Unit 2: What are the various placements of Secondary Special Education?


Return to Main Page of Course: Special Education in the Secondary Setting

Different Types of Least Restrictive Environments

Least Restrictive Environment is part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and says that children who receive special education should learn in an environment with peers who do not receive special education.

Two concepts must be kept in mind:

  1. The child should be with kids in general education to the “maximum extent that is appropriate.”
  2. Special classes, separate schools or removal from the general education class should only happen when the child’s disability is so severe that supplementary aids and services cannot provide him with an appropriate education.

In the secondary setting, there are four major settings a child with a disability may be placed into depending on the severity of their disability: General Education with Support, Inclusion Program, Self-Contained Program, or a Specialized Program Outside of School District.

The following article goes into detail regarding each placement. Please read the article and note distinct differences between each placement: Choosing the Right Special Education Placement

Take a look at the following graphic organizer that highlights each setting and the various benefits of each.

Placements Graphic Organizer.png

Co-teach Models

Co-teaching is the practice of pairing teachers together in a classroom to share the responsibilities of planning, instructing, and assessing students. In a co-teaching setting, the teachers are considered equally responsible and accountable for the classroom. Co-teaching is often implemented with general and special education teachers paired together as part of an initiative to create a more inclusive classroom.

The movement towards inclusion has its roots in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and is often chosen as the least restrictive environment since it allows students with special education needs to receive the support they require as part of their IEP, build a stronger social connection with their peers, and benefit from the curriculum of the general education class.

Before we take a look at each model, please read this scholarly article identifying the effectiveness of the Co-Teach model: The Effectiveness of the Co-Teach Model

There are 6 different models of co-teaching. These models are One teach/one observe, station teaching, parallel teaching, alternative teaching, teaming, one teach/one assist. In each model, the Special Education teacher has different responsibilities than the general education teacher. They are responsible for the progress monitoring of students with IEPs and tracking their goals. Additionally, they are often required to write IEPs, create annual goals for students, and report these progressions to parents.

Use the image below to help you understand how these models may look in the classroom.


Please watch the following video regarding each model, its benefits, and its challenges:

Self-Reflection of Unit Two

Please reflect on the knowledge you acquired during this unit. Please record this self-reflection through a Mentimeter presentation.

Directions: Answer the question of each slide. When you have completed this task, take a look at your peers' responses.

Link for the Mentimeter poll: Self-Reflection Unit Two Menti

Like to view class results: Class Results of Self-Reflection Unit Two Menti

Congratulations! You Have Completed Unit 2 and May Now Proceed to: UNIT 3