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Understanding the role of school, District accountability committees

by Kathy Brown
School/Community Partnership Coordinator

In less than one short month with DCSD, I have attended dozens of parent and school meetings. In many of these meetings, parents have asked questions ranging from standardized testing to school budgets. The first thing I suggest to them is to get involved with their School Accountability Committee (SAC). Due to the day-to-day craziness of life and congested schedules, it’s understandable why some would say, “What is that?” 

SAC is yet another education acronym that has great impact and is also required by state law. Important to the success of every Douglas County School District school and student, are School Accountability Committees (SACs) and the District Accountability Committee (DAC). These committees represent the “local control” of each school in the district and are required by Colorado state law according to the Educational Accountability Act of 2009.

SAC Membership flow chart

Each School Accountability Committee is comprised of parents, community leaders, principals and teachers who meet to discuss topics of vital importance to their individual school. The SAC makes a recommendation to the principal regarding how the school should spend money, engage parents, create strategies for success, and any other areas or issues that affect the function of the school and the success of its students.

The District Accountability Committee (DAC) meets monthly and makes recommendations to the Douglas County School Board on spending district money, charter school applications, improvement plans and parent engagement plans. The members of the DAC also make recommendations for areas and issues for study as requested by the Board of Education.

It is important to note that the state and federal government mandate these committees and set their requirements. Both committees serve in an advisory capacity only and do not have decision-making authority. 

I will be visiting approximately 30 SACs next month, talking to parents and finding out more about the schools they represent and the individual challenges and opportunities each face. Many DCSD schools are as unique as the students they serve, so it makes sense that schools would need to address varying topics on an ongoing basis to make the best decisions for their school.

If you cannot attend SAC meetings, at least find out who sits on the committees and look over the agenda and minutes of each meeting. From there, you can provide input to your committee members and become informed about the direction of your child’s school.

Look forward to seeing you there! 

You can reach me at Kathy.Brown[at]dcsdk12[dot]org or visit my website for more information. at https://www.dcsdk12.org/parent-liaison.

April 29, 2014 | By SCPaulsen | Category: District Accountability Committee, Schools

District News

graduates standing in line outside, smiling

DOUGLAS COUNTY – Graduation rates in the Douglas County School District (DCSD) continue to climb. Data released today by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE) shows the on-time, four-year graduation rate is now 90.4 percent.

DCSD students also made an impressive showing at graduation. The class of 2017 earned more than $82 million in scholarships.

DCSD has one of the highest graduation rates in the Denver metro area. According to CDE, DCSD graduation rates have risen steadily from 81.9 percent in 2009 to 90.4 percent in 2017.

Five female students standing on stage smiling and laughing at the awards ceremony

The top two-percent of female athletes in Douglas County School District (DCSD) were honored at the annual Girls and Women in Sports Luncheon last week at Chaparral High School. This year represented the 30th national celebration of Girls and Women in Sports Day, created to encourage and promote the participation of girls in athletics. The girls who were honored were selected by their school’s coaches, athletic directors and principals for their outstanding achievements.

Superintendent Search text based logo

Working through the recent winter break, the Douglas County School District Board of Education has kicked off its search for DCSD’s next permanent superintendent. Following a thorough vetting of potential search firms, Ray & Associates (no relation to Board Director David Ray) has been hired to conduct the national search. The cost of the firm, excluding travel expenses, is $40,000. The money will come from the school board's budget, which is used for costs such as legal expenses and conferences.