Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. Learning Disabilities


Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education


College of Education


Shuff, Margaret

Committee Member 1

Kuder, Sydney J.

Committee Member 2

Accardo, Amy


Least Restrictive Environment, Special Education Services


Learning disabled children--Identification--New Jersey


Special Education and Teaching


The purpose of this study was to analyze the change of the special education classroom placement status rate of students in a Southern New Jersey school district over a seven-year period. To gather this information, the classroom placement data from the current 6th grade class was gathered from select years of their schooling going back to preschool. Special education services were analyzed retroactively for this group of students beginning at the pre-kindergarten year (2011-2012), and again in their first grade (2013-2014), third grade (2015-2016) and current sixth grade (2018-2019) placements. The goal was to compare the number of students from the current 6th grade class who were determined to be eligible for special education services in preschool as preschool disabled and what their intensity of classroom placement was with those same students' classroom placements by sixth grade. Additionally, data was collected for students in this class who were found eligible once they were school age and what their classroom placements were initially and compare that to their placement in sixth grade. The major question being, does earlier determination of eligibility for special education services mitigate the amount of time a student requires more restrictive special education services? A one tailed t-test revealed no statistically significant change in the intensity of classroom placement for either group of students over time.