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Supporting Students with Health Conditions in District of Columbia Public Schools

Region:
Mid-Atlantic
Description:

To inform a plan for supporting students with health conditions, District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) partnered with the Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic on a study to understand how the prevalence of health conditions differs by student characteristics, whether students are supported through a 504 plan or an individualized education program (IEP), and the relationship between student health conditions and education outcomes. The study found that 27 percent of students in DCPS had a reported health condition in 2018/19, which is lower than the percentages reported for health conditions in the city in other data sources and could thus be an undercount. Health conditions were most prevalent among DCPS students who are male, who are Black/non-Hispanic, who are economically disadvantaged, or who attended school outside their ward of residence. Asthma was the most prevalent health condition, reported by 16 percent of students, which is double the national average. Among students with a reported health condition, 28 percent received support through a 504 plan or an IEP. Students with health conditions who are Black/non-Hispanic, who are economically disadvantaged, or who attended school outside their ward of residence were more likely to receive support through an IEP than students without these characteristics. In contrast, students with health conditions who are White/non-Hispanic or who are not economically disadvantaged were more likely to receive support through a 504 plan than other groups of students. Students with a reported health condition generally fared worse on education outcomes than students without a health condition.

Publication Type:
Descriptive Study
Online Availability:
Publication Date:
April 2021