Programs & Initiatives

The Co-op’s vision is that all students with disabilities in the District of Columbia receive a rigorous, individualized, and inclusive education preparing them for post-graduation success. Our special programs, initiatives, and partnerships help make this vision a reality!


The Co-op’s Special Education Needs Assessment has been developed by the DC Special Education Cooperative, with input from and in collaboration with charter school leaders, teachers and special education experts.

ELEVATE is a 15-minute web-based, high quality special education program needs assessment tool that charter schools can use to identify areas of strength and improvement within their special education programs based on the Co-op’s Quality Special Education Framework consisting of 6 major components: 1) High Quality Instruction, 2) Special Education Infrastructure, 3) Continuum of Services, 4) Leadership, 5) Parent Engagement and 6) Student Empowerment. This needs assessment tool is designed to be completed by multiple members of an LEA’s team and the results will be shared with the LEA’s leadership.

The administration window opens in January and closes March 15. School-level data reports showing the results of the needs assessment will be released in April.

All charter schools are invited to complete ELEVATE. Click here for more information about ELEVATE and for administration tools and resources. 


“EXPLORE” is the Co-op’s interactive traveling exhibit that promotes disability and inclusion awareness in schools. Through hands-on activities and guided discussions, EXPLORE assists school communities in positively “re-imaging” how children with disabilities are perceived.

Interested in having EXPLORE come to your school or event? Contact us at


The Co-op’s Evaluation Consortium was created in 2013 in partnership with OSSE’s Division of Specialized Instruction. The goal of the Consortium is to assist LEAs in need of high quality student evaluations delivered in a timely manner. The initial focus is to reduce the backlog of overdue evaluations in charter schools.


Project SOAR is a partnership between the Co-op and five of our member schools funded by the OSSE. In SY15-16, the Co-op implemented two programs to improve the academic achievement of students with disabilities in charter schools:

  • The Write Stuff: Improving Writing Achievement of Students with Disabilities
  • It’s All in the Numbers: Improving Math Achievement of Students with Disabilities