Targeted Support and Improvement under ESSA

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ESEA Section 1111(c)(2) requires each State educational agency receiving federal funds, using the meaningful differentiation of schools in partnership with stakeholders, to develop and implement a school-level targeted support and improvement plan to improve student outcomes based on the indicators in the statewide accountability system. 

North Dakota will select schools for Targeted Support and Improvement from a pool of consistently underperforming schools. The state ESSA plan defines "consistently underperforming schools" based on all indicators within the state’s accountability system performing in the bottom 10% for three consecutive years. Identified schools have a high proportion of struggling student groups and/or significant performance gaps between student groups. Districts receive a school improvement grant per identified school to support and sustain improvement efforts by targeting interventions for root-causes or performance gaps in student subgroups.

Method
The method for selecting Targeted Support and Improvement schools will reflect schools that are consistently under-performing or low-performing in any of the following subgroups: 
  • Economically disadvantaged students
  • Children with disabilities
  • English learners
  • White
  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • African American
  • Asian or Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander
  • Hispanic or Latino

Identification Criteria and Timeline
Schools within the pool of consistently underperforming schools that have one or more subgroups with achievement levels below the highest performing comprehensive school based on all accountability factors within the state’s accountability system. The selection of schools for Targeted Support and Improvement occurs on an annual basis.

Districts will be notified of schools selected for Targeted Support and Improvement in early spring 2018 to allow time to develop an improvement plan for implementation in the 2018-2019 school year.

Supports and Interventions
The NDDPI will provide support and interventions for selected schools using a multifaceted approach:
  • All schools selected for Targeted Support will be eligible to apply for a school support grant of approximately $50,000 each year selected for support. These funds are to help the school make improvements in the subgroups that led to the selection.
  • All schools will be provided guidance and support including regional trainings to review requirements and opportunities, and a liaison in the Division of Student Support & Innovation assigned to provide technical assistance.
  • NDDPI has developed a partnership with the North Dakota REAs to support North Dakota’s Multi-Tier System of Supports (NDMTSS) for all selected schools to implement the MTSS process through professional development, needs assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation.
NDMTSS is a framework to provide all students with the best opportunities to succeed academically and behaviorally in school. This intervention provides high quality instruction matched to student need and frequently monitors progress to make decisions about changes in instruction and goals. The framework provides a pathway for effective coordination of services across systems and within schools. The five essential components of NDMTSS include the following:
  1. Assessments
  2. Data-based decision making
  3. Multi-level evidence based instruction
  4. Infrastructure and support mechanisms
  5. Fidelity and evaluation

Exit Criteria
A school may exit Targeted Support and Improvement status upon achieving one of the following:
  1. A school is no longer consistently underperforming based on the state's accountability system.
  2. A school is successful in meeting their established interim goals in the identified subgroup for two consecutive years and the school is exiting by making progress on its own.
Schools that received additional support and receive Title I funds that do not meet the exit criteria after being identified for three consecutive years will be selected for Comprehensive Support beginning in the subsequent school year. These schools will then need to meet the established criteria for Comprehensive Support schools. The first year in which North Dakota will select schools for Comprehensive Support that were previously selected for Targeted Support and Improvement will be the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.