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Educational Environment

Educational Environment: WISEdata

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Educational Environment reflects the extent to which students with disabilities attend educational programs with their peers without disabilities. For students who do not attend a program with a majority of peers without disabilities, the educational environment is the settings in which they receive special education and related services.  Educational environment does not reflect the amount of special education or related services a student receives.

This field is required for all students with disabilities for WISEdata collection records.

There are two sets of educational environment codes dependent on the student’s age and grade:

PRESCHOOL EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT CODES

Ages 3-5 Not in Kindergarten (Grades PK, K3, K4)

 

AGES 3-5 NOT IN KINDERGARTEN

ATTENDS A REGULAR EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM*

At Least 10 Hours or More Per Week

Educational Environment Code Description/Comments
Regular Class at Least 10 Hours Majority SPED in Regular Class R1 Student attends a regular early childhood program at least 10 hours per week and receives the majority of hours of special education and related services in the regular early childhood program.
Regular Class at Least 10 Hours Majority SPED in Other Location R2 Student attends a regular early childhood program at least 10 hours per week and receives the majority of hours of special education and related services in some other location.

 

AGES 3-5 NOT IN KINDERGARTEN

ATTENDS A REGULAR EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM*

Fewer Than 10 Hours or More Per Week

Educational Environment Code Description/Comments
Regular Class Less Than 10 Hours Majority SPED in Regular Class R3 Student attends a regular early childhood program less than 10 hours per week and receives the majority of hours of special education and related services in the regular early childhood program.
Regular Class Less Than 10 Hours Majority SPED in Other Location R4 Student attends a regular early childhood program less than 10 hours per week and receives the majority of hours of special education and related services in some other location.

* A "regular early childhood program" is defined as a program that includes a majority (at least 50 percent) of non-disabled children (children not on IEPs) and can include, but is not limited to, Head Start, public or private 4-year-old kindergartens, public or private preschools, and group child development centers or child care.

AGES 3-5 NOT IN KINDERGARTEN

ATTENDS A SPECIAL EDUCATION EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM**

Educational Environment Code Description/Comments
Separate Special Education Classroom B1 Student attends a special education early childhood program in a class with less than 50 percent non-disabled peers.
Separate School B2 Student attends a special education early childhood program in a public or private day school designed specifically for children with disabilities.
Residential Facility B3 Student attends a special education early childhood program in publicly or privately operated residential schools or residential medical facilities on an inpatient basis.

**A "special education early childhood program" is defined as a program that includes less than 50 percent non-disabled children (children not on IEPs).

AGES 3-5 NOT IN KINDERGARTEN

ATTENDS NEITHER A REGULAR EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM NOR A SPECIAL EDUCATION EARLY CHILDHOOD PROGRAM

Educational Environment Code Description/Comments
Home B4 Student receives special education/related services in the principal residence of the child's family or caregivers (includes babysitters). Report children who receive special education both at home and in a service provider location in this category.
Service Provider B5 Student receives special education/related services only from a service provider or in some other location that is not in any other category. This educational environment code is only used when no other educational environment code can be used. For example, a child who receives only speech and language services in a speech pathologist's office located in a school building.

 

SCHOOL AGE EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENT CODES

Ages 5 (in Kindergarten) through 21 (Grades KG-12)

 

CALCULATING PERCENTAGE OF TIME

INSIDE THE REGULAR CLASSROOM WITH NONDISABLED PEERS

To calculate the percentage of time a student is inside the regular classroom:

  • First determine the number of minutes per week the student is removed from his or her non-disabled peers based on the student's IEP.
  • Divide the number of minutes the student is removed from his or her non-disabled peers in one week by the total number of minutes in the school week (including lunch, recess, and study periods) and multiply the result by 100. This will be the percentage of time the student is removed from his or her non-disabled peers.
  • Subtract this percentage from 100 to determine the percentage of time the student is inside the regular classroom.

The school week is used because all student schedules are not the same each day. It is easier to convert hours to minutes for the calculations.

 

AGES 5 (IN KG)-21

ATTENDS A REGULAR SCHOOL OVER 50 PERCENT OF THE TIME

Educational Environment Code Description/Comments
Regular Class at Least 80 Percent A

Student is inside the regular classroom with non-disabled peers (students without IEPs) 80 percent or more of the time. See calculation instructions above.  This may include students placed in:

  • Regular classes with special education/related services provided within the regular class.
  • Regular classes with special education/related services provided outside the regular class.
Regular classes with special education services provided in a resource room.
Regular Class 40 - 79 Percent B

Student is inside the regular classroom with non-disabled peers (students without IEPs) 40 to 79 percent of the time. See calculation instructions above.  This may include students placed in:

  • Resource rooms with special education/related services provided within the resource room.
  • Resource rooms with part-time instruction in a regular class.

Do NOT include students who are reported as receiving education programs in public or private separate schools or residential facilities. 

Regular Class Less Than 40 Percent C

Student is inside the regular class room with non-disabled peers (students without IEPs) less than 40 percent of the time. See calculation instructions above. This may include students placed in:

  • Self-contained special education classrooms with part-time instruction in a regular class.
  • Self-contained special education classrooms with full-time special education instruction on a regular school campus.

Do NOT include students who are reported as receiving education programs in public or private separate schools or residential facilities.

 

AGES 5 (IN KG)-21

ATTENDS OTHER FACILITIES

Educational Environment Code Description/Comments
Public Separate School D

Student receives special education and related services at public expense for greater than 50 percent of the school day in a public facility that is designed only for students with disabilities. This may include students placed in:

  • Separate school buildings for students with disabilities within a district, or
  • Public day schools for students with disabilities (Syble Hopp School, Lakeland School, etc.), or
  • Public day schools for students with disabilities for a portion of the school day (greater than 50 percent) and in regular school buildings for the remainder of the school day, orPublic residential facilities for students with disabilities IF the student does NOT LIVE at the facility (day students at WSD or WCBVI).
Private Separate School E

Student receives special education and related services at public expense for greater than 50 percent of the school day in a private facility that is designed only for students with disabilities. This may include students placed in:

  • Private day schools for students with disabilities (day students at Kradwell), or
  • Private day schools for students with disabilities for a portion of the school day (greater than 50 percent) and in regular school buildings for the remainder of the school day, or
  • Private residential facilities for students with disabilities IF the student does NOT LIVE at the facility.
Public Residential Facility F

Student receives special education and related services at public expense for greater than 50 percent of the school day in a public residential facility AND lives there during the school week. Do not include students who receive educational programs at the facility but do not live there. This category may include students placed in:

  • Public residential schools for students with disabilities, or
  • Public residential schools for students with disabilities for a portion of the school day (greater than 50 percent) and in separate day schools or regular school buildings for the remainder of the school day.
Private Residential Facility G

Student receives special education and related services at public expense for greater than 50 percent of the school day in a private residential facility AND lives there during the school week. Do not include students who received educational programs at the facility but do not live there. This category may include students placed in:

  • Private residential schools for students with disabilities (living at Kradwell) or
  • Private residential schools for students with disabilities for a portion of the school day (greater than 50 percent) and in separate day schools or regular school buildings for the remainder of the school day.
Hospital I Student is placed in and receiving special education and related services in a medical treatment facility on an in-patient basis.
Homebound J Student receives ALL special education and related services in a homebound program.
Correctional Facilities S Student receives special education and related services in short-term detention facilities (community-based or residential) or correctional facilities. The Department of Corrections must always submit a value of 'S'.
Parentally Placed in Private Schools T Student is enrolled in a private school by the parents and his or her basic education (e.g., tuition) is paid for through private resources. Use this category to report students who receive special education and related services at public expense from a local educational agency under an individual service plan. Include children whose parents choose to home-school them but who receive special education and related services at public expense.

 

USES: The information submitted under Educational Environment is used to complete Wisconsin's Annual Report on the Implementation of Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) required under section 618 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004. This information is also collected and publicly reported at both a state and local level as Indicators 5 and 6 of the State Performance Plan (SPP).

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Collection

Demographic, October 1 Child Count   *Note, all data elements flow into WISEdata at all times, not only during specified collection snapshots.

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Related Validations & Data Elements

65976600, 6650, 6651, 6652, 66536588, Disability, sSEPA Begin & End Dates, IEP Begin & End Dates                                    

FAQs, Details, and Points to Note

 

  1. Preschool – Attending Regular Early Childhood Program: When determining if a child attends a regular early childhood program, consideration needs to be given to where the child is during the hours of the school day outside of when the child is receiving special education/related services. In other words, consideration must be given to child care and other program that parents have chosen for their child when determining if a child attends a regular early childhood program.
    • For example, a child who attends a child care facility in the morning and then attends a self-contained special education classroom in the afternoon would be considered to be attending a regular early childhood program if at least 50% of the children in the classroom at the child care facility are children without disabilities.  Attending a regular early childhood program is not dependent on whether special education/related services are provided in the regular early childhood program.
  2. Preschool - Determining Regular Early Childhood Program Composition: It is necessary to determine if the program includes at least 50 percent nondisabled children (children not on IEPs) when deciding if the program is a regular early childhood program. At times this may not always be apparent. In those instances, it is important to rely on parents to report to IEP teams about the child's program and classroom composition. If the parent does not know if the child attends a program that includes a majority of children without disabilities, the IEP team should consider the program's intention; that is, if the program was designed for typically-developing children.
  3. Preschool - Determining Amount of Time: When determining the amount of time a child attends a regular early childhood program, do not include the time a child is taken out of the regular early childhood program each week to receive special education and related services. For example, while attending the regular early childhood program, the child is taken out one hour per week to receive speech and language services. The time the child is removed to receive the speech and language services would not be considered time in the regular early childhood program.
  4. Preschool - Determining Majority of Services: To determine the majority of services, divide the total hours of special education/related services delivered to the child in the regular early childhood program per week by the total hours of special education/related services received by the child per week and then multiply the result by 100. For example, a child receives two hours of special education/related services in the regular early childhood program each week and an additional one hour of special education/related services outside the regular early childhood program each week. For this child, two of the three hours of special education/related services are received in the regular early childhood program which would mean  67 percent of the special education/related services are delivered within the regular early childhood program.
  5. Preschool – Enrolled in a Regular Early Childhood Program versus Attending as a Visitor:  For a child to be considered as attending a regular early childhood program, the child must be enrolled in the program.   Children with disabilities being enrolled in a regular early childhood program most closely aligns with the intent of the least restrictive environment provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
    • For example, a 3-year-old child who is receiving special education/related services in a 4-year-old kindergarten classroom would not be considered to be attending a regular early childhood program as the child does not meet the age requirement for enrollment.  This child could be considered to be attending a regular early childhood program, however, if during the hours of the school day, the child was attending some other regular early childhood program such as a child care facility or preschool.
    • Another example would be a child who receives special education/related services in a self-contained early childhood special education classroom but goes to a regular education program classroom for activities such as story time or group play.  This child would not be considered to be attending a regular early childhood program during this activity time.  The child is not enrolled in the regular early childhood program and is attending as a visitor.  Again, this child could be considered to be attending a regular early childhood program, if at some other time during the hours of the school day, the child was attending a regular early childhood program such as a child care facility or preschool.
  6. School Age – Minutes in the School Week: The number of minutes in a school week is determined based on the number of minutes school is in session in a typical week.  For example, school is in session Monday-Thursday from 8:15 AM  - 3:00 PM  and Friday from 8:15 AM - 2:00 PM. This equals 32.75 hours per week or 1,965 minutes. This time includes lunch and recess periods, as most children with disabilities are not generally removed during these times unless the IEP requires removal. For children who have a shortened school day, the calculation should include only the number of minutes that student attends school in a typical week.
  7. School Age – Time Inside the Regular Classroom:   Time inside the regular classroom is the amount of time the student is in the regular classroom with nondisabled peers (students without IEPs).  The amount of time the student is removed from nondisabled peers to receive special education/related services as identified in a student’s IEP would be time outside the regular classroom.
    • Time spent outside the regular classroom receiving services unrelated to the student's disability (e.g., time spent receiving ELL services) should be considered time inside the regular classroom.
    • Educational time spent in age-appropriate, community-based settings that include individuals with and without disabilities, such as college campuses or vocational sites, should be counted as time spent inside the regular classroom. For example, a job placement at a fast food restaurant would not be considered a removal because the restaurant employs people with and without disabilities.
  8. School Age – Online Learning:  When determining the educational environment for children who participate in online learning either full- or part-time, consideration must be given to whether the course is open to students with and without disabilities as well as the location in which the online learning is accessed.  Generally if the course is open to all students, and there is no specific location for accessing the online learning, it is considered to be time inside the regular classroom.
    • If the course constitutes specially designed instruction and is intended for students with disabilities, this would be considered time outside the regular classroom.  Likewise if the course is delivered in a special education setting in accordance with the student’s IEP or in a location within the school building in isolation of students without disabilities, this would be considered time outside the regular classroom.
    • When the course is delivered in an off-campus site, such as a local library or community center, time inside or outside the regular classroom is dependent on whether students without disabilities are accessing the course at the same time.
    • For a student participating in online learning who has been placed in a separate school for more than 50 percent of their school day, the educational environment will continue to be public or private separate school.
    • For a student participating in online learning who has been placed in a residential facility for more than 50 percent of their school day the educational environment will continue to be public or private residential facility.
    • For students placed in homebound or hospital settings, correctional facility, or parentally placed in a private school, participation in online learning does not change the educational environment established by the IEP or Services Plan. These students would continue to be reported with an educational environment of homebound, hospital, correctional facility, or parentally-placed in a private school.
    • For more information about determining the educational environment code for a child participating in online learning, refer to the Online Learning and IDEA Educational Environments document developed by the IDC Data Center.
  9. School Age – Treatment Programs – – For a student who has been placed in a treatment program, only the time in which the student is receiving educational services should be considered when determining the student’s educational environment. The educational environment would be determined based on the percent of time the student is receiving educational services with their nondisabled peers.
  10. School Age – Residential Care Centers – For a student who has been placed by a county or state agency at a residential care center (RCC), only the time in which the student is receiving educational services should be considered when determining the student’s educational environment. The educational environment would be determined based on the percent of time the student is receiving educational services with their nondisabled peers if the facility serves both students with and without disabilities.  If the facility is solely for students with disabilities, the educational environment would be a public residential facility.

See also:


Questions about Educational Environment should be directed to the DPI Special Education Team. Email: dpispeddata@dpi.wi.gov.
Phone: 1 (608) 267-9164

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