A School Improvement Grant (SIG) is used to improve student achievement in Title I schools identified as Priority Schools. These grants are targeted to support implementation of the fundamental changes needed to turn around low-achieving schools, according to the New York State Education Department.
The NYCDOE has been awarded several cohorts of SIG and currently has schools implementing SIG Cohort 3, Cohort 4, Cohort 5, and Cohort 6. As outlined in the SIG Cohort 7 application, the grant allows for six federally-designated or state-determined models: Turnaround, Restart, Transformation, Innovation and Reform Framework, Evidence-based, and Early Learning Intervention. A description of the models follows:
Replace the principal and at least half the staff as part of the process of phasing out and replacing the school with a new school(s), or completely redesigning the school.1
Convert the school to a charter school under a charter management organization (CMO), replace the school with a new charter school that will serve the students who would have attended the public school, or contract with an Educational Management Organization (EMO), such as a local Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), institution of higher education, or other non-profit partner organization as identified in Education Law 211-e, to govern and manage the Priority School and its implementation of the SIG plan.2
Replace the principal, but without the requirement to replace at least half the staff. Rather, the implementation of approved Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) plans would serve as the basis for rewarding effective teachers and removing ineffective teachers after ample professional development opportunities.3
Select one of three NYSED-proposed design pathways: College and Career Readiness School Design, Family and Community School Design, or Individualized Learning School Design, and partner specifically with an Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) to jointly launch a whole-school redesign.
Implement, in partnership with a strategy developer, an evidence-based whole-school reform strategy that meets United States Department of Education (USDE) What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards.
Early Learning Intervention
Replace the principal and offer full-day kindergarten, establish or expand a high-quality preschool program, and implement an approved APPR plan that would serve as a rigorous evaluation and support system.
Close the school and enroll the students who attended the school in higher achieving schools in the LEA. School closure and the transfer of students in this model occurs in one year or less.
1An LEA that is eligible for services under subpart 1 or 2 of part B of title VI of the ESEA is allowed to modify one element of the Transformation or Turnaround model so long as the modification meets the intent and purpose of the original element.
2Any conversion of an existing public school to a charter school, or any new charter that will replace a Priority School must be consistent with the provisions of Article 56 of the NYS Education Law, "The New York State Charter Schools Act of 1998," and all subsequent amendments to that statute.
3An LEA that is eligible for services under subpart 1 or 2 of part B of title VI of the ESEA is allowed to modify one element of the Transformation or Turnaround model so long as the modification meets the intent and purpose of the original element.