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CEC Partners With DC Charter Schools to Support Educators of Students With Exceptionalities Through Innovative Training Institute

CEC Partners With DC Charter Schools to Support Educators of Students With Exceptionalities Through Innovative Training Institute

Arlington, Va., March 27, 2020 ― To support schools in improving outcomes for students with exceptionalities, the DC Public Charter School Board (DC PCSB) partnered with the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) to offer the first-ever High-Leverage Practice (HLP) Institute. A professional development series for teachers, instructional coaches, administrators, and other staff who plan and deliver instruction for students with disabilities at DC Public Charter Schools, this first-of-its-kind event marks innovative efforts to advance the success of students with exceptionalities by providing a cohort of educators with the resources, strategies, and supports they need.

Developed by CEC and the Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR) Center, the HLPs are 22 evidence-based practices that every special educator should master and be able to demonstrate. The selected practices span four domains – collaboration, assessment, social/ emotional/behavior, and instruction – and have been shown to improve student outcomes if successfully implemented.

“Our partnership with CEC provides special education practitioners at DC public charter schools with the most current resources and innovative strategies to improve outcomes for their students with exceptionalities,” says Avni Murray, Senior Manager, Equity, Audits, and Support at DC PCSB. “Through specifically focusing on a train-the-trainer format to maximize the opportunities for all educators to implement the HLPs in their classrooms for years to come.”

Between December 2018 and November 2019, 50 participants from 26 local education agencies (LEAs) learned how to implement key HLPs through five in-person workshops and three online checkpoints led by CEC experts — most of whom literally wrote the book on the HLPs.

This innovative training program was designed by CEC as a “train-the-trainer” model to provide instructional coaches and building administrators with strategies to train, observe, and support classroom teachers who are using the HLPs. The HLP Institute was further customized in collaboration with DC PCSB to meet their unique training goals by prioritizing the HLPs identified as most critical to their cohort of practitioners.

Participants engaged throughout the program via an online learning community to connect directly with peers and presenters and access publications and resources, including the book High-Leverage Practices in Inclusive Classrooms and implementation guides. In the end, they earned up to 18 professional development hours and a certificate of completion from CEC.

“CEC has an abundance of tools and resources to support educators in meeting the needs of students with exceptionalities,” says Chad Rummel, Executive Director of CEC. “By forging this partnership with DC PCSB, we were able to tap into our subject matter expertise to deliver innovative, high-leverage practices to assist all educators in serving every child without limits.”

According to feedback surveys, the sessions earned an average 93 percent satisfaction rate from participants. Reflecting on the series, one educator wrote, “each session was presented in a format that was immediately useful. I also loved that there were easily accessible materials and presentations that could be implemented right away.”

In the coming months, CEC will be expanding the HLP Institute to additional schools and districts. For more information, contact Jennifer Bullock, Director of Professional Development and Resources.

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the professional association of educators dedicated to advancing the educational success of children and youth with exceptionalities through advocacy, standards, and professional development. Learn more about CEC at

The DC Public Charter School Board (DC PCSB) is an independent government agency of the District of Columbia and the sole authorizer of public charter schools in our nation’s capital. The mission of DC PCSB is to provide quality public charter school options for DC students, families, and communities. Learn more about DC PCSB at

For immediate release

Contact: Alex Garvey, 703-264-9435,

Posted:  13 April, 2020

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