The Resource Room - a Placement Choice for Students with Disabilities

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The resource room provides a smaller setting. Getty Images


The resource room is a placement choice for many children with specific learning disabilities where children are pulled out of general education classrooms for small group or individual instruction.

Students should be placed in the Least Restrictive Environment, or LRE.  A district should be providing a continuum of placements for students from "least restrictive," or receiving services in a general education setting, to increasingly more restrictive settings, moving next to resource room, self contained setting, special school and finally the most restrictive placement, residential treatment.

  Considered more restrictive under the concept of LRE (Least Restrictive Environment), it still may be the best way for some students to receive special education services.

Children who need intense one to one instruction or who are easily distracted in a regular classroom with active students may be most successful in a resource room.  The resource room can also help students with specific disabilities in language or math get the support they need away from their peers, and then succeed in a general education setting, studying materials which their general education peers are studying.  Secondary students who need a program with significant modifications may receive reading and math instruction in resource programs.  In some settings, high schools and middle schools offer the least challenging English Language Arts or mathematics offerings in co-taught classes, where special educations share responsibility for instruction.


In some cases districts have kept pull-out resource programs although students might be able to receive services in a general education classroom from a special education teacher. Districts should be making those decisions in the best interests of the students.   Usually a child needs to have significant difficulty with attending to instruction with typical peers around them in order qualify for the more restrictive placement of a resource room.

  Often the special education teacher or special education para-professional can provide support in the general education classroom with their typical peers.  In those situations where districts keep students in resource rooms for scheduling convenience, they leave themselves open to due process actions by parents who want their children educated in general education setting alongside their typical peers.  In order to avoid this kind of conflict, it is important for districts to be able to justify that placement by providing a less restrictive option, where the special educator "pushes in," working with the general education teacher to present content.

Also Known As: Resource Program, Pull out program

Examples: After attempting to provide David with instruction in the back of his second grade classroom, the IEP team decided that he needed to receive specialized instruction in the resource room with Mrs. Robertson, since his attention is impacted by the reading groups and independent work his typical peers are able to pursue unimpeded. 

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Your Citation
Webster, Jerry. "The Resource Room - a Placement Choice for Students with Disabilities." ThoughtCo, Oct. 27, 2015, Webster, Jerry. (2015, October 27). The Resource Room - a Placement Choice for Students with Disabilities. Retrieved from Webster, Jerry. "The Resource Room - a Placement Choice for Students with Disabilities." ThoughtCo. (accessed December 15, 2017).