SISEP eNotes: February 2015

Date Published: 2015-02-11


SISEP eNotes

Notes, News and Discussion from the
State Implementation & Scaling-up of Evidence-Based Practices Project

February 2015

The District Capacity Assessment

Ward, St. Martin, Duda, Ingram-West, Tedesco, Putnam, Buenrostro, & Chaparro, 2015.


SISEP has released a new version (6.0) of the District Capacity Assessment (DCA) along with an online short course to train DCA administrators.  The DCA is an action assessment designed to help district leaders and staff precisely align resources with intended outcomes and develop action plans to support the use of effective innovations.  Online training and access to the DCA is currently free to any district in the United States.

Schools are expected to use innovations to improve classroom instruction, build an effective and positive school climate and achieve student outcomes.  Districts are expected to support schools in these efforts.  When districts and schools work together well, students meet or exceed grade level expectations.  Without these cooperative and aligned supports, inequities are the result (Skiba, et al., 2013; Fuchs & Deshler, 2007). 

The primary purpose of the District Capacity Assessment (DCA) is to assist school districts to implement evidence-based practices that benefit students.  The capacity of a district to facilitate building-level implementation refers to the systems, activities, and resources that are necessary for schools to successfully adopt and sustain practices and innovations. 

Improvements in version 6.0 of the DCA include:

  • Expanded scoring rubric for each item
  • Improved clarity and conciseness of items
  • Reduction in the number of items
  • New resources such as Glossary & Capacity Action Plan template

The SISEP center recommends the DCA be administered by a trained administrator.  To gain access to the online version of the tool (at, participants must first complete the DCA Administrator Training online (approximately 1 hour). 


Learn More & Access the DCA


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Fuchs, D. and Deshler, D. D. (2007), What We Need to Know About Responsiveness To Intervention (and Shouldn't Be Afraid to Ask). Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 22: 129–136. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-5826.2007.00237.x
Skiba, R. J., Chung, C. G., Trachok, M., Baker, T., Sheya, A., & Hughes, R. (2013). Where should We Intervene?. Closing the School Discipline Gap: Equitable Remedies for Excessive Exclusion, 132.