School Improvement Grants (SIG)
The purpose of these funds is to turn around the lowest five percent of
persistently lowest achieving Title I schools and Title I-eligible secondary
schools, so that these schools significantly raise student achievement and exit
improvement status. More information may be found at the
U.S. Department of
Schools eligible to apply for the grant must have been identified as Priority schools; these schools are among the lowest five percent of schools in the state based on state assessment results. Other factors that could be considered when selecting grant winners included the geographic distribution of Priority schools, the number of schools served, and the size of the schools. Additionally, school districts must have (a) demonstrated greatest need; (b) provided evidence of strongest commitment to use SIG funds to substantially raise student achievement and, if applicable, graduation rates; and (c) exhibited capacity to implement and sustain reforms over time.
Based on federal guidelines, SIG funds are used in Washington State to:
- Provide financial resources to qualifying school districts to implement
selected intervention model(s) in identified Priority schools with strict
fidelity, per federal regulations.
- Provide technical assistance and training to use
Academic Development Institute's
evidence-based Indistar® online action-planning tool to post intervention plans,
monitor progress, and provide evidence of implementation and impact of
- Build school and LEA capacity to implement one of the four intervention
models prescribed in federal guidelines; descriptions of the four intervention
- Develop effective structures and conditions in schools and their districts
essential for continuous improvement of teaching and learning and to sustain
reforms after the funding period ends.
This is the third cohort of schools (Cohort III) to be awarded federal SIG funding in Washington State. Eighteen schools from nine districts (Cohort I) received SIG funding for 2010 through 2013, and ten schools from ten districts (Cohort II) received SIG funding for 2011 through 2014. Similar to Cohort III, Cohort I and Cohort II schools and their districts used SIG funds in order to turn around school performance and improve student achievement.
Districts selected to receive SIG funds are required to adopt one of four federal intervention models in their identified school(s):
- Turnaround: Replace the principal, rehire no more than 50 percent of
the staff and grant the new principal sufficient operational flexibility
(including in staffing, calendars/time and budgeting) to fully implement a
comprehensive approach to substantially improve student outcomes.
- Restart: Convert the school or close and reopen it under a charter
school operator, a charter management organization, or an education management
organization that has been selected through a rigorous review process.
- School closure: Close the school and enroll the students who attended
that school in other schools in the district that are higher achieving.
- Transformation: Implement each of the following strategies:
(a) replace the principal and take steps to increase teacher and school leader
effectiveness; (b) institute comprehensive instructional reforms; (c) increase
learning time and create community-oriented schools; and (d) provide operational
flexibility and sustained support.