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Demo Classroom Showcases Co-Teaching Practices to Elevate Special Education Outcomes

150 150 DC Special Education Cooperative

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.”

For more information on the demo classroom experience, contact Julie Camerata at jcamerata@specialedcoop.org. The Co-op will also be posting the demo classroom materials & tools used on the website.

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