Special Education

Questions and Answers on Individualized Education Program (IEP) Development, The State's Model IEP Form and Related Documents

Participation with Students without Disabilities - Updated April 2011

The following questions and answers address some of the important issues raised by requests for clarification of the federal and State requirements for IEPs.  This document will periodically be updated.  This guidance does not impose any requirements beyond those required under applicable law and regulations.  This document supersedes any previously issued guidance on this topic.

If you have questions regarding the IEP form and related requirements, you may submit them to the following mailbox: SEFORMS@mail.nysed.gov.


    1. It appears that the rationale(s) for nonparticipation with students without disabilities is no longer required in the 'LRE' (Participation with Students without Disabilities) section of the IEP, nor is it directly addressed in the Effect of Student Needs on Involvement and Progress in the General Education Curriculum section.  Where, if at all, should that rationale(s) be denoted?
      Section 200.4(d)(2)(viii) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education requires a student’s IEP to provide an explanation of the extent, if any, to which the student will not participate with nondisabled students in the regular class, or for preschool students, in appropriate activities with age-appropriate peers without disabilities.  The Committee must document the extent to which a student’s disability precludes his/her participation with students without disabilities by identifying the percent of the school day or by identifying particular activities that the student will not participate in with his/her nondisabled peers in the Participation with Students Without Disabilities section of the State IEP form.  The IEP could, but is not required to, include a narrative explanation of the student-specific factors for recommendations to remove the student from the regular class (or for preschool students, appropriate activities with age-appropriate peers without disabilities).  Options considered and reasons rejected relating to the provision of services and placement of the student in the least restrictive environment must be provided to the parent in prior written notice.
    2. If a student is placed within a special class and will not participate with the typical population during their school day, can you provide an example of a statement that should be included in the text box? (Added 4/11)
      A student’s IEP must document the extent to which a student’s disability precludes his/her participation with students without disabilities.  This includes an explanation of the extent, if any, to which a student will not participate in general education class and/or extracurricular and nonacademic activities, or, for preschool students, in appropriate activities with age-appropriate nondisabled peers.  This may be indicated as the percent of the school day or by identifying particular activities that the student will not participate in with his/her nondisabled peers (e.g., 100% of the school day, all academic and extracurricular activities, all academic classes).
    3. How is “integrated co-teaching” written in the section Participation with Students without Disabilities?  Are the students in regular and/or special education class?  What is the percentage if the special education teacher is in the class all day? (Added 4/11)
      Integrated co-teaching services, as defined in regulation, means the provision of specially designed instruction and academic instruction provided to a group of students with disabilities and nondisabled students. Integrated co-teaching services are provided in a student's general education class; students are intentionally grouped together based on similarity of need for the purpose of receiving specially designed instruction in a general education class   A committee’s recommendation for integrated co-teaching services for a school-age student is documented in an IEP under the heading of Recommended Special Education Programs and Services, Special Education Program, along with the recommended frequency, duration, location and projected beginning date of the services.
      A recommendation for integrated co-teaching services would not be documented in an IEP in the section entitled Participation with Students without Disabilities. The Participation with Students without Disabilities section of the IEP is used to document the extent to which a student’s disability precludes his/her participation with students without disabilities, including an explanation of the extent, if any, to which a student will not participate in regular class and/or extracurricular and nonacademic activities, or, for preschool students, in appropriate activities, with age-appropriate nondisabled peers (this may be indicated as the percent of the school day or by identifying particular activities that the student will not participate in with his/her nondisabled peers);  the extent to which the student will participate in specially-designed physical education; and when the Committee recommends that a student be exempt from the language other than English (LOTE) requirement because the student's disability affects his/her ability to learn a language. 
    4. It is my understanding that no student with a disability can be exempt from the Physical Education (PE) requirement and that he/she must have some sort of specialized instruction if they cannot participate in a general physical education class.  Are there instances where an exemption may be appropriate? Would it be appropriate for a district to just note "exempt" without recommending specialized or adapted PE? (Added 4/11)
      Physical education is required for all students in grades K-12, as specified in section 135.4 of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.  An IEP developed for a student with a disability must indicate, if the student is not participating in a regular physical education program, the extent to which the student will participate in specially-designed instruction in physical education, including adapted physical education.
    5. As a related service, parent counseling and training differs from other relatedservices as it is provided to parents based upon individual family need. As such, do the same regulatory guidelines regarding frequency, duration and group size that are associated with related services apply? If not, can additional clarification and guidance be provided? (Added 4/11)
      For each related service, including parent counseling and training, the frequency, duration and location must be indicated.  There is no requirement for group size to be indicated for a related service.  A related service recommendation for parent counseling and training should specify the nature of the service.  For example:
      RECOMMENDED SPECIAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
      Special Education Program/Services Service Delivery Recommendations* Frequency
      How often provided
      Duration
      Length of session
      Location
      Where service will be provided
      Projected Beginning/ Service Date(s)
      related service: Parent Counseling and Training Sign language instruction for parents Training on use of communication device 3x month
      1 x week
      60 minutes
      30 minutes
      School building
      Speech therapist office
      12/1/10 – 1/31/11
      2/1/11 – 2/15/11
      * Identify (if applicable) class size (maximum student-to-staff ratio), language if other than English, group or individual services, direct and/or indirect consultant teacher services or other service delivery recommendations.
Last Updated: April 18, 2011