• Employee Resources
  • Language

District Accountability Committee Forum to give community members insight on budgeting process, emergency communications and more

CASTLE ROCK- Douglas County residents will have the opportunity to learn more about the budgeting process, emergency communications, District capital needs and more. Additionally, school principals will engage in a roundtable discussion, giving residents an even more unique look into the workings of the Douglas County School District. 

School Accountability Community (SAC) members, parents, community members, principals, teachers, district employees, those connected to neighborhood schools, charter schools, and those with no connection to a school but simply an interest in what's happening in the Douglas County School District are all invited to attend the District Accountability Committee Fall Forum on Tuesday, October 25, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The Forum will be held at Castle Rock Middle School, 2575 Meadows Blvd., Castle Rock.

Attendees will have a large menu of sessions to choose from, each in twenty minute blocks. Please see the schedule below for more information.

View many of the sessions via Livestream:

You can also view many sessions via Periscope on the DCSD Twitter channel:

Network with Your Neighbors: Kick off the evening by catching up with friends and neighbors

From 6:00-6:30 p.m., we’ll have the chance to catch up with old friends and get to know new community members while networking in our high school feeders.  SAC leaders from schools in each of the nine high school feeders will help everyone get situated, so feel free to ask for help if you have any questions. (Our neighborhood and charter schools will be together in each feeder.) We’ll have agendas on hand so you can map out which sessions you want to attend while you’re chatting, so try to get to the Forum by 6:00 and get started. (In the Commons)

6:30-6:50 p.m.
Principal Round Table
Hosted by Cresthill Middle School Principal Sid Rundle
At 6:30 p.m., we'll formally kick off the forum with a principal round table chaired by Sid Rundle, principal of Cresthill Middle School. This twenty minute discussion is guaranteed to be both valuable and thought-provoking, as anyone who’s heard Principal Rundle can attest. (In the Commons)
How sessions are organized
Multiple sessions will be offered in three twenty minute blocks: 7:00-7:20; 7:30-7:50 and 8:00-8:20.  Everyone will then return to the Commons area at 8:30 for the final session of the evening. We will wrap up at 9:00 p.m.
Multiple sessions offered during each time slot
During the three time slots, we will offer up to four breakout sessions each time. They will be located in the Commons (the main area on the first floor of the school; the library upstairs; and some of the large classrooms. The location of each session will be noted on your agenda.
Twenty minutes per session
Each set of sessions is twenty minutes, but we’ve allotted ten minutes between the sets, so we have a little bit of time to ask a few extra questions.
Multiple chances to attend each session
We are offering each session except the last one more than once, so you won't have to choose between two sessions you really want to see.
Sessions targeted to different audience, different experience levels
Some sessions are geared to those new to school issues and some are intended for those with more experience. We’ve noted those guidelines in the descriptions, but everyone has different work, volunteer and life experience, so please know those are simply guidelines. Obviously, you’re the best judge of which sessions will be the most interesting and useful to you. 

Introduction to School Finance and School Budgeting
Scott Smith, DCSD Director of Budget, provides an excellent overview of the concepts necessary to understand school finance and budgeting for those new to these complex topics.

An Introduction to the Board Advisory Committees
Long Range Planning Committee, Fiscal Oversight Committee, District Accountability Committee - all parent committees that are part of the Board Advisory Committee structure. Learn what they do and how you can become involved. 

Assessments: Changes to the State Unified Improvement Planning Process
Learn about the changes the state has made to the assessment process and the affect that may have on the District and school accreditation ratings. Find out what factors are used to determine whether school districts are Accredited with Distinction; Accredited; Accredited with Improvement Plan; Accredited with Priority Improvement Plan; or Accredited with Turnaround Plan. Learn how the state decides whether schools are should be placed on Performance Plans; Improvement Plans; Priority Improvement Plans or Turnaround Plans. Last, hear what the current schedule is for this year's Unified Improvement Planning process.

Bylaws Workshop
The bylaws workshop facilitated by DAC member Chris Pratt is the first in what we are proposing become an annual bylaws review by the SAC community. We've been collecting your ideas for changes to the bylaws for some time, as those who attend our meetings know. This workshop is a chance for SAC leadership to come together and discuss the merits of the suggestions that have been compiled.
Please note that these changes do not originate from the DAC. The DAC, however, has the ability to recommend changes to the Board for review and approval. 

Best Site-based Budgeting Practices for SACs
The site-based budget best practices for SACs offered by DCSD CFO Bonnie Betz offers you a chance to hear her suggestions on how SACs can best weigh in on school budgets as well as ask questions your SAC has been discussing.

Proposed Revision to the Carryover Policy
The Fiscal Oversight Committee is proposing a revision to the school carryover policy. Principals and SAC members who are familiar with carryover - and those who are new to the concept - will want to explore and have the chance to ask questions about this change from FOC member Dave Usechek.

Crisis Communication Tips for Parents
A couple of tragic incidents have recently shaken our community. New parents in particular might find some wise suggestions from parents who have been through lockdowns and lockouts, minor accidents and major tragedies of use as they navigate their own parental journeys. 

The Master Capital Plan Update
If you've volunteered for years and you're thoroughly familiar with school finance, you'll find the updated Master Capital Plan presentation by the Long Range Planning Committee definitely worth a look. If you're relatively new to the District, the MCP is a great way to get an overview of the District, its capacity, the projected growth, the variety of issues and challenges we face, and a thoughtful and meticulous assessment of the severity of each challenge.

Community Outreach: Announcing a new cooperative venture

At the end of the evening, we'll all return to the commons area where members of the DAC, the Long Range Planning Committee, the Fiscal Oversight Committee, the Parent Engagement Task Force and the community will present a community outreach project we're launching at the forum that will be ongoing throughout 2017 and hopefully beyond. 
This group will be tackling some challenging topics this year and next, working together to improve the process by which community feedback on District budget priorities is collected by the DAC and provided to the Board; collaborating on education outreach and feedback efforts around Long Range Planning's updated Master Capital Plan and ongoing capacity and maintenance needs assessments; and as a companion to that discussion, helping get the word out in the community about the specifics of the Fiscal Oversight Committee's recent analysis of the pros and cons of a variety of potential ways to meet the needs that have been identified. Come hear what we're thinking and let us know your feedback.


Although some sessions will be Livestreamed, we definitely encourage you to attend in person.
October 20, 2016 | By CSilberman | Category: Communications, District Accountability Committee, Parent University

District News

The Douglas County School District Board of Education welcomes Dr. Thomas S. Tucker into the role of Superintendent of Douglas County School District. Dr. Tucker officially leads the 68,000 student district as of July 1, 2018.


Nearly 1,500 Colorado students applied for the prestigious Boettcher Foundation Scholarship this year, with 42 being named recipients. Of those, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) is proudly home to four recipients.


When it comes to mental health services, communities traditionally focus on supporting kids as needs arise. This work is crucial for the safety of our students. Equally important, though, is prevention-based programming that can help, early on, prevent the social-emotional challenges our kids may be experiencing from escalating.