A School Improvement Grant (SIG) is one of three options a Priority School may implement as its whole school reform model in New York State. According to the New York State Education Department (NYSED), the goal of SIG is for a Priority School to achieve dramatic gains such that the school is in good academic standing within three years. There are four intervention models under SIG that may be considered for a Priority School: Turnaround, Restart, Transformation, or Closure. If awarded, a school may receive SIG for up to three years.
The four models as defined by NYSED are as 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.
Convert the school to a charter school, 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 Partnership Organization (EPO), 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.*
*Any 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.
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.
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.
As of school year 2013-14, NYCDOE has 64 schools implementing SIG plans. Click here for a complete list of current NYCDOE SIG schools.
For more information about SIG in New York State, please visit the New York State Education Department SIG website. For more information about SIG in the United States, please visit the U.S. Department of Education SIG website.