Innovative Ways We Support Students 

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We encourage our service providers to serve our special education students through innovative means, collaborating with school staff and parents to develop new resources and strategies to support their students. Providers keep up with the latest research-based practices to ensure that students are getting the most effective services.

Social Work

Social workers across DCPS lead trainings for their peers and parents on classroom management and behavior strategies, bullying prevention, and how to work with mental health disorders in school.

At Emery Education Campus, the social worker collaborated with Metropolitan Police Youth Division detectives to lead a parent workshop on cyber bullying in fall 2010. Social workers at Spingarn Senior High School hosted “Parenting Wisely” workshops in fall 2010 to help parents build strategies for challenging behaviors both inside and outside of school.

At Anacostia Senior High School, a social worker collaborates with a national service program to bring a digital media arts club to the school, providing opportunities for students with and without disabilities.

Another role of DCPS social workers is to connect students and parents to community resources. In collaboration with the Department of Mental Health, DCPS social workers are leading a new initiative to hold community fairs for students. Similar to a community health fair, these events would bring participants such as Break the Cycle, Men Against Rape, DASH, CHAMPS, DC Rape Crisis Center, Metro Teen AIDS, Teen Suicide Prevention into DCPS high schools.


Similar to social workers, school psychologists share their expertise with other school staff and parents to explain how to appropriately recognize and identify student needs and develop effective strategies to meet those needs.

At Ferebee Hope Elementary School and Garfield Elementary School, DCPS psychologists led parent workshops that explained the role of school psychologists with the goal of encouraging regular communication and helping parents understand what to expect from the special education process.

DCPS partnered with The George Washington University to train a group of DCPS school psychologists to identify and plan for the education of students with traumatic brain injury. These school psychologists provide support to students who live with this uncommon disability across the District.

Speech Pathology

Camp Let’s Go
Our speech language pathologists developed Camp Let’s Go, a summer language enrichment program designed for three-to-six year-old DCPS students, both with and without speech language challenges.

The camp brings together these students to explore their world and enhance communication skills through a variety of hands-on activities that include music, field trips, and art and crafts.

The camp curriculum includes language concepts and vocabulary enhancement, which are foundations of academic, social and life skills development. Camp Let’s Go focuses on language development within a theme-based model of instruction.

Each student experiences a wide range of activities, which are incorporated and reinforced in each weekly language theme. Each theme is explored utilizing interactive, functional and hands-on activities. Every Friday, Camp Let’s Go attendees participate in a field trip that incorporates the concepts introduced during the weekly theme.

This approach provides each student with a unique learning experience that will further develop the academic, language and social skills needed for increased success during the upcoming school year.

Visual Learning Grant
The DCPS Speech Program also won a $25,000 grant from Monarch Teaching Technologies in fall 2010 that provides 25 VizZle licenses for teachers and speech professionals to use in DCPS classrooms. 

Developed by researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School, VizZle is a visual learning device specially designed for students with autism-spectrum disorders and special education students.

VizZle allows the user to organize lessons for staff, teach students with interactive games and learning tutorials, and share information and content with other VizZle users. DCPS is one of five school districts across the nation to have been awarded this prestigious grant.

The grant also provides regular webinar trainings for speech language pathologists to learn strategies and gain support on how to implement this technology with their students.

Inside DCPS Highlights.


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