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Title I School Improvement Information Sheet School Year 2011-2012

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The federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires states to implement a single accountability system. Specific information about the NCLB Accountability System is provided in the following documents:

  • New Jersey NCLB Consolidated Accountability Workbook
  • Understanding Accountability in New Jersey

Adequate yearly progress (AYP) must be calculated for all New Jersey schools under the provisions of NCLB. Schools that do not meet AYP are placed into one of the following categories, and Title I schools in need of improvement (Year 2 and above) must implement the sanctions associated with each category.

Early Warning:  A school that does not make AYP for one year is placed into “early warning” status.  

Year 2 − In Need of Improvement/School Choice:  A school that does not make AYP for two consecutive years in the same content area is designated as a “school in need of improvement.” Parental notification is required.  For Title I schools certain interventions apply, including intradistrict school choice (or supplemental educational services if choice is not available), and development of a school improvement plan (Title I Unified Plan).  The district must offer the school technical assistance to address the areas that caused the school to be in improvement.

Year 3 − In Need of Improvement/Supplemental Educational Services (SES):  A school that does not make AYP for three consecutive years in the same content area continues to be identified as a “school in need of improvement.”  Title I schools must continue to offer intradistrict school choice and must also offer SES to eligible students.  The district must continue to offer technical assistance, parents must receive notification of the school’s status, and the school must update its school improvement plan (Title I Unified Plan) ted annually.

The state offers school support by engaging a team of experienced professionals to conduct an extensive school review called Collaborative Assessment and Planning for Achievement (CAPA).  The CAPA team interviews stakeholders and staff, reviews school and district documents, and conducts on-site observations to develop a report that contains recommendations for school improvement, which then become part of the Title I Unified Plan.

Year 4 − Corrective Action:  A school that does not make AYP for four consecutive years in the same content area is identified as a school in corrective action.  Title I schools must continue to offer intradistrict school choice and SES, notify parents of the school’s status, revises their school improvement plan (Title I Unified Plan), and receive technical assistance from the district and the state. 

Additionally, the district must implement at least one of the following corrective actions in the school:

  • Provide, for all relevant staff, appropriate, scientifically research-based professional development that is likely to improve academic achievement of low-performing students.
  • Institute a new curriculum grounded in scientifically based research and provide appropriate professional development to support its implementation.
  • Extend the length of the school year or school day.
  • Replace the school staff who are deemed relevant to the school not making adequate progress.
  • Significantly decrease management authority at the school.
  • Restructure the internal organization of the school.
  • Appoint one or more outside experts to advise the school (1) how to revise and strengthen the improvement plan it created while in school improvement status; and (2) how to address the specific issues underlying the school’s continued inability to make AYP.  

Year 5 − Planning for Restructuring:   A Title I school that does not make AYP for five consecutive years in the same content area must plan to restructure.  The district implements the school’s restructuring plan at the beginning of the following school year if the school continues to miss AYP benchmarks and moves to Year 6.  During the planning year, Title I schools must continue to offer intradistrict school choice and SES, notify parents of the school’s status and invite their input during the restructuring process, and receive technical assistance from the district and the state.  The technical assistance design for a school being restructured emphasizes the following:

  • The importance of improving instruction by using strategies grounded in scientifically based research so that all children in the school achieve proficiency in the core academic subjects of language arts and mathematics.
  • The importance of analyzing and applying data in decision-making.

The restructuring plan must include one of the following alternative governance systems for the school as outlined by NCLB regulations and consistent with New Jersey practice and statutes:

  • Implement any major restructuring of the school’s governance that is consistent with the principles of restructuring as set forth in the No Child Left Behind Act.
  • Re-open the school as a public charter school as defined by state statute and regulation (N.J.S.A. 18A:36A-1 et seq. and N.J.A.C. 6A).
  • Replace all or most of the school staff, which may include the principal, who are relevant to the school’s inability to make adequate progress (consistent with existing contractual provisions and applicable statutory protections in Title 18A).

Year 6 – Restructuring-1:  If a Title I school does not make AYP for six consecutive years in the same content area, the district must then implement the school’s approved restructuring plan.  The Title I school must continue to offer intradistrict school choice and SES, notify parents of the school’s status and invite their input and support during the implementation process, and receive technical assistance from the district and the state.  Technical assistance is critical to help school staff remain focused on increasing student achievement while the school is adjusting to potentially radical changes in its administration and governance structures.  A CAPA visit occurs at the school to determine the fidelity of implementation of the restructuring plans and to review the governance structure of the school.

Year 7 (and over) – Restructuring-2 (and over):  The school has not made AYP for seven or more consecutive years.  The NJDOE meets with school and district administrators to continually review implementation of the restructuring plan/Title I Unified Plan.  Benchmark meetings with NJDOE staff, the school and the district occur twice a year to assess and support implementation of the school improvement plan.

Removal from Early Warning/Improvement Status: To be removed from early warning or improvement status, the school must make AYP for two consecutive years in the content area that caused the school to go into status, providing the school makes AYP in the other content area.  The first year of making AYP is a “hold year” and the school does not progress to the next sanction level, but must continue to implement current interventions.  If the school does not make AYP the year following “hold,” it goes back into improvement status at the level prior to the hold year.