disabled is the first placement option considered for each disabled student before a more restrictive placement is considered.
If the IEP of a student with a disability can be implemented satisfactorily with the provision of supplementary aids and services in the regular classroom in the school the student would attend if not disabled, that placement is the LRE placement for that student. However, if the student's IEP cannot be implemented satisfactorily in that environment, even with the provision of supplementary aids and services, the regular classroom in the school the student would attend if not disabled is not the LRE placement for that student.
The Gaskin Settlement Agreement is a formal resolution between the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and a group of families and advocacy organizations who had filed a class-action lawsuit against PDE on behalf of a group of children with disabilities in 1994.
According to IDEA, Supplementary Aids and Services means, aids, services and other supports that are provided in regular education classes or other education-related settings to enable children with disabilities to be educated with nondisabled children to the maximum extent appropriate.
Supplementary Aids and Services can include changes in:
- Instructional Strategies
- Social or Behavioral Support
- Staff Support