Building A Budget With Discretionary Dollars

Formerly Allocated

Technology Purchasing 


To compete in a global workforce, students must be equipped with the skills to use technology effectively. Technology in schools must also support instructional goals and online assessments. In calendar year 2021, schools were asked to use their funding to replace all Windows 7 staff and student devices that are not eligible for upgrade to Windows 10. Schools must continue to prioritize the replacement of any critical Windows 7 devices as soon as possible as OCTO will no longer permit Windows 7 devices access to the network due to security risks. To ensure all DCPS students have equitable access to technology, DCPS Central Office will continue to provide primary student and teacher (WTU member) laptops centrally through the Empowered Learners initiative (ELi). However, schools will remain responsible for the replacement of out-of-lifecycle shared student devices (e.g., computer lab/library/media center devices, etc.) and any non-teacher/admin staff devices.

As part of the district’s multi-year approach to refreshing classroom interactive boards in all schools, DCPS Central Office will continue the deployment of classroom interactive boards (SMART boards) in select schools in FY23. Schools will be prioritized based on the least number of functional boards.

Budgeting Recommendations

Schools should budget for the replacement of the following technology:

  • Critical Windows 7 devices used by staff, students (e.g., computer labs), and/or other essential purposes (e.g., auditorium A/V controls, libraries/media centers, security cameras computers, HVAC controllers, building automation devices, etc.)
  • Non-teacher/admin staff devices not provided centrally
  • Out-of-lifecycle shared or secondary student devices in computer labs, libraries, and media centers.
  • Additional accessories and supplies such as PARCC assessment headsets, device charging adapters (chargers), laptop batteries, desktop printer ink/toner, etc.

Technology Purchasing Guidance

A school’s non-personnel funds and At-Risk Technology funds may be used to purchase the following: 

Student computers 

In 2019, DCPS announced the Empowered Learners Initiative (ELi), a three-year commitment to ensure a 1:1 student device ratio in grades 3-12. In School Year 2020-2021 and beyond, DCPS will ensure a 1:1 ratio in grades 3-12 and 3:1 ratio in grades PK-2, schools should consider requirements for any additional student device needs for shared spaces, such as in computer labs or library/media center devices. Purchasing these devices is the school’s responsibility. To ensure effective security and compliance with standards, DCPS and the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) will only support student devices purchased from approved devices in the Purchasing Guide for Computers found at

Teacher computers 

For SY21-22, DCPS purchased and deployed teacher laptop devices centrally. This summer, we will purchase teacher laptops for SY2022-23 to replace out-of-lifecycle teacher devices and to ensure that all teachers have a functioning device to support teaching and learning. Schools will receive additional devices based on the number of teaching staff after accounting for centrally purchased staff devices in the environment. As a result of this investment, schools are encouraged to prioritize technology funds for non-teacher technology needs. Schools should plan to purchase devices for administrative staff and non-WTU instructional staff as needed, using the DCPS Technology Purchasing Guide to select devices.

Administrative (Non-Teacher) computers 

DCPS recommends replacement of each administrative and teacher computer every four years. Please note that Microsoft support and security updates for Windows 7 devices ended on January 15, 2020. Schools must replace any Windows 7 devices that are not eligible for upgrade as soon as possible or they will be blocked from accessing the school network. Please click here to view the communication shared with schools in early 2020 regarding Windows 7 support. To ensure effective security and compliance with standards, DCPS and the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) will only support staff devices purchased from approved devices in the Purchasing Guide for Computers found at The guide includes instruction on how to purchase devices.

Supplies to support technology 

At-risk funds can be used to purchase supplies to support technology. These items could include laptop power cords, laptop batteries, and bulbs for existing interactive boards. This funding should not be used to purchase batteries and small accessories that can be purchased with office supply funds. 

Point of Contact 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Will DCPS central office continue to purchase student and teacher devices?Yes, DCPS central office will invest in student and educator technology in the upcoming budget cycle to ensure we maintain a 1:1 ratio in grades 3-12 and 3:1 in grades PK-2. Additionally, DCPS aims to replace approximately 1500 classroom interactive boards in calendar year 2022.
  • What student device will DCPS be purchasing?We will continue to provide the Microsoft Surface Go for grades K-8 and Apple iPad for PK grades. We are assessing an alternative device for high school grades and a final model will be announced in the coming months. These devices will be LTE enabled and be able to support learning at home.
  • Why is DCPS not purchasing 1:1 devices in all grade levels?DCPS is building on the investment made during COVID-19 while also replacing devices that will be out of lifecycle in SY2022-23 to ensure we meet our commitment for year 3 of the Empowered Learners Initiative (ELi). This plan includes a contingency reserve of devices and DCPS will have over 45,000 devices available and will be prepared for a pivot to virtual learning. At the same time, we are making an additional investment to ensure that all teachers have a functional device for teaching and learning.
  • What staff will receive this device?DCPS will purchase devices centrally so that all teachers (i.e. WTU staff) have a dedicated and in lifecycle device. Schools will receive devices based on the number of WTU staff after accounting for devices provided centrally and through any recent school modernizations. Schools should plan to purchase devices for administrative staff and non-WTU instructional staff as needed using school budgets. Schools must plan to replace any Windows 7 devices for SY2021-22.
  • What device will DCPS purchase for teachers?DCPS will continue to purchase the Dell 7320 as our standard teacher device.
  • When will student and teacher devices arrive? DCPS is leveraging funds available in FY22 to procure devices. We aim to have devices arrive in schools before school year 22-23 starts but this will depend on completion of the procurement process and availability of device inventory from suppliers. We will share more specific timeline once the procurement process is complete.

Core Content

Program Purpose

Core content teachers play an integral role in ensuring that every school guarantees 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
  • Elementary Mathematics
  • Science
  • Secondary English Language Arts
  • Secondary Mathematics
  • Social Studies

Program Requirements

School staffing plans must ensure that school leaders can meet the scheduling guidelines.

  • SY22-23 Elementary School Scheduling Policy and Guidance
  • SY22-23 Middle School Scheduling Policy and Guidance
  • Graduation Requirements (5-A DCMR § 2203)

Budgeting Recommendations

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


Program Purpose

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 SY22-23 via the LEAP Design Tool (more information and a link to the tool will be provided to Principals by the Central Office 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.

Program 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 ESL teachers.
    • Please refer to the LEAP Design Guidefor specific guidance regarding Special Education and ESL 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.
    • 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 ESL 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 Guidefor 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 percent 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:


% Time Dedicated to Teacher Support

Caseload Range for Coaching Touchpoints

Assistant Principal


Elementary and Middle School: 5-9

High School: 10-16

Instructional Coach


Elementary and Middle School: 8-12

High School: 16-22

TLI Teacher Leader/ Department Chair 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.

Menus 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
    • TLI Teacher Leader – Culture

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 being 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 SY22-23 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.

Points 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.


Visual Arts, Music, and Performing Arts

Program Purpose

Arts education in DC Public Schools cultivates each student’s ability to create and empowers them to use their voice with courage. DCPS Arts develops the critical problem solving and communication skills of students that are vital in creating today’s complex society. Through the Framework for Arts Learning, 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 arts 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.

Program Guidance


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 Grades (6-8) 

  • Requirement of one semester (or the equivalent) each year in Visual Art 
  • Requirement of one semester (or the equivalent) each year in Music

High School (9-12) 

  • OSSE requires 0.5 credit of visual arts to graduate.
    • Options include but are not limited to: Art A/B, Ceramics, Cinematic Arts, Drawing and Painting, and Sculpture. All arts courses count toward the required 0.5 of art and music graduation credit, required for students to graduate.
  • OSSE requires 0.5 credit of music to graduate.
    • Options include but are not limited to: Concert Band/Orchestra/Choir (I-IV), Piano/Guitar Lab, Computer Music Tech, Jazz Ensemble, General Music, and Bach to Rap. All music courses count toward the required 0.5 of music graduation credit, required for students to graduate.
  • Schools are required to offer course options for students to fulfill their visual art and music requirement, 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 arts 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.

Budgeting Recommendations


  • Schools receive discretionary funds and will budget for their music and arts 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 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.

Recommended Teacher Staffing for the Arts:

Projected Enrollment:

Visual Art Teachers

 Music Teachers

Performing Arts Teachers

Less than 400 students

4 Related Arts Teachers

 1 teacher

0.5 teacher

Between 400 and 599 students

1.5 teachers elementary

2 teachers secondary

1.5 teachers elementary

2 teachers secondary (one choral & one instrumental)

1 teacher

Greater than or equal to 600 students

2 teachers elementary

3 teachers secondary

2 teachers elementary

(One choral & one instrumental)

3 teachers secondary

(One choral & two 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. Recommended budgeting supplies NPS as shown below for each Art and Music:

School/Student Type

Per Pupil Spending

Elementary School (ES)

$10.00 (minimum of $2000)

Middle School (MS)

$10.00 (minimum of $3,000)

High School (HS)

$15.00 (minimum 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 performances 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 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.
  • 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 Language

Program Purpose

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.

Program Guidance

Requirements by School Type

  • Elementary School (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 School (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 School:
    • 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
    • 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.

Recommendations on how to budget for this program

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

# of Recommended FTE for World Languages

Up to 250

0.5 FTE – 1.0 FTE


1.0 FTE


1.5 FTE


2.0 FTE

Menus 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 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 (i.e., New Teacher Mentor Program, GLOBE Fellowship)
  • Canvas resources: curricular materials, on-demand asynchronous PD resources

Points of Contact

For questions related to World Language, please contact:

Helpful Resources

Health & Physical Education

Program Purpose

Health and 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 health and physical education.

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 benefits from involvement in various types of physical activities, participates regularly in physical activity, is physically fit, and values physical activity and its contributions to a healthful lifestyle.

Healthy Schools Act


  • 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.

Program Guidance


  • 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
    • 75 minutes of health education in grades K-8.
  • Grades 9-12 Health Education and Physical Education

All minutes are based on average for the week throughout the school year


  • Health and PE must be taught by a licensed and certified teacher
  • Health and PE cannot be withheld as punishment or for remediation/intervention needs, per DC Code.

Recess, dance, 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 a per pupil amount.

School Type

Per Pupil Spending

Elementary School (ES)


Middle School (MS)


High School (HS)


Grades K-5 – Personnel Recommendations

School Enrollment

# of FTE for HPE

Up to 125












Grades 6-8 – Personnel Recommendations to meet Healthy Schools Act

School Enrollment for Grades 6-8

# of FTE for HPE

Up to 150
























Menus of Options and Best Practices by School Type

  • Best practices:
    • Dually-certified Health and Physical Education 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 PE 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 a large hallway.
      • Sample Schedule 1
      • Sample Schedule 2
    • 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 with 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 teacher 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


Program Purpose

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.

Program Guidance


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.

Recommendations on how to budget for this program

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 and 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

1 Coordinator

9 Athletic Teams or greater

.5 Coordinator

8 Athletic Teams or less

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 & 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 and Activities Coordinator

At DCPS high schools, the Athletics and Activities Coordinator position is a full-time position.  Successful, robust athletic programs are guided by Athletic and 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
  • Student-athlete eligibility
  • Coach certification and coach pay
  • Manage team rosters in Athletics Tracking System
  • Prep and setup 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
  • Manages consolidation of contest gate receipts
  • Determines scheduling and formulates 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 and Activity Coordinators, 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 turned in, forfeits and team collapses occur, and student-athletes and coaches suffer 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 Office 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 DCIAA Athletics Handbook for full rules and regulations. The handbook covers a number of policies including membership, student eligibility, non-league competitions, health and safety, sportsmanship, finances, and sanctions.

DCIAA Website


Attendance Counselors

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 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.

Menus of Options/Budgeting Recommendations

High Schools

It is highly recommended that all high schools budget for an attendance counselor; however, Principals may petition to 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 three 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

Secondary Schools with 40% or more students who are chronically absent

Elementary Schools with 17 % or more students who are chronically absent 

  • 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.
  • Role: Student intervention responsibilities
  • Clerk, Admin. Assistant, or Business Manager
  • At least one per school dedicated to attendance, plus identified backup
  • Role: Data management responsibilities
  • Social worker support, as needed
  • Additional identified staff may be needed depending upon the needs of the school

Medium Attendance Needs

Secondary Schools between 10% and 40% of students who are chronically absent

Elementary Schools between 5% and 17% of students who are chronically absent

  • Attendance counselor, one full time employee (minimum one with dedicated support from identified attendance designees and social worker)
  • Role: Student intervention responsibilities
    • Clerk, Admin. Assistant, or Business Manager (principal can assign tasks rather than have the role— but must ensure primary and backups are identified)
  • Role: Data management responsibilities
    • Social worker support, as needed

Low Attendance Needs

Secondary Schools less than 10% % of students who are chronically absent

Elementary Schools less than 5% of students who are chronically absent

  • Attendance counselor or designee
    • Role: Data management and student intervention responsibilities
  • Identified back-up POC (Point of Contact)
    • Identified and trained to support, as needed

Central Office Supports

Central Office provides district-wide attendance letters, post cards, and Robo Calls. The attendance team also provides DDAC (DCPS Data Analysis Center) for data research.

Point of Contact 

Andrea E. Allen, Director, Attendance and Support Services, Office of the Chief Equity Officer,


Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM)

Program Purpose

The Schoolwide Enrichment Model (SEM) is a pedagogical framework used to develop the full potential of the student through an inquiry-based, student-choice driven approach that leads to creative-productive giftedness, increased enjoyment, and student satisfaction with the learning experience. Based on the belief that all students have gifts and talents, Enrichment Resource Teachers operationalize the SEM at schools.

How Funds Are Allocated

In FY23, funds for a SEM Enrichment Resource Teacher are not specifically allocated to schools. K-8 Schools who wish to participate in the SEM will budget for the program using their discretionary funding including student-based budgeting (SBB-local) funds. To fully implement the SEM, we recommend hiring 1 (one) ET-15 FTE SEM Enrichment Resource Teacher who should have at least 80% of their focus be on implementation of the SEM.

How the Program is Implemented

Enrichment Resource Teachers serve as enrichment specialists operating within the pedagogical framework known as the SEM. Enrichment Resource Teachers primarily provide inquiry-based facilitation as well as some direct instruction for individual students or small groups of students. This instruction can occur in a pullout or scheduled-class format.

SEM teachers also plan enrichment opportunities such as field trips or recruiting speakers for the whole school. The Enrichment Resource Teacher serves as a liaison to families, to the community, and they serve as an integral part of a school’s Response to Intervention (RTI) efforts.

Menus of Options

If a school would like to implement aspects of the SEM in their school but does not have the ability to staff an Enrichment Resource Teacher position, they may create a SEM committee to organize school-wide aspects of the SEM.

  • A SEM committee may organize and manage school-wide enrichment activities, clusters as well as student showcases. A SEM committee typically consists of a combination of administrators, instructional leaders, and/or teachers from various content areas and grade levels who are enthusiastic about SEM to coordinate enrichment opportunities for all students in the school.
  • These opportunities could be for small or large groups of students in the form of one-time activities or weekly school-wide enrichment clusters. The point of contact for the SEM committee will communicate and collaborate with Central Office staff for training and resources.

Central Support


Contingent on available funding, the Office of Teaching and Learning supports teacher and administrator attendance at the Schoolwide Enrichment Model training at the University of Connecticut, held each summer. Each spring, an interest survey is sent to SEM administrators and contacts to gauge interest in attending this training. Once the registration and other costs have been confirmed, interested staff are notified if funds are available. Priority is given to participants and/or schools who have not attended in the past.


The Office of Teaching and Learning provides additional support of year-round professional development and coaching as well as providing any available curricular and instructional resources. In order to receive these resources, please contact the Central Services POC below to be added to the SEM cohort.

Points of Contact

Helpful Resources

Pathways Programming

Program Purpose

DCPS continues to prioritize supporting over-aged and under-credited students towards earning a high school diploma and achieving postsecondary success through Pathways programming at high schools.

Pathways Coordinators work directly with a caseload of over-aged and/or under-credited students to ensure they understand what they need to graduate and are receiving the right supports and services. They also work across departments within the schools to streamline efforts and lead programming to help all students get and stay on-track towards graduation.

How Funds Are Allocated

High Schools and Opportunity Academies no longer receive a direct allocation for a Pathways Coordinator. Principals may use discretionary funding to budget for this coordinator or other staff member to maintain duties of Pathways Programming.

Budgeting Recommendations/Menus of Options

Pathways Coordinator positions are full time roles that should not be combined with other positions at the school. The Pathways Coordinator is a dedicated staff member charged with ensuring all students who are off-track to graduation complete individualized learning plans, are scheduled properly, and have the supports they need to be successful. The Pathways Coordinator collaborates with school staff (e.g., school counselors, social workers, College and Career Coordinators, etc.) to monitor the adjusted cohort graduation rate report and individual progress towards graduation to help the school leadership develop strategies to support all students who are off-track. They are also tasked with creating, leading, and monitoring school-level initiative and programming that support off-track or at-risk students.

Principals can tailor the position to their school needs; an example of core roles and responsibilities is below.

Pathways Supports and Responsibilities

Manage caseload of off-track or at-risk students to monitor and improve outcomes

Create strengths-based intervention plans for students on caseload

Serve as Twilight Coordinator and/or Credit Recovery coordinator or otherwise oversee recovery programming

Work with student support team(s) at school to support intervention efforts around attendance, behavior, and academics

Monitor disengaged student list and lead efforts to locate and reengage students

Facilitates afterschool events, special events, field trips, and incentives to help students work towards their goals

Monitor adjusted cohort graduation rate report

Develop school-wide strategies to support all students who are off track

Meet with students individually and in small groups to support goals

Connect students with resources


Central Support


Pathways Coordinators are provided a request form and may request funding from the central office POC up to $1,500 per year to support approved programmatic activities at their school


Central Office provides:

  • Monthly professional development meetings for Pathways Coordinators along with professional development opportunities created by other Central Office teams– e.g., Counseling, College and Career Prep.
  • Data and guidance to help Pathways Coordinators identify and monitor their student caseload and overall school performance on key metrics.

Points of Contact

  • Liz Wiemers Smith, Director, Student Engagement, Graduation Excellence, Office of Secondary Schools,

Back To Budget Guide Homepage