All In:

Getting to Solutions for Students with Disabilities


Students with disabilities in DC are languishing academically. Low rates of academic proficiency, chronic absenteeism, and low graduation rates point to a system that is failing students. Yet charter schools can be the innovators to better serve students with disabilities. With the right mindset; a bold vision; and intentional, systemic change, DC has the flexibility, autonomy, and smarts to change the outcomes for students with disabilities.

To better position school leaders to achieve this, the DC Special Education Cooperative — with DC’s Office of the Ombudsman for Education, Schooltalk, EmpowerK12, and the Gamba Foundation — brought together OSSE, 27 DC charter LEAs, community partners, parents, and students to chart a vision where we are all in for students with disabilities. A new report, ALL IN: Getting to Solutions for Students with Disabilities chronicles the big ideas for how to chart a new course for students with disabilities.

Among the recommendations:


learning and IEPs on students and listen to their voice.


professional development for every staff member so every staff member can support students with disabilities.


teachers, especially collaboration between general education and special education teachers.


in MTSS to meet students’ academic and social-emotional needs.


data to inform practice, especially for quality and access.


relationships with families.