STRATEGIES IN THE SPOTLIGHTCitywide Education Progress Reports
IMPROVING SCHOOL QUALITY AND FIT
MEETING STUDENT NEEDS
INVOLVING FAMILIES IN SCHOOL SYSTEM DECISIONS
SUPPORTING FAMILIES THROUGH CHOICE PROCESS
TAKING COLLECTIVE ACTION
NEW YORK CITY: Districts and Charters Collaborate to Strengthen Special Education
Since 2011, the NYC Special Education Collaborative (Collaborative), a citywide membership organization, has been empowering NYC’s charter schools to develop quality education programs for students with disabilities by providing on-site training, professional development, resources, support, and expert guidance.
More recently, the Collaborative and the NYCDOE have been working together to inform system leaders about how to provide better support to schools that use inclusive settings. The two teams meet regularly to discuss trending issues and brainstorm solutions, in addition to touring schools together to better understand programming and seek out best practices. The Collaborative hosts regular professional development series for charter and district educators about instructional practices, culturally responsive education, and behavior supports.
Challenges remain. Region-based IEP meetings, which include charter school and district staff, are still focused more on compliance than knowledge sharing, and the city as a whole lacks data to drive strategy. But this emerging collaboration bodes well for students and sets the groundwork for continued work ahead.