case study

Helping DC Public Schools
meet the needs of its students


The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) Office of Special Education (OSE) prides itself on its ability to deliver services to those students most in need.


For much of the last decade, the paper-based processes then in place were unable to keep pace with the volume of complaints brought forth by parents and guardians of students with special needs, which were more than 50 times that of other states.

The growing backlog had resulted in numerous court cases being brought against the District. By 2007, the situation had become so severe that the courts issued a Consent Decree mandating that DCPS overhaul its ability to handle requests for special education services as well as deliver the services promised. The Consent Decree, known as Blackman-Jones, required that DCPS demonstrate to the court on a regular basis that it was meeting court-required performance targets. This requirement, coupled with the overall need to improve performance, pushed the already troubled paper-based scheduling system beyond its breaking point.


In 2009, the District turned to Incapsulate for help. Within weeks, Incapsulate was able to develop a database-powered case management system to replace DCPS’s paper-based manual system. With the basic technology in place to reliably track the backlog in near real-time, Incapsulate turned to unraveling and re-engineering DCPS’s business processes to accelerate timelines for reviewing cases, reducing the resolution timeline to acceptable levels as determined by the court and ensuring that students would get services prescribed in a timely manner.


Due to Incapsulate’s efforts, DCPS was able to meet the court’s goals and, more significantly, to again effectively address the needs of the District’s students. Ultimately, DCPS was able to increase the portion of requests resolved within 90 days of initiation from 32 percent to 90 percent.

Incapsulate Contact

Dilshad Albert | | 202.476.0024

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