Building a Budget with Discretionary Dollars

Required Programming

Core Content


Core content teachers play an integral role in ensuring that every school helps students reach their full potential through rigorous and joyful learning experiences provided in a nurturing environment. Content teachers develop and implement curricula and activities to meet academic standards by thoughtfully planning daily lessons and implementing specific strategies to meet the needs of all students, providing extra support, enrichment, or variation of work when necessary.

Core content areas include:

  • Elementary English Language Arts and Social Studies
  • Elementary Mathematics and Science
  • Secondary Science
  • Secondary English Language Arts
  • Secondary Mathematics
  • Secondary Social Studies
  • World Languages
  • Dual Language


School staffing plans must ensure that school leaders can meet the scheduling guidelines. Updated scheduling guidance for SY24-25 will be shared with schools soon. For questions, email

Central Support


  • OTL Cluster Support Model managers support LEAP leaders in helping teachers navigate and implement the curriculum.
  • Content teams engage with various stakeholders to prioritize content for district-wide professional development so that their design is responsive to school needs.
  • Content teams provide support on Canvas, including, but not limited to, curricular resources and asynchronous professional development offerings.

Points of Contact

Helpful Resources

LEAP (Learning Together to Advance Our Practice)


LEAP is DCPS’ school-based approach for content-focused professional development.

All core content teachers are assigned to a content-area and grade-band LEAP team. Each LEAP team is led by a LEAP leader: Assistant Principal (AP), Instructional Coach (IC), TLI Teacher Leader, or secondary Department Chair with expertise in the content area of their team. Together, teams focus on instructional planning and practice, content knowledge development, and student work and data analysis.

During budget development, Principals submit their LEAP plan for SY24-25 via the LEAP Design Tool (more information and a link to the tool will be provided to principals by the Central Services Professional Learning Team in OTL). Principals may choose to largely keep the current LEAP structures at the school and make refinements, or, after considering the efficacy of LEAP this year, they may choose to start anew with a different team and/or LEAP leadership structure. Please refer to the LEAP Design Guide for complete LEAP design guidance.


While this model will look different depending on the subject and grade, every core content teacher will have the opportunity to participate in ongoing professional learning via LEAP.

There are three guiding principles for designing LEAP teams:

  • All core content teachers are on a LEAP team, including Special Education and ESOL teachers.
    • Please refer to the LEAP Design Guide for specific guidance regarding Special Education and ESOL LEAP requirements.
  • Each LEAP team is led by a LEAP leader with expertise in the content area of their team.
    • At the secondary level, a Department Chair may replace a TLI Teacher Leader.
      • What is a TLI Teacher Leader? The Teacher Leadership Innovation (TLI) program is a unique opportunity for teachers and school leaders to design and implement innovative teacher leadership roles that allow a teacher to spend at least 50% of the day teaching and the rest of the day leading other adults in the building. Designed at the school level, with support from Central Services, the TLI roles are specifically tailored to a school’s needs and priorities.
      • For a Teacher Leader role to assume the responsibilities of a LEAP leader, it must include a minimum of 25% release time from teaching duties to do the work of leading adults in the school building. Release time refers to specific periods of the day when TLI Teacher Leaders, who also serve as LEAP leaders, are released from their typical teaching load to perform leadership duties. As LEAP leaders who are also TLI Teacher Leaders, these teachers are still working with students for a significant portion of the day but are also able to leverage their expertise to support their colleagues through the LEAP cycle of professional development.
      • When planning for TLI Teacher Leaders to serve as LEAP leaders, at least 25%, and up to 50%, of a TLI Teacher Leader’s time should be allocated for LEAP-related activities. TLI Teacher Leaders should be included in IMPACT groups 1A, 2C, 2D, 2E, 3E, or 3F. TLI Teacher Leader is an official position designation that can be selected on a school’s budget.
    • Please refer to the LEAP Design Guide for specific guidance regarding release time for TLI Teacher Leaders and/or Department Chairs.
  • Most core content teachers, including Special Education and ESOL teachers, receive a one-on-one coaching touchpoint weekly (at the elementary and middle school levels) or bi-weekly (at the high school level) from their LEAP leader.
    • Please refer to the LEAP Design Guide for specific guidance regarding Inner Core LEAP options and library media specialist LEAP participation.

As part of the WTU Collective Bargaining Agreement (Section, all DCPS schools must have a full-time Instructional Coach, whose sole responsibility shall be to provide professional development in a job-embedded manner and who shall have no evaluative duties and play no role in any teacher’s evaluation. Current guidance from LMER is that this required position cannot be replaced with two part-time Instructional Coaches or two-TLI Teacher Leaders with 50% release time. Most schools will include this Instructional Coach position as a LEAP leader on their LEAP team design plan, but schools are not required to do so.

How Funds Are Allocated

Schools are allocated discretionary funds including student-based budgeting (SBB) local funds and can use these funds to budget for LEAP positions including Assistant Principals, Instructional Coaches, and Teacher Leaders.

Staffing Recommendations

As principals plan for next year’s LEAP teams, they will consider the grade bands for teams, the teachers who are part of those teams, and the LEAP leaders who are leading those teams.

When determining which LEAP leader role to allocate, please keep the following release time and caseload recommendations in mind:


Percentage of Time Dedicated to Teacher Support

Caseload Range for Coaching Touchpoints

Assistant Principal (12-month)


Elementary and Middle School: 5-9; High School: 10-16

Instructional Coach (10-month)


Elementary and Middle School: 8-12; High School: 16-22

TLI Teacher Leader/Department Chair (10-month) with 50% release time*


Elementary and Middle School: 3-6; High School: 4-8

*TLI Teacher Leaders/Department Chairs should be teaching students for at least 50% of the day.

Menu of Options

Schools may select whichever LEAP leader positions aligns best with their school vision, if all ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies teachers (including Special Education and ESL teachers) are a part of a LEAP team and all LEAP teams are within the above teachers-to-leader ratio for observation and feedback.

The following LEAP roles are available to schools:

  • Assistant Principals
    • Assistant Principal – English Language Arts
    • Assistant Principal – Math
    • Assistant Principal – Social Studies
    • Assistant Principal – Science
  • Instructional Coaches
    • Instructional Coach – English Language Arts
    • Instructional Coach – Math
  • TLI Teacher Leaders
    • TLI Teacher Leader – English Language Arts
    • TLI Teacher Leader – Math
    • TLI Teacher Leader – Early Childhood Education
    • TLI Teacher Leader – Special Education
    • TLI Teacher Leader – Science
    • TLI Teacher Leader – Social Studies

Please refer to the LEAP Design Guide for scheduling and release time guidance, as well as sample schedules.

Central Support


To recognize the expanded role taken on by TLI Teacher Leaders, Teacher Leaders receive an annual stipend for their roles. Even with 25-50% release time from teaching duties, the role of a TLI Teacher Leader exceeds normal responsibilities, as TLIs are planning for and leading instruction for students, alongside planning for and leading adult professional development and coaching.

  • TLI stipends are centrally funded with no additional cost to the school.
  • TLI Teacher Leaders who are also secondary Department Chairs will only receive the secondary Department Chair stipend. The amount of the TLI Teacher Leader stipend for SY24-25 has not yet been determined.


  • Content teams provide school support for LEAP leaders to improve the effectiveness of LEAP seminars, data/planning protocols, and coaching touchpoints.
  • Content teams engage with various stakeholders to prioritize content for new LEAP seminars so that their design is responsive to school needs.
  • Content teams plan and facilitate LEAP leader PD at key points throughout the school year. LEAP leader PD provides the opportunity for LEAP leaders to deepen their knowledge of district-wide and cluster-specific priorities. They may include learning walks to gather instructional data on implementation of school priorities and leverage the data gathered to support LEAP Leaders in planning upcoming professional learning for teachers.

Point of Contact

Please reach out to with any questions or concerns.

Helpful Resources

Please refer to the LEAP Design Guide for full guidance and additional resources. Principals will also be contacted via email with further details including a link to the LEAP Team Design Tool.

Arts & Music


Arts education in DC Public Schools cultivates each student’s ability to create and empowers them to use their voice with courage. The Arts develop the critical problem solving and communication skills of students that are vital in creating today’s complex society. Through the DCPS Arts Framework, all students engage with themes across developmental stages, revisiting ideas as they progress and grow through Arts learning. 

DCPS Arts education encompasses Visual Arts, Music, Dance, and Theater—all rooted in the National Core Arts Standards. Certified teachers offer students engagement in the full range of mediums and student agency, ensuring students receive the rigorous DCPS Arts curriculum.

Throughout their time in DCPS, students increase their ability to address complex issues and explore multiple perspectives through the Arts. Students of DCPS Arts education will be innovative in their approach to contemporary society’s most pressing issues, as they become savvy consumers and producers of culture. The Arts offer students multiple modalities to engage with subjects/ideas/hopes, freeing the student’s agency to true authenticity and exploration. Washington, DC is one of the largest Arts career markets in the country, and the DCPS Arts pathway offered in full can set them up to be participants in their Arts economy and community.


Art and Music teachers must be licensed in their content areas. Budget requirements can also be found on the ACE planning page. The following are the required minutes of instruction at each grade level: 

Elementary (PK-5) 

  • Requirement of 45 minutes/week, goal of 90 minutes/week of Visual Art 
  • Requirement of 45 minutes/week, goal of 90 minutes/week of Music

Middle School (6-8) 

  • 6th grade students must be scheduled to take a full year of Art courses that will enable them to explore every Art form that a school offers.
  • All students must take at least one semester of any type of Arts course (Music, Visual Arts, or Performing Arts) in both grades 7 and 8. Students in grades 7 and 8 self-select the Arts pathway that they would like to pursue, and schools must make choices available each year.

High School (9-12) 

  • OSSE requires 0.5 credit of Visual Arts to graduate.
    •  All Visual Arts courses count toward the required 0.5 of Art credit.
  • OSSE requires 0.5 credit of Music to graduate.
    • All Music courses count toward the required 0.5 of Music graduation credit.
  • Schools are required to offer course options for students to fulfill their Visual Art and Music requirements, as well as elective level credits to encourage sustained engagement in the Arts. The pathway documents below offer insight to suggested course sequencing for the Arts in secondary grades. These pathways are designed to ensure students are ready for the AP (Advanced Placement) portfolio requirements.


  • All Arts classes must be taught by a licensed and certified teacher in that content area.
  • Arts courses cannot be withheld as punishment or for remediation/intervention needs.
  • Teaching artists, partner engagements, and after school clubs are not substitutes for Art and Music education requirements.

How Funds Are Allocated

Schools are allocated discretionary funds including student-based budgeting (SBB) local funds and can use these funds to budget for Art and Music teachers and supplies. To promote collaborative budget planning, it is encouraged that schools work closely with the Art and Music teachers in allocating and managing these funds. Additionally, a planning sheet has been provided for teachers and schools to utilize to facilitate organized budgeting discussions and decisions.

Budgeting Recommendations


  • Schools receive discretionary funds and will budget for their Art and Music teachers using these discretionary funds, which include their student-based budgeting (SBB) local funds.
  • Schools are encouraged to hire full-time classroom educators to allow for full programs that include Band and Arts clubs, as well as to promote retention and teacher commitment to the community. In cases of part-time 0.5 FTE teachers, some schools have found success in sharing a full-time teacher across two schools.
  • Community partnerships are for supplementing Art and Music programs at the school, not to replace or supplant the role of the Arts educator.
  • For secondary Music, consider a Choral and Instrumental Music teacher to supply students with both pathways.
  • Students will be able to use the 6th grade year for exploration and then choose an Art form to focus on in 7th and 8th grades or continue to explore different Art forms as their interests develop.
  • Schools that can offer full-year individual Arts courses are encouraged to do so for continuous engagement, especially in Performance Art forms such as Instrumental and Theater.
  • Mixed-grade cohort Arts courses are encouraged (based on experience—i.e., beginner, intermediate, advanced).

Recommended Teacher Staffing for the Arts

Projected Enrollment

Visual Art Teachers

 Music Teachers

Performing Arts Teachers

Less than 400 students

1 teacher

 1 teacher

0.5 teacher

Between 400 and 599 students

*Elementary: 1.5 teachers

*Secondary: 2 teachers

*Elementary: 1.5 teachers

*Secondary: 2 teachers (one Choral and one Instrumental)

1 teacher

Greater than or equal to 600 students

*Elementary: 2 teachers

*Secondary: 3 teachers

*Elementary: 2 teachers (one Choral and one Instrumental)

*Secondary: 3 teachers (one Choral and one Instrumental)

1 teacher


DCPS Art and Music supplies are a yearly expense due to the large population of students served and consumable nature of many of our materials. Schools are required to budget for supplies for classes in all Arts content areas offered. Please work with your teachers using the guidelines below to build your budget lines. Recommendations for budgeting NPS are shown below for each Art and Music teacher:

School Type

Per-Pupil Spending

Elementary School (ES)

$10 (minimum total of $2,000)

Middle School (MS)

$10 (minimum total of $3,000)

High School (HS)

$15 (minimum total of $4,000)

Budget Considerations

  • A minimum budget is set to ensure teachers have the instruments for Music and the large number of consumables for Visual Arts each year, especially in low enrollment schools.
  • Supporting the community in Performing and Visual Arts adds cost to the supply budgets through uniforms, microphones, large scale paints, display boards and more.
  • Instrument repair and replacement is a yearly expense to be considered.

Central Support


  • All schools have access to apply for partnerships for performances, teaching artists, and classroom support from:
    • Washington Performing Arts
    • The Kennedy Center
    • Pulitzer Center
  • Teacher Arts Fellowship: Cultivating Compassionate Classrooms on trauma sensitive teaching in the Arts. Teachers engage in 10 full-day sessions and mentorship for the calendar year, January- December, and receive PLUs for session times.
  • Instrument repairing service and piano tuning service
  • Cornerstone supplies and culminating events for performance and exhibit of artwork provided
  • Digital Arts platforms including:
    • Adobe Creative Suite
    • SmArtMusic
    • Soundtrap


  • Four professional learning days per year
  • LEAP and RISE modules for self-paced professional learning
  • Teacher coaching and leadership opportunities
  • Teacher fellowships in partnership with outside organizations
  • District-wide events
  • Arts curricula and resources
  • New teacher support group
  • Local Arts education partnerships providing teacher workshops and classroom support
  • Curriculum writing institutes

Points of Contact

Helpful Resources

World Languages


DCPS believes that acquisition of multiple languages is an imperative skill for globally competent students, critical to students’ future interactions in college, career, and community. In addition to developing cultural competency, research suggests that language learning correlates with higher academic achievement on standardized test measures (ACTFL). Investment in strong language learning pathways from elementary through high school ensures that students are college and career-ready, and able to communicate and collaborate with culturally diverse audiences, to think globally, and to become active global citizens.

Requirements (by School Type)

  • Elementary schools (optional):
    • World Languages is optional for elementary schools. If offering World Languages, a minimum of 45 minutes each week is recommended. Flexible acceleration minutes can be used for a variety of purposes, such as specialized programming for inner core subjects including World Languages.
  • Middle schools (required):
    • Required: Students must have the opportunity to study a World Language in middle school.Recommended: Students in 7th and 8th grade take 60 hours of instruction in a yearlong format for a total of 120 hours across 7th and 8th grade, which is approximately 45 minutes every other day for an A-Day/B-Day schedule. If students pass both 7th and 8th grade courses with seat hours that are equal to or exceed 120, students may earn 1.0 credit toward the World Language graduation requirement.
    • Recommended: Students in 6th grade are recommended 60 hours of instruction in a yearlong format to provide continuous access to World Languages from elementary through high school, which is approximately 45 minutes every other day for an A-Day/B-Day schedule.
  • High schools (required):
    • To receive a diploma in DC, students must earn 2.0 credits (or Carnegie units) in World Languages.
    • If students earn 1.0 credit in middle school, students should be scheduled in a Level II course in the same language upon entering high school.
  • Secondary schools (required):
    • Dual Language schools with strand dual language programming must have the required World Language program offerings by grade band available for their students in the English-only strand.

How Funds Are Allocated

Schools are allocated discretionary funds including student-based budgeting (SBB) local funds and can use these funds to budget for World Language teachers and supplies.

Budgeting Recommendations

To ensure that students can reach advanced levels of proficiency in the language studied, it is critical that schools consider feeder patterns when hiring and scheduling language offerings, especially middle to high school. If you are considering making changes, reach out to the World Language team at to discuss your options.

To budget for World Language teachers, principals will use discretionary funding including their student-based budgeting (SBB) local funds. The World Language team recommends the below staffing guidance as a best practice and to ensure students have access to 45 minutes of instruction each week.

School Enrollment for Grades K-5

Number of Recommended FTE for World Languages

Up to 250

0.5 FTE – 1.0 FTE


1.0 FTE


1.5 FTE


2.0 FTE

Menu of Options

  • Designating a full 1.0 FTE is the best way to have a robust and successful elementary world language program, as 0.5 FTE positions can potentially create retention and program articulation challenges for students.
  • For schools who do staff a World Language program with a part-time teacher, consider sharing the teacher with a nearby school and coordinate to support smooth transitions for teachers.
  • Consider staffing your program to ensure common planning time for language teachers and some collaboration opportunities with classroom teachers (at the elementary level).
  • World Language can and should be integrated into the school community and curriculum at all grade levels. World Language curricular documents highlight potential collaboration opportunities with other core content areas.

Central Support


The DCPS World Language teams provides PD opportunities including but not limited to:

  • District-wide PD days
  • Optional cohort PD opportunities (e.g., New Teacher Mentor Program, World Language Leadership Academy)
  • Canvas resources: curricular materials, on-demand asynchronous PD resources
  • STAMP Assessment for 8th grade and Level II students
  • Text and digital resources for K-12 elementary programs (reach out to for language/level specific information)

Points of Contact

For questions related to World Language, please contact:

Helpful Resources

To learn more about our program and curricular resources, visit the World Language Canvas page.

Health & Physical Education


Health & Physical Education (HPE) for the District of Columbia Public Schools is an integral part of the total education process. DCPS employs a variety of curricula and tools to teach HPE.

The goal of Health Education is to empower students to become health-literate individuals who have the capacity to obtain, interpret, understand, and apply health information and services. Students will use this knowledge in ways to enhance the health of themselves, their families, and the communities of Washington, D.C.

The goal of Physical Education is to develop physically literate individuals who have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity. A physically literate individual has learned the skills necessary to participate in a variety of physical activities, knows the implications of and activity, is physically fit, and values physical activity and its contributions to a healthy lifestyle.

Healthy Schools Act Definitions

  • “Health education” means instruction of the District of Columbia Health Education Standards.
  • “Physical activity” means bodily movement, including walking, dancing, or gardening.
  • “Physical education” means instruction based on the District of Columbia Physical Education Standards, of which at least 50% of the time is spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity.


  • Grades K-5 Physical Education
    • Requirement of 90 minutes/week, goal of 150 minutes/week
  • Grades K-8 Health Education
    • Requirement of 75 minutes/week
  • Grades 6-8 Physical Education
    • Requirement of 135 minutes/week, goal of 225 minutes/week
  • Grades 9-12 Health Education & Physical Education
    • One full credit of Physical Education: PE1/PE2 and 0.5 credits of Health: P26 are required for graduation per DCMR (District of Columbia Municipal Regulations).

All minutes are based on averages for the week throughout the school year.


  • HPE must be taught by a licensed and certified teacher.
  • HPE cannot be withheld as punishment or for remediation/intervention needs, per DC Code.
  • Recess, dance, JROTC, sports, and other movement-based acts of physical activity are not substitutes for Physical Education requirements.

How Funds Are Allocated

Schools are allocated discretionary funds including student-based budgeting (SBB) local funds and can use these funds to budget for HPE teachers and supplies.

Budgeting Recommendations


Physical Education requires specific consumable and durable supplies to teach content standards. For example, bean bags, assortment of balls, heart-rate monitors, racquets, and fitness equipment. Each set of materials should be enough for one class size, or two class sizes if team teaching. Schools should budget based on the per-pupil amount.


Per-Pupil Amount








Grades K-5 – Personnel Recommendations

School Enrollment for Grades K-5

Number of FTE for HPE

Up to 125












Grades 6-8 – Personnel Recommendations

School Enrollment for Grades 6-8

Number of FTE for HPE

Up to 150
























Menu of Options and Best Practices (by School Type)

  • Best practices:
    • Dually-certified HPE teacher with degree in Physical Education
  • Elementary sample schedules/recommendations
    • Prioritize teaching positions. Please do not remove your Art, Music, or World Language teacher to add a HPE teacher. The district values equity and aims to help develop the whole child through a broad, rich, and engaging curriculum.
    • The law requires PK students to have 60 minutes of physical activity, which can be PE or another type of physical activity depending on scheduling allowability and age-appropriate physical activities.
    • Health (instruction aligned to Health standards) can be taught in elementary grades by the classroom teacher and can count towards the 75-minute requirement.
    • When teaching in person, maximize the HPE teachers’ schedules and use spaces creatively. Many PE standards can be met in classroom sized open spaces, outdoors, and sometimes even in a large hallway.
  • Middle school/EC recommendations
    • Schools can assign teachers to a grade level to reduce content/equipment changes.
    • Schedule planning periods or changeover window to accommodate changes between ES and MS content (EC recommendation).
  • High school recommendations
    • Certified Physical Education teachers with a Red Cross Certified Water Safety Instructor endorsement should only be scheduled for swim classes.
    • Physical Education in high school should be focused on fitness and lifetime sports.
    • Best practice: Health-certified teachers should be dedicated to only health instruction.

Central Support


Physical Education Emerging Leader (PEEL) and Physical Education Leader (PEL) program provides additional PD experiences for select groups of teachers annually, which includes an annual trip to the SHAPE America Conference.

Points of Contact

Helpful Resources

Academic and Creative Empowerment Planning



The District of Columbia Interscholastic Athletic Association (DCIAA) is committed to having a sound interscholastic athletic association. DCPS will: (1) reinforce the concept that interscholastic athletics is a vital, integral part of the total school educational program; (2) emphasize standards of scholarship, sportsmanship, ethical conduct and amateurism; (3) promote and develop educational leadership, physical fitness, athletic excellence and sports participation; (4) initiate, stimulate, and conduct interscholastic athletic programs for student-athletes, and strive to promote equal opportunity to diverse populations and abilities interested in participating in the athletics programs.

Athletics is a vital, integral part of the total school educational program that promotes and supports student-athlete excellence within the school community.  Students that participate in sports are more engaged in school in several categories: higher grade point averages, re-enrollment, attendance, and promotion and graduation.  As a result, a thriving, robust athletic program helps to drive school leaders, recruitment, and retention. 

All public high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools, which are accredited by the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), shall be eligible for membership in DCIAA. To be a DCIAA member school, schools must sponsor at least one athletic team.


All athletic programs that participate in the DCIAA must meet the requirements of Title IX compliance. 

How Funds Are Allocated

High Schools budgeting for an Athletics Coordinator will utilize their discretionary funding including their student-based budgeting (SBB) local funds.

Budgeting Recommendations

Comprehensive and Application High School Athletic & Activities Coordinator

In order to have a successful high school athletics program, schools must have an employee in the role of Athletics & Activities Coordinator. We recommend this employee obtain the role of a full-time Athletics & Activities Coordinator to establish and guide athletic operations within the school and support their coaches and athletic teams. 

The Athletics & Activities Coordinator position is an ET-10 position, which is a full-time position and therefore ineligible for extra duty pay or administrative premium.  The Department of Athletics will not be able to supplement any high school staff members with stipend dollars for the Athletics & Activities Coordinator position. 

Comprehensive and Application High School Staffing Recommendation

The chart below can support decision making on the position of the Athletics & Activities Coordinator at high schools:

Athletics & Activities Coordinator – FTE

Number of Athletic Teams

0.5 Coordinator

8 athletic teams or less

1 Coordinator

9 athletic teams or greater

Opportunity Academy Athletic Coordinator

Through the DCIAA Athletic Extra Duty/Stipend pay process, the Department of Athletics pays the stipend for one Opportunity Academy Athletic Coordinator per school. Opportunity Academy Athletic Coordinators receive this stipend for their role in ensuring their school athletic programs operate efficiently.

Middle and Elementary School Athletic Coordinator

Through the Athletic extra duty/stipend pay process, the Department of Athletics pays the stipend for one middle school and elementary school Athletic Coordinator per school. Athletic Coordinators at the middle/elementary school level receive a stipend for their role in ensuring their school athletic programs operate efficiently.

Role of the Athletics & Activities Coordinator

At DCPS high schools, the Athletics & Activities Coordinator is a full-time position.  Successful, robust athletic programs are guided by Athletics & Activities Coordinators that are available to handle the following day to day tasks (not an exhaustive list):

  • Ensure that athletic programs, student clubs and other extracurricular activities operate efficiently
  • Confirm student-athlete eligibility
  • Manage coach certification and coach pay
  • Manage team rosters in the Athletics tracking system
  • Prep and set up athletic facilities (stadiums/gymnasiums) for practices and contests
  • Uphold and effectively implement the rules and policies associated with the DCIAA
  • Coordinate and oversee equipment and uniform inventory
  • Manage athletic contests practices and events with appropriate personnel
  • Oversee scheduling for athletic teams and contests
  • Manage consolidation of contest gate receipts
  • Determine scheduling and formulate contracts for non-league athletic contests
  • Complete end-of-year modules for Title IX and athletic compliance reports
  • Manage the budget for extracurricular and athletics programs

In addition to the administrative duties to keep the athletic program in compliance, Athletic Coordinators develop strategies for increased participation, support their coaches, are visible and available, and ensure a culture of sportsmanship, teamwork and scholarship are vital components of the athletic program.


Given the dynamic role of the Athletics & Activities Coordinator, it is recommended to limit the additional administrative and other school-based role of the individual. When Coordinators are required to do too much, they become less available, and the overall athletic program suffers. At some schools this has led to compliance issues, important eligibility and participation forms not being turned in, forfeits and team collapses occurring, and student-athletes and coaches suffering by not getting the support they need. Consequently, these negative occurrences impact the future growth and development of the athletic program as well as impact decisions on budgets for maintaining athletic teams and athletic program equipment at the school.

Central Support


The DCPS Department of Athletics budget provides transportation for athletic teams, security at games, team uniforms, athletic equipment, coaches pay, game officials, non-DCPS competition venues, medical services, and championship awards. Only Opportunity Academy, elementary, and middle schools receive Central Services support for a stipend to pay for a staff member to take on the role of Athletic Coordinator.


The DCPS Department of Athletics supports Athletic Directors through monthly meetings, providing professional development specific to the role the athletic director plays in establishing and guiding athletic operations within the school and supporting their coaches and athletic teams. 

Points of Contact

Michael Bryant, Executive Director of Athletics, Office of Secondary Schools –

Helpful Resources

  • DCIAA Handbook: The DCIAA is an athletic conference governed by the rules in our handbook. Please read the handbook for full rules and regulations. The handbook covers several policies including membership, student eligibility, non-league competitions, health and safety, sportsmanship, finances, and sanctions.
  • DCIAA Website


DCPS’ vision for attendance is that every adult makes each student feel welcomed and encouraged to attend school every day. In addition, DC Code and regulations establish specific requirements related to the obligations of schools to ensure attendance intervention and reporting. These requirements are outlined in DCPS’ Attendance Policy. The Attendance Counselor provides school-based support to improve student attendance. The objective of this position is to monitor and support the school’s compliance with DCPS attendance policies and procedures and implementation of truancy and attendance improvement strategies.


All schools must develop a system to adequately oversee attendance intervention and reporting requirements in accordance with DC Code, DCMR (District of Columbia Municipal Regulations), and DCPS’ Attendance Policy.

How Funds Are Allocated

Schools are allocated discretionary funds including student-based budgeting (SBB) local funds and can use these funds to budget for Attendance Counselors. Principals should use the recommendations below to budget for full-time Attendance Counselors or designate staff in the building to complete the necessary attendance tasks depending on their school type and attendance data.

Role of the Attendance Counselor

Attendance Counselor duties can be divided into responsibilities that relate to student interventions and those related to data input and management. Schools must ensure that data management and student intervention responsibilities are outlined in Attendance Counselor job description and the Attendance Implementation Protocol are consistently completed and have a clear owner within the school.

Menu of Options/Budgeting Recommendations

High Schools

It is highly recommended that all high schools budget for an Attendance Counselor; however, Principals may assign the duties to other staff in the building. Opting to assign these duties to another staff should only be done in schools designated as having low attendance needs, based on the qualifications in the following sections.

All Schools

All schools must have designated staff in the building to complete attendance tasks. Principals are strongly encouraged to use the attendance model below to determine adequate attendance staffing for their buildings (using data from the previous two years). As a best practice, it is recommended that designated staff members dedicate approximately seven hours of work time over a six-week period for every chronically absent or truant student, to appropriately prepare for, hold a student attendance conferences, and monitor attendance intervention plans.

High Attendance Needs

If your school is within these thresholds, the following roles and responsibilities are strongly recommended:

  • Secondary schools with 40% or more students who are chronically absent
  • Elementary schools with 17% or more students who are chronically absent 

Examples include but not limited to the following:

  • Attendance Counselor, one full-time employee per ~200 students
    • Example: A school with a 65% chronic absenteeism rate and 800 enrolled students would have four attendance counselors, when following this model
  • Student intervention and data management responsibilities
    • Clerk, Administrative Assistant, or Business Manager
    • At least one per school dedicated to attendance, plus identified backup
  • Social Worker support, as needed
  • Additional identified staff may be needed depending upon the needs of the school

Medium Attendance Needs

If your school is within these thresholds, the following roles and responsibilities are strongly recommended:

  • Secondary schools between 10% and 40% of students who are chronically absent
  • Elementary schools between 5% and 17% of students who are chronically absent

Examples include but not limited to the following:

  • Attendance Counselor, one full-time employee (minimum one with dedicated support from identified attendance designees and Social Worker)
  • Student intervention and data management responsibilities
    • Clerk, Administrative Assistant, or Business Manager (Principal can assign tasks rather than have the role but must ensure primary and backups are identified)
  • Social Worker support, as needed
  • Additional identified staff may be needed depending upon the needs of the school

Low Attendance Needs

If your school is within these thresholds, the following roles and responsibilities are strongly recommended:

  • Secondary schools less than 10% of students who are chronically absent
  • Elementary schools less than 5% of students who are chronically absent

Examples include but not limited to the following:

  • Attendance Counselor or designee
  • Data management and student intervention responsibilities assigned to a staff member(s)
  • Identified back-up POC (Point of Contact)
    • Identified and trained to support, as needed
  • Social Worker support, as needed.

*Please note that schools with significant attendance concerns are strongly encouraged to adhere to these recommendations. In cases where a deviation from these recommendations is requested, a discussion with the Instructional Superintendent will be required.

Central Support

The Attendance Team is a part of the Cluster Support Model with a 2:1 ratio per cluster. The Attendance Specialists work with schools to identify growth areas to create plans for support, training, and coaching of attendance POC, staff, and administration. The Specialists participate in attendance meetings to support teams in identifying student-level and school-level barriers and developing solutions (ex. Agenda development, meeting trackers, in-depth data reviews to focus and monitor attendance teamwork). Additionally, the Specialists coach on strategies to improve Student Attendance Conferences (SAC) processes so schools are prepared to offer more robust support and interventions on strategies to build relationships with families by using DDAC (DCPS Data Analysis Center). Lastly, the team provides district-wide attendance letters, nudge communications, and robo-calls.

Point of Contact

Andrea E. Allen, Director, Attendance and Support Services, Office of Integrity –

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