October , 2018

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State awards federal funds to reform 16 schools in nine districts

SPRINGFIELD, IL – Sixteen schools in nine districts will launch comprehensive changes this fall as the latest schools in the state to earn federal Title I Section 1003(g) School Improvement Grants (SIG) worth $62.7 million. These grants will help the selected schools and districts make significant changes to improve student performance and college readiness. This year’s competition brings the total number of SIG awardees during the past five years to 17 Illinois districts and 49 schools that have undertaken similar overhauls with support of the federal grant and state resources.

“These grants make it possible to ensure students on all levels are supported by effective teachers and adequate resources so they can graduate ready for success,” said State Superintendent of Education Christopher A. Koch. “We will continue to work closely with these selected schools and districts as they implement comprehensive and transformative changes.”

Agency staff at the Illinois State Board of Education,  as well as State Board members, regularly visit SIG Schools to monitor progress. Grants are awarded for three years, pending re-application and state approval each year.

For each eligible school approved to receive funds under this grant, the district must implement one of four intervention models: Turnaround, Restart, Transformation or School Closure, as approved by the U.S. Department of Education. FY 15 money will be allocated to each of the nine districts with the bulk of the money going toward the reform strategy at the specific schools and a smaller portion of funds going toward district oversight. All 16 schools have elected to implement a Transformation intervention model.

“This grant will help us to provide much needed support and services to students who are learning in a challenging environment,” said Dr. Michael Kuzniewski, Superintendent of J. Sterling Morton HSD 20. “It will assist us in bringing outside resources to the classroom and ensuring they become embedded in practice.”

Twelve districts, identified as eligible to receive Priority Services under the Statewide System of Support, submitted a total of 28 proposals on behalf of eligible schools for the FY 15 School Improvement Grants. A team of 14 national external reviewers, selected for their expertise in both elementary and high school rapid improvement efforts and administrative experience, scored the applications to determine the 17 finalists. ISBE staff then interviewed teams from the finalist schools as part of the selection process. The Board approved the 16 selected schools and nine districts during the spring, and districts will receive funding during the fiscal year in order to implement new practices at the onset of the 2014-15 school year.

The SIG districts are required to work with one of 16 organizations, called Lead Partners, which have been pre-approved by the Illinois State Board of Education for their experience supporting schools in turnaround, restart, or transformative strategies. The state agency will also provide technical assistance during the process, and each district will have to reapply for continued annual funding with the Fiscal Year 2015 awardees re-applying in FY 2016 and FY 2017.

This year marks the fifth round of districts to apply and receive School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds authorized under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA SIG) funds. For a list of schools awarded funds during the past four fiscal years, please visit this ISBE School Improvement Grant web page at http://www.isbe.net/sos/htmls/sip_1003.htm.

The following nine districts and 16 schools are approved to receive funding over the grant’s three year period:

District Name

School Name Total Award

(3 Years)

Bloom HS District 206

Bloom High School $5,853,060
Brooklyn Unit District 188
Lovejoy Elementary $1,987,320
City of Chicago SD 299
Holmes Elementary $3,000,000
Burke Elementary $3,000,000
Hirsch High School $2,407,245
Marshall High School $3,750,000
Mann Elementary $4,500,000

East St. Louis SD 189

Lincoln Middle School $5,250,000
Mason-Clark Middle School $5,250,000
JS Morton HS District 201

JS Morton High School $5,972,748

Kankakee SD 111

Lafayette Primary School $3,000,000

Meridian CUSD 101

Meridian High School $2,250,000
Meridian Elementary $4,500,000
North Chicago SD 187
Neal Math and Science Academy $4,500,000
Rock Island-Milan SD 41
Rock Island Academy $4,500,000

Frances Willard Elementary $3,000,000



For the latest news from the Illinois State Board of Education, follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Illinois-State-Board-of-Education/136022251779 or Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/ISBEnews. Visit the official ISBE website at http://www.isbe.net.

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