In December 2018, OSSE launched the new DC School Report Card, which includes the School Transparency and Reporting (STAR) Framework scores and rating, and the Investment in Schools grant – an $11 million investment to dramatically support the city’s lowest performing schools. Learn more about:
School Support under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)
- Dear Colleague Letters from Superintendent Kang: October 2018 | February 2018 | July 2017
- School Support Designations: What are the categories and how are schools identified?
- School Support Requirements: What are designated schools required to do?
- Investment in Schools Grant: What funding is available to support schools?
- Required Templates – Needs Assessment, Resource Equity Analysis, School Plan: What is the format that identified schools must use to meet requirements and by when?
- Resources: ESSA School Improvement Overview | Investment in Schools Frequently Asked Question
Information on Prior School Improvement Programs
OSSE worked with hundreds of stakeholders to design and refine DC’s ESSA State Plan. In line with federal requirements, in our plan DC committed to designate schools into support and improvement status categories based on their performance. In December 2018, OSSE identified schools in the following categories:
Per federal law, LEAs with schools identified in school support and improvement categories are responsible for a number of requirements.
|Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CS) schools||
|Targeted Support and Improvement (TS) schools||
ESEA 111(d) requires that for each CS school, LEAs must complete a Needs Assessment and a School Improvement Plan. LEAs with at least one CS school and more than one school overall in the LEA must also complete a Resource Equity Analysis. OSSE has developed templates to meet these three requirements.4 CS1 schools and their LEAs are required to utilize these templates. LEAs with CS2 schools may submit an alternative template to OSSE review for and approval by Feb. 28, 2019.
Schools identified as TS should expect additional guidance on requirements to be provided by their LEA.
OSSE will invest $11 million over three years to support the lowest performing schools in DC in their improvement efforts. Contingent on federal funding from Title I, Part A and LEAs submitting applications aligned to requirements, OSSE will support all CS1 schools and their LEAs to work with their communities to urgently improve educational outcomes for students.
Investment in Schools Grant: Year One: Fiscal Year (FY) 2019
LEAs with CS1 school(s) identified were eligible to apply for the first year of Investment in Schools funds in December 2018 when designations are announced, with applications due by Feb. 28, 2019 in the Enterprise Grants Management System (EGMS). As part of FY 2019 Investment in Schools LEA Application, LEAs must outline their plans to complete and submit by no later than May 31, 2019, the three components described in more detail above and below: the Needs Assessment, Resource Equity Analysis, if applicable, and the School Improvement Plan. LEAs must submit completed Needs Assessments, School Improvement Plans, and a Resource Equity Analysis, if applicable, by the May 2019 deadline to be eligible for FY20 funds.
For each CS school, LEAs are required to complete and submit a Needs Assessment and School Improvement Plan. The Resource Equity Analysis is designed for an LEA to analyze how resources are allocated to CS school(s) as compared to the other schools in the LEA. Therefore, if an LEA with a CS school is a single-site LEA, this requirement is not applicable.
To provide guidance while also leaving room for flexibility, OSSE is naming three critical levers – People, Instruction, and Structures – that each School Improvement Plan must address and that funding is available to support. School Improvement Plans must include evidence-based strategies and interventions for each area. Each plan must also describe the overall vision and goals for the school, how the LEA will determine whether the school is making progress, and how stakeholders will be involved in an ongoing manner.
ESEA 111(d) requires for each CS school, LEAs complete a Needs Assessment, Resource Equity Analysis (if applicable), and School Improvement Plan. CS1 schools and their LEAs are required to utilize OSSE’s templates. LEAs with CS2 schools may submit an alternative template to OSSE review for and approval by Feb. 28, 2019. More detail and the OSSE required template for each requirement due May 31, 2019, is provided below:
|Needs Assessment||For each school, engage and gather perspectives from key stakeholders; review data and other qualitative evidence over time; and analyze root causes and areas for change.||LEA leads process for each CS school and submits completed Needs Assessment using the required template to OSSE by May 31, 2019 (required even if opting not to apply for funding).|
|Resource Equity Analysis||Document expenditures for every school in the LEA as well as centralized LEA spending. Includes breakout of federal and local funding sources and grant funding.||LEAs with at least one CS school and more than one school overall in the LEA must submit a completed Resource Equity Analysis using the required template to OSSE by May 31, 2019 (required even if opting not to apply for funding).|
|Based on the findings of the school-based Needs Assessment and Resource Equity Analysis, LEAs will identify goals and specific evidence-based strategies in three critical areas: People, Instruction, and Structures. School plans must also specify routines for ongoing stakeholder engagement and improvement.||Each CS school must complete and submit its School Improvement Plan for approval by the LEA. Once approved by the LEA, LEAs must submit a School Improvement Plan for each CS school using the required template to OSSE by May 31, 2019 for review and approval (required even if opting not to apply for funding). OSSE will use this the School Improvement Plan Rubric to review and approve submitted plans.|
Investment in Schools Continuation Grant - Year Two (FY20)
This application for the second year of funding and is to support CS1 schools’ approved School Improvement Plan implementation. LEAs must target funds toward the area(s) identified for improvement for each school based on their School Improvement Plan. Funds may only be used for activities allowed under ESSA Title I, Part A.
The grant period is Oct. 1, 2019 - Sept. 30, 2020. The application opens on Monday, July 8, 2019 and is due Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019 in EGMS. As part of the application, LEAs must submit a completed the CS1 School Work Plan for each CS1 school.
1Under ESSA, CS1 is the only designation that specifies Title I schools (as opposed to all schools). At minimum, the lowest performing 5 percent of Title I schools will be identified but OSSE may also identify non-Title I schools with comparable low performance.
2In the future, OSSE will also identify Targeted Support and Improvement Schools, type 2 (TS2) and Comprehensive Support and Improvement, type 3 (CS3). TS2 is any school with a subgroup of students identified as “consistently underperforming” (i.e., with framework score at or below the fifth percentile used to designate CS1 schools) for two out of three years. CS3 is any school identified as TS2 that does not improve sufficiently to meet exit criteria after three years.
3Conducting the Needs Assessment and developing the School Improvement Plan should include engagement with the LEA, principals, other school leaders including Title I administrator, teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, and members of the community. As appropriate, this should also include specialized instructional support personnel, technical assistance providers, school staff, and other individuals determined by the school; for secondary schools this should also include students.
4To reduce burden and avoid duplicative efforts, the required templates for CS schools provided by OSSE will also meet a school’s requirements for a schoolwide plan under Title I, Part A.