School Improvement Grants

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School Improvement Grants (SIGs), authorized under Section 1003 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), are grants awarded to local educational agencies (LEAs) to support schools identified for improvement. The Office of School Quality SIG grants allocates Title I Part A set aside funds to the identified schools through a competitive grant program known as School Improvement Grants (SIG). The SIG grants allocate funds to the identified schools to provide resources and implement sustainable, strategic improvement strategies focused on substantially raising students' achievement.

School Improvement Identification under ESSA

ESSA requires the identification of the following:

  • The lowest 5% of Title I schools based on performance for all students, and
  • All schools, having a graduation class, with a federal four-year cohort graduation rate below 67%, for comprehensive support and improvement.
  • Schools identified for targeted support and improvement due to low-performing subgroups (reporting groups) may also be identified for comprehensive support if the school fails to improve over time.

ESSA also requires the identification of schools that are:

  • Consistently underperforming — any school with one or more consistently underperforming subgroups (reporting groups) of students for targeted support and improvement; or
  • Low-performing — any school in which one or more subgroups (reporting groups) are performing at or below the summative level of performance of all students in any school identified for comprehensive support, for additional targeted support and improvement.

Federal Accountability

VDOE: Federal Accountability provides additional information and resources regarding:

  • Federal Accountability Performance Indicators
  • Virginia’s ESSA state plan
  • A listing of schools identified for Support and Improvement
  • Virginia’s Process for the identification of schools for Support and Improvement by federal identification category
    • Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CSI)
    • Targeted Support and Improvement (TSI)
    • Additional Targeted Support and Improvement (ATSI)
  • Federal Targets
    • Reading
    • Mathematics
    • Chronic Absenteeism
    • Federal Four-Year Graduation Rate
    • English Learner Progress
  • Exit Criteria

School Improvement Grant (SIG) Applications

The LEA’s SIG application proposals should specifically address how the school and the district will:

  • Involve the entire school community: everyone affected by the school.
  • Focus on two types of data — data on student achievement and organizational conditions
  • Identify and address the causes, not the symptoms, of underperformance through the alignment and implementation of research and evidence-based interventions
  • Development of processes and protocols to monitor the implementation of the improvement plans

Applications submitted to the Office of School Quality, for consideration of school improvement funds, should also include details in their proposal addressing:

  • A description of the activities that will be supported with school improvement funds
  • The timeline for implementing those activities
  • How such timeline will ensure full implementation of the comprehensive or targeted support and improvement plan
  • How those activities will support successful implementation of comprehensive or targeted support and improvement plans