New DCPS standards for Family and Community Engagement


What follows is a brief summary of School Advisory Boards to replace the LSRT program:

A new proposal by DCPS aims to position family and community engagement as the focal point in the effort to raise student achievement.  The proposal, first drafted last month, reflects on the past and present state of family engagement vis-à-vis student achievement before outlining a new strategy for the future.

According to the proposal, under the current state of the Local School Restructuring Team (LSRT) program, there exist imperfect levels uniformity and cohesion across the board.  Though established eighteen years ago under the tenure of Superintendent Franklin Smith (1991-1996), and further codified in 2004 under Robert Rice, high levels of dysfunction, inconsistency, and a wide range of effectiveness subsist.  In some cases LSRTs are already in place, providing a high level of support. 

In Title I schools, as required by the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), School Improvement Teams are in place, advising the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization (OPEFM) on structural improvements and facility modernization.  Additionally, the proposal states that some Title I schools in the District have both LSRTs and SITs in place, while other (non Title I) schools in the District lack either.

Across the board, this high degree of variance leads to differing degrees of effectiveness among these nebulous entities.  Thus, DCPS has decided that it has become necessary to implement a new standard to arrive at the desired state of parental and community engagement throughout the District.  Under the new District-wide standardized system, each school will have an elected, well functioning School Advisory Board.  The composition, purpose, and scope of work of these bodies shall be consistent from school to school. 

Under the umbrella of the Office of Parent and Family Engagement (OPFE), these School Advisory Boards (SABs) will be comprised of parents, teachers, community members, and, on the high school level, students.  These teams, elected each spring by teachers and parents, will meet regularly (at least quarterly but more frequently as needed) with the school principal to prioritize specific areas of focus for the school year, with a concentration on the long term achievement of all students.  Special attention will be provided to the budgetary process, academics and the curriculum, and community engagement.  The board, working with the principal, will create a more open and collaborative environment for the entire school community.

SAB meetings will be open to the public and notes will be posted on the DCPS website.  In order to serve on SABs parents/guardians must have a child who is currently enrolled in the respective school, while teachers, non-instructional staff members, and the building representative must be currently employed at the respective school.   At the high school level, the student representatives are the elected student body president and a student appointed by the principal.  To find out more information on the new SAB program or to express interest, contact DCPS at


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