Indicator 5 | Participation/Time in General Education Settings (LRE)

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Scene of a classroom, students hard at work in their textbooks.Updated, April 2013

Indicator 5 is meant to address student placement in the least restrictive environment (LRE) and reads as follows:


Percent of children with IEPs aged 6 through 21 served:

A. Inside the regular class 80% or more of the day;

B. Inside the regular class less than 40% of the day; and

C. In separate schools, residential facilities, or homebound/hospital placements.  [20 U.S.C. 1416(a)(3)(A)]


Resources to Support Data Gathering for Indicator 5

Guidance documents on Indicator 5.

How are we doing?
What’s the current status on improving participation rates of students with disabilities in the LRE? What are the data telling us? Read this summary from 2011.

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Resources to Support Students with Disabilities in the General Education Setting

How is student placement determined?
An overview of placement, from NICHCY.

Supporting students in the general education classroom.
Often, the participation of students with disabilities in general education settings is greatly helped by providing them with supports, modifications, and accommodations. Visit NICHCY’s webpage on the subject to learn more.

Starter set of resources on LRE.
Looking for information, resources, and technical assistance (TA) to help you and others support children with disabilities in their least restrictive environment in school? Here’s a starter list of places to look online.

A treasure trove of modules for teachers and schools.
Visit the IRIS Center and raid their treasure chest of training modules designed especially to help teachers and school leaders create inclusionary environments for students with disabilities and support them in accessing the general education curriculum. Of particular note and relevance are these modules:

Accessing the General Education Curriculum: Inclusion Considerations for Students with Disabilities (also available in Spanish)

Addressing Disruptive and Noncompliant Behaviors (a 2-part series, available in English and Spanish)

Bookshare: Providing Accessible Materials for Students with Print Disabilities

Creating an Inclusive School Environment: A Model for School Leaders

Implementing inclusive practices in schools.
LeadScape is developing a professional community of school principals of inclusive schools. Based on the Leadership Academy modules developed by the National Institute for Urban School Improvement (NIUSI), LeadScape brings principals around the county into sustained professional communities focused on leadership for inclusive schools.

Find out about instructional approaches that can increase the participation of students with disabilities in general education.
The Center on Instruction provides a collection of scientifically based research and information on K-12 instruction in reading, math, science, special education, and English language learning.

Join a community of practice to discuss students with special needs participating in the least restrictive environment. is a forum for exchanging strategies and ideas that will improve outcomes for children with disabilities. One of the communities you can join on TAcommunities is the “LRE Part B Community of Practice.” The LRE Part B Community of Practice discusses issues around helping students in special education participate in general education settings to the fullest extent.

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NOTICE: NICHCY is going away, but its resources are not. Find hundreds of legacy NICHCY publications, as well as our training curriculum on IDEA 2004, in the Center for Parent Information and Resources' Library at This website will remain available until September 30, 2014. After that date, web visitors will be automatically redirected to