Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) Classrooms

Learn what an ICT Classroom is and what to expect when you are teaching in one.

Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) Classrooms
  • Getting Started
  • Classroom Partners

Integrated Co-Teaching (ICT) Classrooms

This resource delves into what an ICT Classroom is and what to expect when told you are teaching in an ICT classroom.


ICT stands for Integrated Co-Teaching.


ICT classes are a mix of students with and without disabilities.


ICT classrooms have two Classroom Teachers and may have additional Related Service Providers or Paraprofessionals in the room as well.

What is ICT?

ICT stands for Integrated Co-Teaching and is defined by the New York State Department of Education as “the provision of specially designed instruction and academic instruction provided to a group of students with disabilities and nondisabled students.” (NYSED)

In other words, ICT classrooms provide students with disabilities with the least restrictive environments in which to learn alongside their peers in a general education setting. The students are provided support to be successful in achieving their learning goals. The support structures, tools, and learning goals specific to each student with a disability are outlined in their Individualized Education Programs, or IEPs.

Main Components of an ICT Designated Class:

  • In New York State, students with disabilities can make up no more than 40% of an ICT class, with a maximum number of 12 students with disabilities or IEPs.  While this is the established limit according to state standards, in practice this could vary depending on a variety of reasons.

  • One General Education Teacher or Subject Area Teacher
  • One Special Education Teacher

  • Each Paraprofessional (Para) is either assigned to a specific student or to the class as a whole. GIVE Resource: Paraprofessionals 
  • Related Service Providers (RSP) provide supplemental support in a specific area. GIVE Resource: Related Service Providers 
  • In addition to Paras and RSPs, students may also have access to a variety of supports, accommodations, and services in the form of assistive technology, adaptive materials, behavior supports, testing accommodations, etc.

When we speak about “ICT classrooms” in this guide, we are generally referring to any learning environment in which students with IEPs and general education students are present in the same learning space.

This kind of environment is not standardized and can vary a great deal between schools, grade levels, and subject areas. The co-teaching partnership structure between the General Education and Special Education Teachers may take a variety of forms. In addition, some classrooms may not be deemed ICT, but may include students with disabilities who have not been diagnosed or received an IEP, due to stigma around disability, or racial or other bias. There’s more about that in the GIVE Resource: Creating Stigma Free Classrooms.

Why ICT?

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) mandates that schools serve students with disabilities in the “least restrictive environment.” This means students must have the opportunity to participate in general education settings with non-disabled peers for as much of the day as possible, ideally in inclusion settings.

With longtime advocacy work, the signing of IDEA into law in 1975, and ongoing iterative legislation for updating and improving protocols in the education system to ensure students with disabilities have full access to robust education programs, inclusion or ICT classrooms have become integral to providing an equitable education environment for students with disabilities. Learn more about Disability Rights and Education History.

ICT Classrooms and Arts Education

In the initial research phase of the GIVE project, we conducted focus groups and a field-wide assessment survey. Below are some highlights from the responses.

  • 90% of Teaching Artists stated that they teach students in ICT classrooms.
  • 30% to 45% of Teaching Artists surveyed found themselves teaching in an ICT classroom without advance knowledge.
  • The top three areas of focus for which Teaching Artists requested resources were: how to support students with disabilities in their ICT classrooms; strategies for involving Classroom Teachers, Paraprofessionals, and Related Service Providers (RSPs); and techniques for classroom and behavior management.

External Resources