Continuum of Services

  • How is special education defined in New York State (NYS)?

    Special education means specially designed individualized or group instruction or special services or programs and special transportation, provided at no cost to the parent, to meet the unique needs of students with disabilities.

    1) Such instruction includes but is not limited to that conducted in classrooms, homes, hospitals, institutions and in other settings.

    2) Such instruction includes specially designed instruction in physical education, including adapted physical education.

    What does LRE (least restrictive environment) mean and how does it relate to the continuum of services options?

    LRE refers to the extent special education services are provided to a student in a setting with the student's nondisabled peers and as close to the student's home as possible. The continuum of services identifies different service delivery models to provide specially designed instruction to a student with a disability. Some of the services such as consultant teacher and integrated co-teaching services are directly designed to support the student in his/her general education class. Others may or may not be provided in settings with nondisabled peers, depending on the needs of the student. The continuum of placement options is also directly related to LRE placement decisions.

    The continuum of special education services for school-age students with disabilities is an array of services to meet an individual student's needs that includes:

    • related services
    • consultant teacher services (direct and/or indirect)
    • resource room services
    • integrated co-teaching services
    • special class

    Continuum of Special Education Services for School-Age Students with Disabilities, Updated November 2013

    The University of the State of New York The State Education Department Office of P-12 Education: Office of Special Education

    For more details on each of the services included in the continuum, please click the links below: