Program Description: School Improvement Grants (SIG) are used to improve student achievement in Title I LEAs. As States compete for the funds, school districts (LEAs) must identify the schools they want to transform, and then determine which of the four following models is most appropriate. If a school has begun implementation of one of these four models or components of one of these models within the last two years, it may apply to use SIG funds to continue to implement the full model.
To drive school improvement funds to LEAs with the greatest need for those funds, the Secretary is requiring each SEA to identify three tiers of schools:
Once an SEA has an approved application, an LEA that wishes to receive a School Improvement Grant must submit an application to its SEA identifying which Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III schools it commits to serve and how it will use school improvement funds in its Tier I and Tier II schools to implement one of the following four school intervention models intended to improve the management and effectiveness of these schools:
Turnaround model, which includes, among other actions, replacing the principal and rehiring no more than 50 percent of the school’s staff, adopting a new governance structure, and implementing an instructional program that is research-based and vertically aligned from one grade to the next as well as aligned with a State’s academic standards.
Restart model, in which an LEA converts the school or closes and reopens it under the management of a charter school operator, a charter management organization (CMO), or an education management organization (EMO) that has been selected through a rigorous review process.
School closure, in which an LEA closes the school and enrolls the students who attended the school in other, higher-achieving schools in the LEA.
Transformation model, which addresses four specific areas critical to transforming persistently lowest-achieving schools.
USDE has fully aligned the school intervention models and related definitions across the Race to the Top, the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund Phase II, and the School Improvement Grants programs to make it easier for States to develop and implement consistent and coherent plans for turning around their persistently lowest-achieving schools.
Please refer to the MDE Turnaround Schools website for more information.
Steve Dibb, 651-582-8693
Jan Steppe, 651-582-8686