Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities (MANSEF)

The Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities (MANSEF) is pleased to announce the acquisition of the District of Columbia Association for Special Education (DCASE) and the appointment of Laura Lorenzen as the DC Nonpublic Liaison. 

DCASE was an alliance of nonpublic schools that provided special education services to students from the District of Columbia. Member schools were dedicated to improving educational opportunities for all DC students with disabilities.  It was a natural fit for MANSEF to acquire DCASE since a majority of members were also MANSEF members.  Approximately 1000 students with disabilities ages 3-21 in DC attend a nonpublic school, the majority in Maryland.

While the decision has been made to dissolve the existing DCASE organization as of June 30, 2020, we are pleased that the mission of DCASE and advocacy work for DC students enrolled in nonpublic schools will be directed by Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities (MANSEF).  The two organizations have a strong history of working together to advocate for a continuum of services for students with disabilities across the region.  The continued work and collaborative efforts with stakeholders will remain strong moving forward.

In her new role, Ms. Lorenzen will advocate on behalf of MANSEF member schools serving DC students.  She will be working directly with the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), Public Charter School Board (PCSB), and partner organizations for students with special needs.  She will be providing leadership, training and technical assistance to MANSEF member schools to enhance the effectiveness of educational services for DC students. 

This new position will ensure that MANSEF member schools are represented with the various advocacy stakeholders.  She will provide technical assistance as needed and collaborate with other advocates, with the input of the Local Education Agencies (LEAs) in the development of instructional services for students attending nonpublic special education schools.  Ms. Lorenzen will chair a committee of MANSEF members to identify the most pressing needs of our members serving DC students.  In addition, she will monitor pending legislation, regulations and best practices in serving students from the district.

Ms. Lorenzen received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Government and English from Smith College and her Masters of Social Work from Catholic University of America.  She was formerly Director of Student Support at Two Rivers Public Charter School in DC where she provided strategic direction and vision for all aspects of the Student Support department.  Ms. Lorenzen also served as the Student Support Services Coordinator at the Kingsbury Day School.  She is the proud mother of a child with disabilities.

Ms. Lorenzen may be reached at 202-750-1158 or


MANSEF is a not-for-profit organization of nonpublic special education facilities that promote quality services for children and youth with disabilities. The facilities serve more than 3,800 students between the ages of 2 and 21.  Nonpublic facilities are highly regulated by various state agencies in Maryland and are held accountable for the quality of the services they provide.

The nonpublic schools are part of the state’s educational continuum for students with special needs. They provide a more intensive level of staff support and non-classroom services. A key goal of the nonpublic schools is to prepare students to be independent citizens.

MANSEF members are the most appropriate choice for many students who are unable to have their needs met in the public schools. Nonpublic schools serve students with a range of disabilities who require the most intensive services such as students with emotional disabilities, autism, multiple disabilities, learning disabilities, and intellectual disabilities.

Thousands of families rely on the MANSEF schools to provide their children with services. The nonpublic schools are, in short, a critically important component of the state’s educational system.

Facts about Maryland’s Nonpublic Special Education Schools
* There are over 80 schools in 12 counties and Baltimore City.
*  More than 4,000 students are served.
*  Many nonpublic facilities operate year-round.
*  More than 2,500 individuals are employed in MANSEF schools.

For more information about MANSEF:
Contact Dorie Flynn, Executive Director
Maryland Association of Nonpublic Special Education Facilities
P.O. Box 6815 • Baltimore, Maryland 21285-6815
410-938-4413 •