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Putnam County R-I Schools

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What is FAPE?

What is FAPE?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act guarantees a student with a disability the right to a free and appropriate public education.  The right to a free and appropriate public education is also known as FAPE. 

If your child has a disability, it is essential to know what legal rights your child has--and does not have--under FAPE.

FAPE requires schools to:

  • Use specially designed instruction to meet the unique needs of the child.

  • Provide related services that would help your child to benefit from special education, such as speech/language therapy, occupational and physical therapy, etc.

  • Provide these services at no cost.

  • Create an individualized learning plan (IEP) that includes services, goals, progress monitoring, and modifications and/or accommodations that will help your student participate in the general education setting.

  • Ensure that your child is placed in the least restrictive environment. (It is important that your child is learning with peers who are not receiving special education services.) 

FAPE does not require schools to:

  • Maximize your child’s potential; services must be reasonable to help your child progress.

  • Guarantee your child a specific educational program or class setting.

  • Give your child preferential treatment regarding participation in extracurricular activities and clubs. (Schools, however, must ensure that your child has an equal opportunity to participate).