DCASE's Vision is to fulfill the promise of a quality education for all children.

DCASE is an alliance of nonpublic and charter schools that provide special education services to students from the District of Columbia. Members are dedicated to improving educational opportunities for all DC students with disabilities. Improving special education in every school – DC Public Schools, nonpublic and charter – will benefit all students. We are inspired by the motto: "a rising tide lifts all boats."

D.C. parent: How data-obsessed school reform helps drive rising inequality in nation’s capital

In the Washington Post Answer Sheet, DC parent and academic, Natalie Hopkinson, challenges the District’s policymakers and us to look at how we look at data (and use it), and specifically whether DC’s data-driven education reform is helping the school system or many of the students in it. In view of OSSE’s newly released strategic plan, and its key priority of high quality and actionable data, it seems worth considering Ms. Hopkinson’s comments and their implications for students with special needs. Her remarks were delivered at last week’s Urban Institute’s panel on Washington D.C.’s Next Generation of Education Data and Research. Other speakers included:

  • David Grosso, chairman, education committee, DC Council
  • Kaya Henderson, chancellor, DC Public Schools
  • Hanseul Kang, state superintendent of education, Washington, DC
  • Jennifer Niles, deputy mayor for education, Washington, DC
  • Scott Pearson, executive director, DC Public Charter School Board

Their bios and focus areas, and those of the event’s other panelists, can be found here.


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PHILLIPS School is Growing Futures for its Students


The Baltimore Sun recently featured PHILLIPS Maryland’s campus and its innovative career program that teaches students to grow microgreens hydroponically. The program combines lessons in science, math, culinary arts and business to give students valuable skills and a taste for the exciting field of hydroponic gardening and alternative farming. Students will also be leveraging community partnerships to market and sell the products they develop, giving them even more exposure and connections to the community in which they will someday contribute.

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The Children’s Guild seeks immediate applicants for its new DC Public Charter School


After School TranZed Academy Staff

Are you interested in a part time position that positively impacts the lives of at risk youth in Washington, DC? The after school TranZed Academy offers school enrichment activities for two hours per day from 3:30 pm- 5:30 pm (Wed: 1:00 – 5:30 for interested individuals).  We are seeking dynamic, high energy after school candidates who will continue our tradition of excellence and support the instructional program of our DC charter school. The after school TranZed Academy supports the instructional program and provides enrichment opportunities that promote student achievement.

Special Education Teacher (Grades K-8) 2015-2016 school year

We are seeking dynamic, high energy special education teacher candidates who will continue our tradition of excellence. We believe that teachers are the single most important factor for students demonstrating high achievement. If you believe in the power of transforming lives through a positive culture and rigorous education, you may be a good fit for us.

The Children’s Guild DC Public Charter School focuses on the unique needs of children ages K-8. We offer a personalized learning environment that blends the Children’s Guild TranZed philosophy of developing caring, committed and contributing young people for our community. The culture of our school is reinforced throughout our school goals, curriculum, environment and systems.  At the heart is our student centered approach to teaching and learning where our principles are guided by the way we Think, Act, Care and Reflect.

If you believe in the power of transforming lives through a positive culture and enrichment, you may be a good fit for us. Interested candidates should apply through The Children’s Guild website or call Ms. Kathy Laskala at 410.444.3800, ext.1113.

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Looking for an Effective Crisis Management Program?

student fightRight Response is an effective and largely non-physical crisis prevention and intervention program used by schools, hospitals, correctional settings and other environments challenged by sudden and frequent behavior management crises.
PHILLIPS Programs will be hosting a Right Response™ Trainer’s Training course, and is opening it to interested nonpublic school colleagues. The course will take place at PHILLIPS Laurel, MD campus and will be scheduled at a time that is convenient for the majority of particpants.

For more information, please contact Sarah Headley, Program Director, at sarah.headley@phillipsprograms.org

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PHILLIPS Program Director Honored for Distinguished Educational Leadership

Congratulations to PHILLIPS Programs’ Trudy Bell for being recognized as a 2015 Washington Post Principal of Excellence! Ms. Bell has been guiding special education programming at PHILLIPS’ northern Virginia campus for more than 40 years, sharing her talents with hundreds of staff and thousands of students during that time. Read her Washington Post profile here.

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Robert Cane of FOCUS steps down

Robert Cane has brought much to the District’s education system and its students. Charter schools have contributed to District-wide improvement across the entire public school system, and FOCUS has been a big part of the development of a strong charter school community in DC. The Washington Post reports that he will be stepping down to move closer to family in Nevada. Here at DCASE, we thank him and wish him well on his next adventure.

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The Episcopal Center for Children Seeking New Executive Director

After over 40 years with The Episcopal Center for Children (ECC), Executive Director Alan Korz is retiring in 2015. The Board is engaged in an executive search for its next leader. The anticipated start date for this position is March 2015.

The Episcopal Center for Children, a private, nonprofit, non-denominational day treatment facility for special needs children and their families in Washington, DC, seeks an Executive Director to lead its school to sustain its fundamental purpose while focusing on its long-term vision. Candidates must have a master’s degree in social work, clinical psychology, special education, or a related field, demonstrated knowledge of child development and growth, at least 10 years experience in child and/or adolescent mental health delivery, at least 5 years executive experience, and demonstrated leadership, management, and fundraising success.

Email cover letter with salary requirement and resume to barbara.ramundo@gmail.com. Please include ECC Executive Search in the Subject Line of email messages. Application review starts November 3, 2014. The ED job description will be forwarded upon request.


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CEO Sought for The Foundation Schools

After 33 years with The Foundation Schools, CEO Andrea Adler will be retiring at the end of this school year. The Board has begun the search for its next leader. Start date for this position is expected to be June 2015. Please see their post below:

The Foundation Schools, a nonprofit, non-public special education program in suburban Maryland, seeks CEO to lead two campus schools to the next level of educational and community leadership success.  Candidate must have master’s degree in related field, at least eight years executive experience and demonstrated leadership, management and fundraising success. Cover letter with salary requirement and resume should be emailed to foundationschoolsceosearch@gmail.com by November 26.  The CEO job description will be emailed upon request.


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DC Special Education Reform Legislation Long Overdue

The special education legislation reported in today’s Washington Post, proposed by Councilmember Catania is long overdue, well-conceived and on-point with the most pressing challenges still plaguing the District’s special education system. All three reform bills deserve swift passage, and Council Members should hear from any parents and professionals that have struggled to obtain, maintain or fund appropriate services for their students with special needs. If you have a story, now is the time to tell it. Please call or write your Council Member in support of these much needed special education reforms.

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What happens to Options’s students when the school shuts down?

Students with special needs such as those described in the Washington Post editorial 1/28/14 do not have to be at the “option of last resort.” In fact, federal law requires that all children with disabilities have available to them a free appropriate public education that emphasizes special education and related services designed to meet their unique needs and prepare them for further education, employment, and independent living.

The District has a vibrant non-public education community that DCPS and other Local Education Agencies have relied upon for many years to serve the needs of those students requiring the highest levels of support and intervention to achieve their potential. Non-public schools use enriched staffing, proven educational models and specialized services that address behavioral and social needs of students as well as authentic inclusion of families in the education of their children.

The DC Association for Special Education (DCASE) Consortium also supports DCPS and Public Charter Schools with training, consultation, and student services, providing 873 teachers, administrators and students with such resources in 2013. DCASE is working with DCPS and OSSE to improve the ways that students transition when ready, back into their neighborhood schools, including expanding opportunities for students to do partial-day mainstreaming, where they can learn to succeed alongside their non-disabled peers while maintaining the supports of their non-public program.

Students like those at Options do not need to become casualties of systemic dysfunction or problems brought on them by others. The community has an opportunity as well as an obligation to come together and do right by these young people and their families. Let’s see that this happens.

Read Washington Post Article here

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