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Types of Placements

To provide FAPE to an eligible individual, an IEP team may determine placement at a special school, public or private residential program, or state institution is the appropriate placement.

Special Schools

Special schools are designed and staffed to provide appropriate special education services for students with additional needs. Special schools serve eligible individuals only. Facilities that serve both eligible individuals and nondisabled students are not considered special schools for the purpose of meeting this requirement. Special schools may be maintained by individual LEAs, jointly by two or more AEAs, the state directly, or private providers. An example of a special school placement is the Iowa School for the Deaf (ISD). An IEP team must document the justification for placement in a special school setting and provide parents with prior written notice. These placements are at no cost to the family. Typically, the cost of placement is the responsibility of the district of residence of the student.

Public or Private Residential Programs

Eligible individuals placed in a public or private residential program must be provided with special education and related services. The program, including nonmedical care and room and board, must be at no cost to the parents. Typically, the cost of placement is the responsibility of the district of residence of the student.

State Institutions

Students placed into state institutions will generally attend the educational programs sponsored by these institutions. Typically, the educational costs are paid from state appropriations to the sponsoring institution.

LEA and AEA Responsibilities

For students placed in residential institutions, the resident LEA and AEA of the student are responsible for assuring the student receives appropriate programming in the least restrictive environment feasible. Therefore, the LEA and AEA shall be involved in IEP meetings for students prior to placement in state institutions and continue to be involved in IEP meetings as long as the student is a resident of the district.

AEAs are responsible for maintaining lists of all students with disabilities, including those in state institutions, to be included in the annual report of children served.