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The least restrictive environment is a continuum of supports and services for each IEP team to consider when determining where and how each child with special needs can achieve educational benefit.
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The Evolution of Inclusion


"All means all." There is shared ownership for the growth of all students in the classroom regardless of "label."

Students with disabilities are taken to another building to be educated. 

Students with disabilities are taken to another classroom to be educated. Must be "ready" to be included. 

Students with disabilities are physically in classroom but there is not a "shared ownership" for their outcomes. 

Bedrock Beliefs 

(Stetson & Associates, 2018)

All students are general education students first.

Every decision must be individualized.

Shared responsibility is essential-no more silos!

Recognize and act on the power of expectations.

Every decision must be individualized.

Advocates for few-- or for all?

No one has all the answers- together we do!

Every decision must be individualized.


How Healthy is your Tier 1?

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Before IEP teams consider removing a student with a disability from their GE environment, a thorough review of the Tier 1 classroom environment and current special education supports should take place. We recommend reviewing the current supports within the IEP along with Tier 1 indicators (examples below) before making the decision to place a student in a more restrictive learning environment. The images below come from the RIOT-ICEL Matrix developed by our friends at

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This video from SWIFT Schools exemplifies what should take place in the Tier 1, or Universal Support, setting. 

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