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Guide to MCPS Special Education Placements for Autistic Students

Montgomery County public school administrators refer to placements as "services" (and sometimes "programs"), even when those services are provided only at select locations. Students are transported by bus to their placements wherever they are located, without regard to whether a placement is within the student's neighborhood or high school cluster. 

Least Restrictive Environment

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that all students with disabilities be educated with children who are not disabled “to the maximum extent appropriate.” This setting is known as the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). The least restrictive environment is a student’s neighborhood school, and therefore the first placement the IEP Team typically will consider for a student with disabilities. Students on the autism spectrum vary in the amount of support they need, and sometimes the services documented by the IEP (Individualized Education Program) are greater than those that the student’s neighborhood school can provide. When this is the case, the IEP Team will consider services available at schools other than the student’s neighborhood school, and are considered “more restrictive environments” for that reason.

MCPS Special Education Programs by Age

Interactive Maps of MCPS Special Ed Services   

Useful Map Tool: 

This interactive map allows you to locate any special education program in MCPS that could be a placement for an autistic student. Use the drop down menu filters to find all the locations for a specific program or use the search bar to locate a specific school. If you are viewing this map on a phone, filters will not be available.

Pre-K and Elementary School services:  MCPS Pre-K and ES Special Ed Map 

Middle School services:  MCPS Middle School Special Ed Map 

High School services: MCPS High School Special Ed Map

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