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Connect and learn more about important topics in education at the DAC Forum

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Events offers insight into school budget and finance; community engagement and parent participation; and school performance and assessments

CASTLE ROCK— Douglas County parents, teachers, administrators, School Advisory Committee members, PTO members, and the whole Douglas County community are encouraged to attend the District Accountability Committee Winter Forum on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at Rocky Heights Middle School for an opportunity to connect and learn about important topics in education, speak with Douglas County School District (DCSD) personnel and gain insight into the inner-workings of the school district.

Attendees will be able to participate in sessions such as school funding and budgeting, performance measurements, outdoor education, safety and communications, and the charter school application evaluation process. Additionally, thanks to popular demand from previous sessions, DCSD principals and teachers will engage in a roundtable discussion on mental health. Staff members from Grassroots St. Vrain will also be present to talk about how they built a network of community support and created a cultural shift in order to turn around a financially struggling St. Vrain School District several years ago.

The Forum is scheduled from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Registration is not required to attend. For community members who are unable to attend, select sessions will be live streamed.

View a full list of sessions with descriptions below.

"Every child desdrves a champion - an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be." -Rita Pierson.  Calling all Champions for our kids: The DAC winter Forum, February 28, 2017, 5:00 pm-9:00 pm, Rocky Heights Middle School.

(click to enlarge)


Session descriptions

Click here to view the flyer


Understanding the DCSD Charter School Application and Approval Process
Tom McMillen, JD, Director, Choice Programming
One 50 minute session
This session will explore the District CART (Charter Application Review Team) process, as well as a discussion of national best practices in connection with new charter school applications. The standard application and rubric will be reviewed as well as a discussion of the staff review and recommendation process, statutory requirements and limitations, board action, and appeals to the State Board of Education.
Stone Canyon Outdoor EdVentures: Outdoor Education, Summer Camp, Leadership Development & Retreats
Jolee Jones, Director, Stone Edventures; Dustin Handrich, Outdoor Education Manager; Alicia Gerber, Summer Camp Manager; Amber Schweitzer, Retreat Manager
Two 20 minute sessions
Come meet the Stone Canyon team and learn how they are creating innovative outdoor programming for groups of all ages and types.  They will provide an overview of Stone Canyon’s mission and goals and how they are affiliated with the district.  Jolee Jones, the Director, will outline the affect they have on their clients and the capital needs that effect the organization.  The managers from each department will review the various types of programs and events offered from outdoor education to summer camp to corporate development.
Unified Improvement Planning - A Deeper Dive into School Performance Frameworks
Matt Reynolds, Assessment & System Performance Officer
Two 20-minute sessions
In this session we will be reviewing essential data components of the School Performance Frameworks and understand how it impacts the district Unified Improvement Planning (UIP).  The UIP need not be an intimidating process, but rest assured, it is a constantly changing process. Learn the many components of the UIP and the process of gathering that critical information for informed discussion with your School Accountability Committee (SAC).
Colorado’s School Funding and 2017-18 Budget Update
Scott Smith, Director of Budget
One 50-minute session
This session is an opportunity for participants to learn more about how the school district receives funding from the state of Colorado and see the projected funding for the 17-18 school year.  Understand how site-based budgeting works and learn about the changes in the district from last year.
SAC, Best Practices For New Members
Kathy Brown, School/Community Partnership Coordinator
Two 20-minute sessions
This session will orient new members of School Accountability Committees (SAC) to the purpose of a SAC and the various roles and responsibilities of its members.  Current SAC members and leadership teams will be equipped to facilitate a well-functioning committee with shared knowledge in which members understand the purpose and function of their roles, shared responsibilities and are excited about the opportunity to help.  Learn to effectively engage school staff, community, and family members to create a supportive culture for authentic family-school-community partnerships.
Educator Effectiveness in DCSD
Erica Mason, Director of Educator Effectiveness
Two 20-minute sessions                                                                           
If you have questions about Continuous Improvement Teacher Effectiveness (CITE), the teacher evaluation tool used in DCSD, this session will provide a brief overview of the Colorado Department of Education regulations that guide evaluation across Colorado and how Douglas County School District uses the CITE tool to guide teacher growth.
Principal/Teacher Roundtable
Sid Rundle, Principal, Cresthill Middle School; Celine Wicks, Principal, Rocky Heights Middle School; Shannon Clarke, Principal, Mountain Ridge Middle School, Kathy Brown, School/Community Partnership Coordinator
Two 20-minute sessions
This session is always a hit.  Dynamic principals will be continuing the mental health discussion surrounding Douglas County students and discussing ideas with parents on how to help prevent, identify and intervene in situations. This will be an eye opening and informative roundtable.  
Budget Priority Recommendations Workshop
Melissa Bergfalk, DAC budget subcommittee chair; Brandi Butticaz, budget subcommittee member; Brian Wetterling, DAC Vice Chair; Melody Joy Fields, DAC member
One 50-minute session
Each year, the District Accountability Committee (DAC) makes recommendations to the Board of Education regarding priorities for the spending of District monies. As part of those recommendations, the DAC solicits community feedback through a survey.  This year there will be an opportunity to participate in a hands-on budget workshop to assist the DAC budget subcommittee in further identifying budget priorities from the community.  This is a valuable opportunity for you to voice your thoughts and opinions with the DAC budget subcommittee as well as fellow community members to develop high level recommendations for the District budget.
Building Community Support for Schools
Lisa Granat, Communications Director, Grassroots St Vrain; Hadley Solomon, President, Grassroots St. Vrain; Karna Jones, Outreach Director, Grassroots St. Vrain
Two 20-minute session
This session will highlight one Colorado school district that resolved to create a network of informed and engaged community volunteers to build a stronger school district. Eight years ago, the St. Vrain Valley School District was in a position of financial turmoil, and the community would not support local ballot initiatives. Hear how the cultural shift occurred, how community members overcame issues of trust, and how successful partnerships between stakeholders in the community and the school district were created to build strong support for schools.
Factors Affecting Ballot Initiatives
Dan O’Connell, RBC Capital Markets
Two 20-minute sessions
This will be an overview of the various funding mechanisms for school districts and the unique features of the various funding mechanisms that are most applicable to DCSD.   Also this session will present a general overview of voter dynamics that result in statistically predictable success of ballot initiatives during various election cycles.  
Current Education Legislation and Civic Engagement
Colorado State Representative Patrick Neville, House Minority Leader; Colorado State Representative Kevin Van Winkle (R-Highlands Ranch)
One 50-minute session
This session will discuss current legislation being considered in the Colorado State Legislature that will impact education our students in the DCSD. How can you be aware and participate as an individual to ensure the DCSD community has a voice in legislation that is in the best interest our public schools?  Come and be part of this informative session.
2021 Graduation Requirements: What’s Changing
Robin Russel, Colorado Department Of Education
Two 20-minute sessions
The class of 2021 – the first class to graduate under Colorado’s new graduation guidelines – will be entering ninth grade in the Fall of 2017.   Are you aware of these changes and what it means for your student?  This session will discuss the guideline changes and how these changes are being implemented throughout high schools in Douglas County to ensure our students are prepared to meet the new graduation requirements.
School Safety and District Communication
Randy Barber, DCSD Chief Communication Officer
Two 20-minute sessions
The natural instinct for parents or guardians is to come to the school during an emergency to protect their children. However, by doing so, they may endanger themselves and their children. During this session, DCSD Chief Communications Officer Randy Barber will explain why the best place for parents during a crisis may be at home and what district staff will do to ensure your student is safe and you are informed.
New SAC Bylaws: What Changed?
Chris Pratt, DAC member
Two 20-minute sessions
This session will discuss the new School Accountability Committee (SAC) bylaws and how the changes can help your SAC run more efficiently.  This session provides additional clarification on the various roles responsibilities of individual positions as well as the larger ongoing responsibilities of the SAC in order to comply with district and state guidelines.  
Implementing Effective Family-School-Community Partnerships for Student Learning
Lisa Medler, Executive Director, Improvement Planning Unit; Darcy Hutchins, Family Partnership Director
One 50-minute session
Participants will learn and discuss strategies to maximize family-school-community partnerships for student learning.  Presenters will share promising practices about how schools and districts gather family input on the Unified Improvement Plan (UIP). Participants will have an opportunity to plan next steps.
Capital Needs
Brad Geiger, Long Range Committee Chair and Caryn Becker, Long Range Planning Committee Member
Two 20-minute sessions
The Douglas County population and the capital needs of the school district are expanding.  This session will discuss details of the Master Capital Plan and the four categories and tiers within each category that establish priorities for the wide range of capital needs within DCSD.
What Your Student Wishes You Knew
Student Advisory Group
Two 20-minute sessions
This session is the student perspective regarding the way in which meaningful feedback is provided in the teacher evaluation process.  This subject is the focus of work currently being done by the DCSD Student Advisory Group (SAG) and will be an interesting session for parents, teachers and administrators alike.
February 21, 2017 | By CSilberman | Category: District Accountability Committee

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