WASHINGTON DC (PRESS RELEASE – June 9, 2020) — The DC Special Education Cooperative is featuring its first in a series of demonstration classrooms June 15.
The first demo classroom at Inspired Teaching Demonstration Public Charter School will focus on co-teaching practices that strengthen engagement and learning retention of all students, especially those with disabilities.
The DC Special Education Cooperative fills a unique need within the DC education community by acting as a hub for teachers, school leaders, and charter school staff seeking to improve educational outcomes for students with disabilities.
The demo classroom network is part of the Co-op’s core ELEVATE program, enabling charter schools to “elevate” their practices and ensure students with disabilities have meaningful access to a school’s core programming.
“In typical times, our demo classrooms give teachers access to high-quality models where they can observe instructional practices in real-time with an opportunity to question and discuss how they can incorporate the practices into their own classrooms”, said Julie Camerata, executive director at the Co-op “In this new reality, we believe that creating equity for students with disabilities needs to be top of mind for all educators. We are still learning how to create a demo in the distance context, but strongly believe the content transfers, regardless of setting. The Co-op is building a network of demos across DC to highlight evidence-based practices to serve as models for schools striving to improve outcomes for students with disabilities.”
Co-teaching is a highly-effective method for improving outcomes for students with disabilities because it facilitates greater access to the general education curriculum in an environment with same-age, non-disabled peers.
During this virtual demo classroom experience, educators will get insight into:
- Strengths and attributes of co-teaching models
- Foundations for building a strong co-taught classroom
- Impacts of school closures on co-teaching models
Educators who have already worked with the Co-op have seen noticeable results in how they prepare their lessons and in how their students react to these positive co-teaching practices.
“(Co-op training) has made me a more conscientious instructor — especially at the planning stage,” said Tamias O’Doughda, a 7th-grade ELA general education co-teacher at Inspired Teaching Demonstration School. “Working with the Co-op and developing co-teaching practices helped me to preemptively supply materials and organize the lessons to help every student be as self-sufficient as possible. This has greatly improved student output and our ability to reach and assist all students.”