In June, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education granted Virginia waivers from certain requirements of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB). For detailed information, see Virginia's ESEA Flexibility. In addition, Frequently Asked Questions About Priority Schools (Word) may provide additional details.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) flexibility waiver provisions specify the identification and exit criteria for identification of schools as priority schools:
|Reason for Priority School Identification||Exit Criteria|
|Criterion A||Schools receiving School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds under Section 1003(g) of ESEA in Federal Fiscal Year 2009 (Cohort I) or 2010 (Cohort II) and identified and served as a Tier I or Tier II school||Will exit priority status at the conclusion of implementation of the chosen three-year intervention model|
|Criterion B||Title I high schools with a federal graduation indicator of 60 percent or less for two or more of the most recent consecutive years||Will exit priority status after full implementation of a three year intervention model and sustaining a 10 percent reduction in the percentage of students not earning a standard or advanced diploma within a four year period for two consecutive years|
|Criterion C||Title I schools based on the “all students” performance in reading and/or mathematics performance on federal AMOs||Will exit priority status after full implementation of a three year intervention model and meeting federal AMOs for the “all students” for two consecutive years|
|Criterion D||Title I schools failing to meet the 95 percent participation rate in reading and/or mathematics for three consecutive years||Will exit priority status after full implementation of a three year intervention model and meeting the participation rate for the “all students” for two consecutive years|
A Tier I or Tier II SIG school will continue to be identified as a priority school if it meets Criterion B, C, or D at the conclusion of the three-year SIG model implementation period.
Methodology for Identifying Priority Schools
The following methodology is used to determine the list of priority schools.
- Identify the number of the Title I schools in the state.
- Identify the number of schools that must be identified as priority schools (a number equal to five percent of Title I schools).
- Identify the schools continuing to be served as a Cohort I and II, Tier I or Tier II, SIG schools. (Criterion A)
- Identify the schools that are Title I – participating with an FGI of less than 60 percent over the past two consecutive years. (Criterion B)
- Identify the number of schools that are among the lowest-achieving five percent of Title I schools based on the performance of all students in reading and/or mathematics on federal AMOs. (Criterion C)
- Identify the number of schools that are Title I schools failing to meet the 95 percent participation rate in reading and/or mathematics for three consecutive years. (Criterion D)
Materials include cohort checklists, training materials and resources.
- 2013-14 Cohort I Checklist (Word)
- 2013-14 Cohort II Checklist (Word)
- 2013-14 Cohort IV Checklist (Word) – updated November 2013
- Indistar Requirements for Priority Schools with Strands (Word)
- Assessing Indicator Steps (Word)
- Indistar Cheat Sheet: Non-VFEL (Word)
- 4-Step Process: Aligning Indicator and Task Development to the Research Base Using Indistar (PPT)
- Training resources from Corbett Education Consulting, LLC
- Contractor Resources – includes materials from September 16, 2013 meeting in Williamsburg
- Transformation Toolkit for Implementing the SIG Transformation Model (PDF) – Center on Innovation & Improvement
- Self Assessment, Instructional Indicators from The Mega System, CII (XLS)
- Technical Assistance Workshop – Reforming Instruction (PDF)
- Evidence Based Resources For Keeping Students On Track To Graduation (PDF)
- Handbook on School Improvement Grants – from the Center on Innovation & Improvement (CII)
- School Turnaround Learning Community (STLC), launched by U.S. Department of Education support School Improvement Grant (SIG) recipients and others undertaking rigorous interventions in their lowest performing schools; provides research-based practices and practical examples from states, districts, and schools developing and implementing on-the-ground solutions
- What Works Clearinghouse – provides research on the different programs, products, practices, and policies in education
- Aligning Indicator and Task Development to the Research (PDF)
- See additional Indistar Resources
Guidance and Implementation
Intervention ModelsSchool divisions receiving School Improvement Grant (SIG) 1003(g) funds or Title IA 1003(a) funds for Priority Schools must implement one of the following four USED intervention models in their persistently lowest achieving schools:
- Turnaround Model
- Restart Model
- School Closure
- Transformation Model
- The Reform Models (Word)
- How to Select a School Improvement Model – from the Center on Innovation & Improvement (CII)
- Mass Insight: School Turnaround Models – Emerging Turnaround Strategies and Results (PPT)
Lead Turnaound PartnersSchool divisions with schools newly identified as priority schools will be required to hire a Lead Turnaround Partner to implement, at a minimum, to implement all requirements of the USED turnaround principles.
- New state contract awards for October 1, 2013 – September 30, 2016 (Renewable) in response to RFP# DOE-LASTP-2013-04 will be posted in November 2013, see Low Achieving School Contracts
- Present RFP located at: RFP#DOE-2010-03 Low Achieving Schools Turnaround Partners (PDF)
- Mass Insight: Designing MOUs for Lead Turnaround Partners (PDF)
- Mass Insight: Lead Turnaround Partners (PDF)
- U.S. Department of Education – legislation, regulations and guidance on school improvement
- U.S. Department of Education – Monitoring Plan for Title I 1003g Grant Programs – February 28, 2012 (PDF)
For approved applications from local educational agencies (LEAs) receiving School Improvement Grants (SIG) beginning with federal fiscal year 2009, see Priority Schools Cohort Applications.