It is strongly encouraged that the following interventions/strategies be implemented as part of the building level staffing process PRIOR TO CONSIDERING/RECOMMENDING BEST:  

The following additional two steps are required when considering placing a student in BEST:

1.  BEST Staffing

  1. Submit draft IEP
    • Following the staffing and prior to the case conference in which BEST may be recommended, the draft IEP must be submitted to the designated Special Education Supervisor to ensure that there is appropriate documentation.  Please do NOT schedule the case conference with the parents prior to hearing from the supervisor reviewing the draft IEP
  2. Once a decision has been made, the designated Special Education Supervisor will notify the TOR, sending Principal, receiving Principal, BEST teacher and Special Education Social Worker of the decision.  It is possible that additional interventions need to be attempted prior to proceeding with a BEST placement.  
    • If additional interventions are needed, a second staffing will be held to implement recommendations from the supervisor.
    • If no additional interventions are needed, a case conference will be scheduled to discuss potential placement in BEST.

As part of the protocol for placing students in the BEST program, it is necessary to provide a Draft IEP to the designated Special Education Supervisor.  The intent is to ensure that there is appropriate documentation to justify services in the most restrictive special education setting.  The IEP should tell the “story” of the student and should fully document the behavioral issues, attempts to accommodate and support the student, and specific reasons why a more restrictive setting is required.

Below are the requirements for the information which must be included in the Draft IEP.

Document in the IEP:
Present level:

General Introductory Statement

  • Eligibility and history of special education services:
    • What are the current primary and secondary disability(ies)?
    • How long has the student received services?
    • What is the nature of previous services (amount and location)?
    • Describe the current services-amount and location.
    • Has there been an evaluation for suspected Emotional Disability?  If so, when?  Are the results consistent with what you know of the student?
      • If there has not been an ED evaluation, there has to have been a staffing with a school psychologist to discuss this issue—indicate that this has occurred.

Pertinent Information

  • Describe how long the student has been in counseling and with whom (school and non-school), if applicable.
  • Indicate if the student is on medication/if student is prescribed medication but is not taking it.  List names/dosages.

School Skills/ Work Habits

Special Considerations and Behavior
  • For a student who is ED or who is recommended for BEST, a full, SBCSC FBA/BIP must be completed.  If the entirety of the FBA/BIP is not typed into the IIEP, then it must be attached.  See the special education online manual ( for assistance in conducting the FBA and writing the BIP.
  • A student who requires BEST typically has several needs and thus, requires several goals.  At least one (usually more) behavioral goals should be included.

Special Ed Services

  • Provisions should be written for a full day (1850 minutes) of direct service.
    • Special Education Setting (72%)
      • Reading, Language Arts, Math, Science/Social Studies, Social Skills, 265 min/day, 1325 min/week
    • General Education Setting (28%)
      • Arrival/Dismissal/Breakfast/Lunch/Recess/Transitions/Specials:  105 min/day, 525 min/week

Related Services

  • Include transportation as a related service, if applicable.


  • List any new academic and behavioral accommodations that will be used with the student.


  • Use the following script to describe the rationale for needing BEST: “Due to (student’s) current academic and behavioral needs, direct services are needed throughout the entire school day in a smaller, structured setting to support (student) in achieving the goals as outlined in this IEP. Less restrictive options have previously been attempted, and have been considered and rejected at this time because they would not provide the necessary supports for (student’s) success.”
LRE Placement

Education Setting

  • 1850 minutes is the amount for total minutes.

LRE Category

  • 52 Separate Class (in a regular classroom for less than 40% of the day)

Additional Descriptors

  • 20XX/20XY

Direct Services in General Ed Setting: 575 min/1850 min = 28%

Direct Service in Special Ed Setting: 1325 min/1850 min =72%

Total Direct Services : 1850/1850 min =100 %

Potential Harmful Effects

  • Indicate and thoroughly discuss any potential harmful effects of the recommended BEST placement (e.g. lack of appropriate peer models, exclusion from typical peers for most of the instructional day, possibility of slower pace of academic instruction, etc).  

Reasons for Placement

  • Use this script in describing the reasons for placement:
    • Based on existing data, the committee considered and rejected less restrictive options. (Student) requires the structure and support provided in a small setting with low student/staff ratio (BEST program) in order to learn the skills to achieve (his/her) social/behavioral goals.

General Considerations

  • If receiving a full day of school, all general considerations will typically be “yes” except for not attending home school, if applicable.  
    • Use this script for students placed in a BEST program in a school other than his/her home school: “The Case Conference Committee has determined, based on (Student’s) current academic and behavioral needs, that he/she requires the additional support of the BEST program to achieve his/her IEP goals.  The BEST program is not located at the student’s home school.”