A grand total of 15 schools from 15 districts applied for School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding for the 2011-12 school year. A total of 10 schools from ten districts were approved to receive School Improvement Grants. Included among these ten schools were four Required Action Districts (RAD) with schools identified in greatest need of improvement.
The purpose of these funds is to turn around the bottom 5% of persistently low-achieving Title I schools and Title I-eligible secondary schools, so that these schools make Adequate Yearly Progress and exit improvement status.
Those schools funded with School Improvement Grants are now known as MERIT schools. MERIT stands for Models of Equity and Excellence through Rapid Improvement and Turnaround.
The four Required Action Districts are:
This subset of six SIG grantees, totaling $4.5 million of $7.2 million in SIG funding available for the 2011-12 school year, will be used to improve student achievement. The six districts are:
Recipients of the School Improvement Grants had to demonstrate a strong commitment to one of four intervention models: turnaround, restart, closure or transformation. The overall goal of the program is to understand which practices produce the most significant improvements in student achievement, specifically those practices that reflect the diversity of schools, such as those serving Title I populations and those serving large populations of traditionally underserved groups, such as Native American students, Latino students, ELL students and poor students.
The selection of the six districts involved a complex process involving many steps. First, an independent organization reviewed each school eligible for the grants on its classroom and school practices. That review was shared with the school and the district. Grant applications were reviewed by multiple reviewers, and interviews with all districts also were conducted.
Districts with Title I schools in a step of improvement that will not be receiving grants will work with OSPI to find services available to help them through OSPI’s Washington Improvement and Implementation Network (WIIN), such as district-level reviews, math and reading program reviews, coaching for instructional leaders and online classroom data collection.
Unfunded District Applications:
The preceding information is posted to this Web site as required by the U.S. Department of Education: Guidance on School Improvement Grants Under Section 1003(g) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (pg. 69 (I-6))