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Supporting Students with Health Conditions in District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS)


Description: The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) wants to understand what it is doing well for students with health conditions and whether there are any inequities in the supports that are provided. This descriptive study will provide information about the prevalence of health conditions in DCPS, the outcomes of students with health conditions, and the access these students have to supports designed to help them. This information will help DCPS identify inequities and develop an action plan to better support students with health conditions in the future.

Research Questions:

  1. What are the rates of different types of reported health conditions and the characteristics of students with health conditions in DCPS?
  2. How do the educational outcomes of students with reported health conditions compare to those of students without reported health conditions?
  3. What proportion of students with reported health conditions are provided supports through a 504 plan or individualized education program (IEP), and does this differ by school or student characteristics?

Study Design: The study will rely on descriptive research methods to address the three research questions. Although we will conduct detailed subgroup analyses, the main report will provide a summary of information and a discussion at the district level, focusing on trends or insights that could be informative for other districts. Detailed breakdowns by school, which are necessary for DCPS to make key decisions about priority populations, schools, and the targeting of resources, will be provided separately to DCPS outside of the report.

We will address gaps in the current literature and look across a number of different health conditions and services simultaneously, rather than focusing on one isolated condition or service. We will also use outcomes beyond student test scores, such as attendance and suspensions, which is particularly important for students with health conditions, given the documented association between having a health condition and outcomes such absenteeism or behavioral infractions.

Projected Release Date: Fall 2020

Related Products: Stated Briefly

Principal Investigators & Affiliation:
Martha Bleeker, Ph.D., Mathematica Policy Research