The Preschool LRE Initiative was designed to assist districts in assessing the quality of educational programming for preschool children with disabilities in the least restrictive environment. The Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA ’97/2004) gives every child with disabilities, including preschool children with disabilities, the right to a free and appropriate public education (FAPE). State and local education agencies are to provide this education in the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).
The assumption of the law is that consideration for placement of services for each child with disabilities will begin in the general education classroom. According to 34 CFR §300.551, each LEA must ensure that a continuum of alternative placements is available to meet the needs of children with disabilities for special education and related services. In addition, 34 CFR §300.347(b) requires the ARD committee to determine and provide the accommodations, modifications, supports, and supplementary aids and services needed by each child with a disability to be successfully involved and progress in the general education curriculum while achieving the goals of the IEP.
As districts begin the process of providing preschool children with access to the general curriculum, some may struggle with steps for initiation and implementation. The purpose of the Preschool Least Restrictive Environments/Settings Document is to provide an overview of a variety of options for including preschool children. It includes a brief description of each environment, the steps to implementation and additional considerations that might need to be discussed. It is not intended to be a finite list; just a jumping off point to assist decision-makers as they work to develop quality inclusive programs for young children. The link to this document provided above.
Least Restrictive Environment Letter
Education Service Center Region 19, in coordination with Early Childhood Intervention, facilitates a quarterly Preschool Transition Network Meeting. The network consists of representation from local school districts, Early Childhood Intervention, and Head Start. The goal of the network is a "seamless “transition from one program to another with as few interruptions in services as possible. A copy of a locally developed preschool transition brochure along with District Transition Contacts can be found in the documents section below.
The following state resources are provided as guidance to improve the transition process. Links are provided above.
KEET Guide and KEET Checklist
*The KEET Guide and KEET Checklist provide guidance for building of relationships between local Early Childhood Intervention programs and Local Educational Agencies as they work together to develop, maintain, evaluate, and refine their collaborative systems for the smooth transition of children and their families who leave Early Childhood Intervention services and enter public school services.
Early Transition Memorandum of Understanding
*The purposes of this Early Transition Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to define roles and responsibilities between the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, Division for Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Services and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) within the respective federal and state mandates; enhance interagency collaboration and relationships; and coordinate an effective system of activities, policies and procedures between TEA and ECI which guide and support the development and implementation of transition services for families of children with disabilities who are approaching age three.
State Resources-Preschool Transition