August 22, 2017



Community Superintendents


High School Superintendents


Field Support Center Teams


School Principals



Raymond J. Orlando, Chief Financial Officer



Middle School Initiative


This memorandum allocates funds for the Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI).


MSQI aims to strengthen literacy instruction across all middle grades to ensure that all eighth graders enter high school reading on grade level.


This year, as part of the Middle School Quality Initiative (MSQI), 128 Middle Schools will receive funding to increase their capacity to ensure that all of their students are on the path towards high school and college success. This funding will promote five components of work:

         creation of a daily strategic reading period that meets all students at their current reading level,

         supporting school leaders as they set literacy as the instructional focus at their school,

         building successful inter-disciplinary grade level teams,

         developing a positive school culture that educates students and families on the high school choice process, and

         continuous professional development for school staff at all levels.


For the first time MSQI will partner with four District 75 schools. Due to the unique structure of these schools (e.g. grade size, staff size, and student need), the four schools will benefit from a separate allocation table to best meet the needs of the students.


Schools will receive allocations to execute implementation plans, which are reviewed and approved by the MSQI team. Schools are expected to spend these funds in accordance with their MSQI approved plans.


Schools will receive funding on a sliding scale based on school enrollment size (with the exception of Mentor and District 75 cohorts.). The purpose of the scale is to balance the per pupil allocation of our 128 schools, as much as possible, while increasing the total amount distributed from last year (see table on next page). Schools will also receive additional funding based on programs that are part of MSQI.


School Enrollment

FY 2018 Allocation


Up to $6,000


Up to $12,500


Up to $19,500


Up to $27,000

The District 75 cohort will receive additional funding to offset atypical enrollment. In order to best meet the needs of the students, extra funding will allow schools to program for coaching visits, teacher per diem, and purchasing of resources to meet the needs of students.


The Mentor cohort will receive additional funding to support ongoing professional development opportunities. They will use the additional funding to learn literacy practices to support reading development.


Schools will receive ongoing strategic guidance from the MSQI central program team, which will continuously monitor progress toward their stated goals. This central program team will also help schools determine how to best utilize these funds to maximize student outcomes and successfully implement their MSQI plans.


Funds are available to be used for (1) OTPS purchases in object codes 101, 102, 117, 130, 198, 199, 315, 331, 332, 337, 451, 489, 633, 669, 685, 686, 689; (2) salaries for Teachers and Instructional Coaches; (3) Per Session for all titles; and/or (4) Per Diem.


Questions regarding this allocation should be directed to Sameer Talati ( in the Office of Interschool Collaborative Learning.


Funds will be provided in allocation categories TL MS Task Force.


Download a copy of the School Allocation Memorandum No. 70, FY 2018



Table 1 Middle School Quality Initiative Allocation Summary

Table 2 Middle School Quality Initiative Detail

RJO: pp

C: Phil Weinberg

Lamson Lam

Jenna Shumsky

Tinesha Ross