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School Improvement Grants (SIG) Information Center 1003 (g)

U.S. Department of Education Guidance on School Improvement Grants under Section 1003(g) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965, federal fiscal years 2011 and 2012


Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended, Title I, Part A, Section 1003(g)

Priority Schools-School Improvement Grants Information Center 1003(g)

The School Improvement Grants (SIG) program is authorized by section 1003(g) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). SIG funds provide an unprecedented opportunity for educators to implement innovative strategies to improve education for academically at-risk students and to close the achievement gap in Title I schools. With the unprecedented funding for school improvement initiatives, comes additional responsibility for schools to demonstrate transparency and accountability to the public while investing wisely in research-based strategies that will strengthen education, drive reforms, and improve results for students.

States are to provide subgrants to local educational agencies for the purpose of improving the quality of instruction and raise the academic achievement of students in the state’s persistently lowest-achieving schools. A SEA must ―give priority to the local educational agencies with the lowest-achieving schools that demonstrate:

(A) the greatest need for such funds; and

(B) the strongest commitment to ensuring that funds are used to substantially raise student achievement and meet the goals under school improvement, corrective action, and restructuring.

Under the final requirements published in the Federal Register on October 28, 2010, School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds are to be focused on Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III schools that commit to implement one of the four intervention models – turnaround, transformation, restart, closure. Funding for the full three years is contingent upon the schools meeting established performance indicators or on a trajectory to do so, as they implement rigorous interventions.

Priority Schools - School Improvement Grants (SIG) 1003(a)

Priority Schools are identified as the lowest- performing five percent of schools in the State. The non-SIG Priority schools receive technical assistance and continuous monitoring services, based on SIG turnaround principles. State and local funds, along with up to 20% of the districts’ Title I, Part A budget and portions of the 1003a set-aside, are leveraged to implement the turnaround principles in the non-SIG funded schools.

All Priority Schools are required to notify the parents of all students enrolled in the school of the Priority designation within 30 days of receiving notification. Each district will establish a community-based pre-kindergarten through higher education council (MS Code 37-18-5(4)) that is representative of a diverse segment of the school’s stakeholders. The council will serve in an advisory capacity in the design, implementation, and monitoring of the school’s transformation plan. Council members, parents, and community members will have access to MS SOARS and the Children’s First annual report of academic progress, school demographics, and other key information.

Priority Schools and LEA Requirements:

  • Parent notification explaining designation as a priority school
  • Set aside of up to 20 percent of District’s Title I basic funds which must be used to implement intensive interventions at the identified priority school(s) that address all turnaround principles and are aligned with the comprehensive needs assessment (Transformation Plan)
  • Conduct comprehensive needs assessment
  • Develop and implement a Transformation Plan that is aligned with turnaround principles; addresses areas of deficiency; defines continuous improvement objectives and a system for continuous monitoring and evaluation of the school’s transformation plan
  • Establish annual goals for leading and lagging (achievement) indicators
  • Approval of the Transformation Plan by the local school board
  • Establish a Community Council that meets consistently and actively participates in the school transformation process
  • Develop a teacher and principal evaluation system that includes student achievement as a significant component
  • Implement Mississippi SOARS/Indistar online system for planning, monitoring, and reporting progress
  • Establish an office/staff within the LEA to provide oversight for the implementation and ongoing monitoring of the school’s transformation plan

Criteria for Priority School Status

The current year QDI-Overall is in the lowest 5% of QDI-Overall for all schools in the State, AND The difference between the QDI-Overall for the current year and the QDI Overall for the previous two years is in the lowest 27% of the differences for all schools in the state.


The school's 4-year cohort graduation rate is less than 60% for each of three years


The school is a current SIG School

Leading and Lagging Indicators:

The Priority school’s Transformation Plan will include strategies to meet the school’s annual goals toward the following performance metrics:

Leading Indicators

  • Number of minutes within the school year and school day;
  • Student participation rate on State assessments in reading/language arts and in mathematics, by student subgroup;
  • Number and percentage of students completing advanced coursework (e.g., AP/IB), early-college high schools, or dual enrollment classes;
  • Dropout rate;
  • Student attendance rate;
  • Discipline incidents;
  • Truants;
  • Distribution of teachers by performance level on an LEA’s teacher evaluation system; and
  • Teacher attendance rate.

Lagging/Achievement Indicators

  • Percentage of students at or above each proficiency level on State assessments in reading/language arts and mathematics, by grade and by student subgroup;
  • Average scale scores on State assessments in reading/language arts and mathematics, by grade, for the “all students” group, for each achievement quartile, and for each subgroup;
  • Percentage of limited English proficient students who attain English language proficiency;
  • School improvement status and AMOs met and missed;
  • College enrollment rates; and
  • Graduation rate.