District Curriculum Accommodation Plan (DCAP)


    What is a District Curriculum Accommodation Plan?
    A DCAP, or district curriculum accommodation plan is intended to “assist principals in ensuring that all efforts have been made to meet the students’ needs in general education.  The plan shall be designed to assist the classroom teacher in analyzing and accommodating diverse learning styles of all children in the general education classroom and in providing appropriate services and support within the general education programming. This includes, but is not limited to, direct and systematic instruction in reading and provision of services to address the needs of children whose behavior may interfere with learning, or who do not qualify for special education services under chapter 71B. The curriculum accommodation plan shall include provisions encouraging teacher mentoring and collaboration and parental involvement.”  (Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 71, section 38Q1/2). 

    The DCAP includes the following:

    • Information that can assist educators in analyzing the diverse learning styles of students within the general classroom
    • Examples of accommodations and strategies that can be used within a general education classroom to meet the needs of all learners
    • General education services and supports available to students and educators to support both academic and social emotional growth
    • Services to address the needs of children whose behavior may interfere with learning.

    How does the DCAP inform instruction and practices that help students grow?
    The DCAP is a great resource in identifying techniques/accommodations/strategies that can be provided to all students in the general education classroom. We accommodate and differentiate our instruction and curriculum to meet students’ needs. It is expected that across content areas and grade-levels, students will need various levels of support. All students vary in their needs based on age, development, social/emotional wellbeing, external factors, and more. The DCAP can be a reference and resource for a wide range of supports that students can receive within the general education setting. 

    How do students gain access to the supports, interventions, and accommodations noted within the DCAP?
    All staff may provide individual accommodations to students on an as-needed basis and specific to the content or situation.  In addition, building-based support teams and data teams meet on a regular basis to discuss student progress and growth.  Through the Randolph Multi-tiered System of Support (RMTSS) process, intervention and accommodation strategies are discussed to meet the needs of individual students.  

    In an effort to formalize the implementation of strategies for a particular student, the team may decide to develop an Individualized Curriculum Accommodation Plan, or ICAP, that states what accommodations and or general education services will be provided for that student over the course of the school year. (See forms at bottom of this document) These accommodations are found within the DCAP. 



    Accommodations are provided within the general education setting and may be available to all students to provide equal access to learning and to enable students to demonstrate growth.  Accommodations do NOT change the instructional level or content, delivery of instruction, or performance criteria. The following list of accommodations are tools that educators can use within their classrooms.  It is not an exhaustive list, but rather a starting point.

    Assessment Accommodations


    • Fill In the Blanks
    • Graphic Organizers
    • Word bank
    • Short answer
    • Fewer answer choices
    • Reduced Number of items/problems
    • Open book/notebook
    • Simplified directions
    • Verbal directions
    • Chunking
    • Simplified vocabulary
    • Alternative assessment
    • Allow oral elaboration
    • Allow for retakes or test corrections
    • Provide multimodal presentation of materials


    • Clarify directions
    • Test in alternative location
    • Permit frequent breaks
    • Extended time
    • Monitor progress
    • Provide incremental testing
    • Modify pacing
    • Provide extended wait time
    • Provide examples
    • Use of editing checklists, peer edits, conferences, modeling

    Reference Tools:

    • Calculator
    • Formulas
    • Reference Sheet
    • Multiplication chart
    • Word banks
    • Study Guides
    • Dictionaries
    • Graphic Organizers

    Alter Visual Presentation:

    • Write directly on test
    • Use additional white space
    • Bold or underline key words
    • Highlight or color code material
    • Provide larger print
    • Provide lines on test
    • Provide alternate paper color
    • Provide test on technology

    Assistive Technology:

    • Word Processing
    • Calculator
    • Audio Book
    • Speech to text                                   



    • Extended time
    • Chunk information
    • Provide wait time
    • Set limits
    • Allow breaks

    Additional Instruction:

    • Before or after school help
    • Extra review/practice
    • Pre-teach vocabulary, prerequisite concepts
    • Provide small group, targeted instruction
    • Peer teachers/group work

    Emphasize Main Ideas:

    • Highlight
    • Repeat
    • Bold


    • Vary lesson activities
    • Connect to prior knowledge
    • Use multi-sensory input
    • Preview the lesson
    • Provide wait time
    • Story webs
    • Outline tools
    • Concept mapping tools
    • Chunk information
    • Provide multimodal presentation of materials
    • Record and post zoom lessons  & notes on Google Classroom
    • Provide verbal and written directions
    • Frequent checks for understanding (formative assessments)

    Alter Visual Presentation:

    • Display fewer items per page
    • Include visuals
    • Vary format
    • Bold or underline key words
    • Highlight or color code material
    • Provide larger print
    • Provide lines or boxes on test
    • Provide alternate paper color

    Assistive Technology:

    • Word Processing
    • Calculator
    • Audio Books
    • Speech to text   
    • Spell check, grammar check
    • Word prediction software
    • Electronic translation tools
    • Links to multilingual glossaries on web   


    • Provide exemplars
    • Provide examples/non-examples
    • Demonstrate processes
    • Provide sentence starters or sentence strips
    • Use cues and prompts to draw attention to critical concepts


    • Checklists
    • Guided notes/copies of notes/skeleton notes
    • Rubrics
    • Graphic Organizers
    • Extra textbook
    • Study Guides


    • Cue student
    • Check progress
    • Check for understanding
    • Preferential Seating


    Classroom Management:

    • Clearly defined expectations
    • Create class routines and stick by them
    • Allow for breaks
    • Create classroom norms with students
    • Cue desired behavior
    • Quick, business-like statements of corrected behavior
    • Alert/Predict what is coming...transitions of all kinds
    • Vary level of novelty/risk
    • Create accepting/supportive classroom
    • Allow for use of fidgets
    • Post Social/emotional tools (breathing squares, 5 to 1 grounding)
    • Post daily schedules, calendars to increase predictability of day
    • Use of timers
    • Use of PBIS techniques and PBIS incentives
    • Assign classroom responsibilities and “jobs” for increased feelings of belonging and achievement
    • Provide prompts on how/when to ask for help
    • Create expectations for group work
    • Practice mindfulness meditation/guided meditation/Progressive muscle relaxation
    • Have all students participate in a set of norms/expectations; create an anchor chart and have all students sign it
    • Review expectations daily, parent contact, rewards and incentives

    Behavior Modifications:

    • Individualized plans
    • Participation in check in/check out
    • Contracts
    • Checklists
    • Incentives
    • Prompts (elemen: “What 3 tools can you use?”)
    • Provide feedback
    • Embed “stop and think”
    • Variation in pace of work, breaks, length of work sessions
    • Allow for headphones, listening to quiet music during work
    • Allow for fidgets, doodling
    • Special seating options (standing desk, rocking chair, bean bag)

    Rules and Expectations

    • Clear and concise consequences, rewards and incentives for those who use appropriate language
    • Verbal/written reminders of class rules and consequences
    • Avoid power struggles
    • Cool down zones
    • Ignore attention
    • Find time to clearly state the expectations of the classroom to the student prior to the group setting
    • Provide clear and concise verbal directives twice, provide written directive, rewards and incentives
    • Give 3 directives to the student to demonstrate expected behavior, with wait time in between each one; if non-compliance continues, then consequence is given
    • Consistent behavior chart.
    • 1-2-3 system
    • Rules and expectations explained. 
    • Keep student safe
    • Give visual Schedule
    • Communication with home.
    • Proximity to student, verbal redirection, seat change, positive behavior incentives, consistent consequences


    • Communicate with home
    • Consistent routine
    • Behavior plan/chart 
    • Refer to guidance/social worker, use of incentives for work completion 
    • Incentive charts, scheduled break time, rewards, parent contact, tiered-work
    • Schedule of reward/break times throughout the day when pre-determined expected behaviors are shown or tasks are completed
    • Lunch Bunch

    Additional Services:

    • Access to School Social Worker or Counselor
    • Access to other specialists
    • Referral to outside agency
    • Participation in targeted, small groups (tier 2)
    • Modify student’s schedule
    • Limit workload when necessary (length and quantity)


    • Predict and pre-alert multiple times
    • Clear directions



    • Reduce amount of copying from the board
    • Allow cursive or printing or typing when available 
    • Review good note taking; have anchor charts and models around the room
    • Give the students a reason to use note (e.g. allow them to use teacher approved notes on some assessment
    • Consistently use a grade level approved graphic organizer
    • Annotating texts (Chunking)
    • Consult of OT
    • Provide supports such as a binder.
    • Provide different paper.
    • Provide practice
    • Use of graphic organizers, modeling
    • Use of editing checklists, peer edits, conferencing, modeling of sentencing
    • Repetition, copying from a teacher source then fading prompts
    • Graphic organizers, reduce amount needed to be written, talk-to-text feature on iPad, teacher scribe, write around


    • Teach clue words to look for
    • Break apart complex words
    • Post and review spelling rules
    • Use of dictionary/computer tool
    • Utilize spelling games/activities to promote memory and automaticity 
    • Example Games: spelling puzzle; trace-copy-recall; sight word memory game; stairsteps; window writing or using shaving cream
    • Review of sound/symbol relationships and syllable types, review strategies for breaking apart longer words
    • Word walls, sand writing, shaving cream writing, wheel of fortune game, repetition, draw and write, talk to text feature on iPad

    Mathematical Calculations

    • Provide either multiplication chart or reference sheet 
    • Create flash cards 
    • Create school wide or classroom wide competitions or events that promote fact fluency
    • Provide reference sheet 
    • Before/ After school help
    • Zearn/ Prodigy/ Gizmo
    • Targeted intervention during A block
    • Send home reference sheet for parents
    • Communication with parent
    • Online programs: Zearn, Prodigy, Starfall, IXL


    Monitor Management of Materials:

    • Binder
    • Backpacks
    • Actual or Virtual folders with shortcuts
    • Locker
    • Provide all materials in digital form for access at any time
    • Provide extra set of books at home
    • Provide a space for materials to be stored

    Time Management Tools:

    • Break down assignments
    • Have student set reminders on devices
    • Provide incremental due dates  and Parent communication log
    • Provide checklists and project planning templates
    • Help prioritization of work
    • Help establish calendars with deadlines with reminders enabled


    • Use of graphic organizers
    • Use of outlines
    • Provide templates
    • Provide copies of notes
    • Use of daily organizational checklist


    General Remote Learning Accommodations

    • Chunk tasks in the family schedule, in student assignments, and in lessons as necessary. If a student utilized this support in school, consider a checklist or task list.
    • Minimize oral directions during live and recorded lessons.
    • Provide clear, concise directions for student activities.
    • Maintain simplified, routine directions for accessing remote learning via technology.
    • Provide and model wait time so students can comply with directions.
    • Consider material that can be reviewed, repeated, or replayed.
    • Make use of technology to visually illustrate and provide repeated practice of new concepts.
    • Utilize non digital materials with visual supports.
    • Consider recording lessons/activities so that students can watch at their own pace.
    • Consider the wide range of assistive technology supports available to support text accessibility.
    • Recommend some favorite class brain breaks.
    • Schedule breaks in the family schedule.

    Presentation of Information

    • Use of Audiobooks
    • Use text to speech
    • Use larger fonts
    • Reduce amount of material presented per page when presenting virtually
    • Use built-in accessibility features on smartphones or computers to change font size
    • Record the teacher reading the instructions
    • Provide the transcript of the lesson
    • Web captioning  
    • Teacher notes before the lesson or a transcript after the lesson 
    • Provide bulleted list of concise instructions in the chat feature for live lessons (or directly on assignments)
    • Lesson outline sent via email or learning management system (LMS) before the lesson

    Completion of Homework

    • Speech-to-text
    • Uploaded audio or video recordings
    • Check in with a family member to see if they can help write responses for homework
    • One-to-one conference with the student
    • Send home physical manipulatives
    • Paper/printable manipulatives
    • Virtual manipulatives
    • Graphic organizers to use with assignments. 
    • Websites to create graphic organizers: Popplet, MindMup, Creately, Mind Meister, Mindomo, SpiderScribe

    Scheduling, Timing and Organization

    • Highlighter function on PDFs and other documents (with explicit instruction on how students can use the highlighter)
    • One-to-one videoconferences or breakout rooms to allow students to ask questions or complete assignments with teacher support
    • Explanations to students and families on how to “chunk” assignments and set due dates accordingly
    • Assignments and directions given ahead of time, with time to check in with the student to answer questions
    • Shared class document for students to add questions during or after a lesson
    • Brain breaks during virtual classes
    • Scheduled time for brain breaks in the middle of independent assignments
    • Embedded brain break videos in digital assignments
    • Assignments broken into smaller tasks or chunks
    • Videos with exercises within lessons
    • Test broken up into smaller tests or create multiple digital forms for each section
    • Visual timer on Zoom or screen share a visual timer on other platforms  
    • Website blockers to increase focus

    Technology Tools and Resources for Virtual Learning

      • CheckIt! within Read&Write and Read&Write for Google Chrome by Texthelp

    Articles on Remote Learning Accommodations:



    If the team decides to formalize accommodations through an ICAP, the following meeting form and template should be used:

    ICAP Meeting Form
    ICAP Template