Strengthening School Advisory Groups 

Working together to help our students succeed

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Many DC Public Schools have Local School Restructuring Teams, or LSRTs. Others have School Improvement Teams, or SITs. Some LSRTs are robust and add great value to the life of the school; some never meet. Some schools have SITs as they are designated in the No Child Left Behind Law. Others have SITs that are advising the Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization on improvements in their school buildings. Some schools have no advisory bodies at all.

Local School Restructuring Teams were put in place under Superintendent Franklin Smith (1991-1996), and pre-date by several years the No Child Left Behind Act which became law in 2001. The LSRT Guidelines were last updated in 2004, under Interim Superintendent Robert Rice.

While there is currently no consistency across the system with regard to school advisory boards, the desired state is clear to all stakeholder: every school should have an elected body to advise the principal—and that from school to school, these groups should be consistent with respect to name, purpose, composition, and scope of work.


Over the past year DCPS has been soliciting input from community stakeholders on the topic of school advisory groups. This included multiple focus groups, an online survey with nearly one hundred responses, many interviews with some of the most experienced members of the DCPS community and countless informal conversations.

During the school budget development process DCPS learned more about what was working and what was not working with school advisory groups.  LSRT Chairs from around the city gave valuable input about which supports helped them through the process and which areas required more clarity.

In response to all this feedback DCPS embarked on an effort to clarify and strengthen the guidelines that govern LSRTs.  

May 2010 Draft

Based on all of the feedback and discussions from the last year we have compiled a first draft of updated guidelines. This draft is meant to serve as a starting point for discussions on how to make school advisory groups as strong as possible.

Please review the document and provide feedback through email to

We would especially appreciate feedback on the following specific areas of the draft:

  • Convening and Reporting
  • Elections
  • Role of the Principal
  • New name for school advisory groups

Download the first draft of the updated guidelines for school advisory groups.

July 2010 Draft

Based on the feedback we received on our first draft and our continued work with the Washington Teacher’s Union we have compiled a second draft of updated guidelines. This draft is meant to take us a step closer to the final guidelines which will govern school advisory groups for the coming school year.

Please review the second draft and provide feedback through email to

October 2010 Draft

Thank you to all who have provided input into the Local School Advisory Team draft guidelines.  All of your work has contributed to the development of updated guidelines that build on the ideas of the original LSRT guidelines while addressing the areas that needed more clarity.

Please review the latest draft of the guidelines.

These guidelines are not final.  We continue to work closely with the Washington Teachers' Union and anticipate final guidelines will be posted soon.

Please contact with questions or concerns.

Looking Ahead

These guidelines are only one piece of the desired state—that every school will have the benefit of a school advisory board that is of a consistent model and that is well-functioning. The other parts are professional development for principals, and continuing professional development for school advisory board members.

We expect these guidelines to be a living document, in much the same way that the DCPS Five-Year Action Plan is. Annually, at the end of the school year, we will ask for feedback from all stakeholders and make revisions for the year going forward. In that way, we will all benefit from learning as we go.

Inside DCPS Highlights.


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