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​School Improvement is a continuous, collaborative process ​​through which staff/ stakeholders identify strengths and weaknesses of the entire school program and use the information as a basis for making deliberate, positive, cohesive, and observable changes in measurable student outcomes.



 Identify local needs

  Identify local needs

  • Identify a school leadership team
  • Build a stakeholder advisory group
  • Conduct a school level needs assessment
  • Conduct a root cause analysis
  • Present results to the stakeholder advisory group

Supporting Documents

  • Forming a School Leadership Team​PDF Document - The school leadership team will be responsible for the development of the School Improvement Plan, providing oversight for the implementation of the action steps, and for monitoring of the school improvement plan goals and desired outcomes. 
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group​PDF Document - A Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) is a requirement of ESSA for schools in improvement status. This resource provides guidance for forming a SAG and explains the role filled by the SAG.
  • Illinois Quality Framework (Rest of State)PDF Document - Schools outside of Chicago Public Schools use the Illinois Quality Framework for the school-level needs assessment.  The IQF is used in conjunction with the Illinois Quality Framework Supporting Rubric.
  • Illinois Quality Framework Supporting Rubric (IQFSR) PDF Document- The IQFSR is a printable rubric that can be used as a worksheet to guide the completion of the Illinois Quality Framework.  The IQFSR includes standards, indicators, and guiding questions to assist schools with conducting the school-level needs assessment.  Schools will enter the results of the IQFSR in IWAS. 
  • Guidance for Facilitating the Illinois Quality Framework Support​PDF Document - The principal, or a district-level administrator, would be the best individual to facilitate the work of completing the IQFSR with their school. Use the Guidance for Facilitating the IQFSR to assist with completing this program requirement. ​
  • School Excellence Framework (Chicago Public Schools) PDF Document - Schools in Chicago Public Schools use the School Excellence Framework to self-evaluate strengths and area of growth to inform the school improvement plan.
  • Conducting a Root Cause AnalysisPDF Document - A root cause analysis will help the School Leadership Team identify priorities for the School Improvement Plan.​

 Plan for school improvement

  Plan for school improvement

  • Develop a school improvement plan with the following elements:
    • SMART goals
    • Key activities, milestones, timelines, funding sources, and people responsible for implementation
    • Local assessment(s) to measure academic progress
    • Monitoring plan that includes all SMART goals

Supporting Documents​

 Select relevant evidence-based practices and interventions

  Select relevant evidence-based practices and interventions

Supporting Documents​

  • Finding Evidence-Based PracticePDF Document - Use this resource to learn more about evidence-based practices aligned to ESSA requirements. Search for new evidence-based practices or verify that your current practices meet ESSA requirements.
  • Learning Partner Selection Rubric​PDF Document - The rubric will help schools review and score proposals from Approved Learning Partners in order to select a learning partner matched to school needs.​​

 Implement and monitor

  Implement and monitor​

  • Communicate the school improvement plan to all stakeholders
  • Implement the school improvement plan
  • Monitor implementation and progress toward SMART Goals
Supporting Documents

 Examine, reflect and adjust course

  Examine, reflect and adjust course

  • Analyze and update the following elements within the school improvement plan:
    • SMART Goals
    • Key activities, milestones, timelines, funding sources, and people responsible for implementation
    • Local assessment(s) to measure academic progress
    • Monitoring plan that includes all SMART goals​

Supporting Documents

 School Improvement Grant Application & Budget Guidance

FY 2023

  • FY23 School Improvement Grant: Developing an Approvable Grant Application – June 14, 2022 
  • Grant Terms & ConditionsPDF Document​- Review key details about the school improvement grant.
  • Grant Application GuidancePDF Document - The school improvement grant application must describe how the district will participate in developing, implementing, and monitoring the school improvement plan.
  • Local School Information GuidancePDF Document - The school improvement​ grant application must include a narrative for each​ designated school that indicates how funding will be spent to support the SMART goals in each school's School Improvement Plan.
  • Budget Detail ExamplesPDF Document - Providing sufficient detail for the narrative in each budget line is necessary for an approvable grant application.  Examples for the Budget Detail page are included on this resource. 
  • ​​​Allowable Use of Funds​PDF Document - Comprehensive and targets schools receive federal grant funds to support school improvement activities, such as paying school personnel to collaborate, analyzing data, and contracting with learning partners to provide professional development. View guidance for the allowable uses of funds.
  • Grant Application FAQ​PDF Document - Find answers to common questions related to funding, support, timelines, and program, fiscal and reporting requirements.
  • Visual School Improvement Status​PDF Document - School Improvement Status and grant funding continue for four years regardless of changes in annual summative designations.  This resource shows separate tables reflecting School Improvement Status for schools identified on Report Card 2022, Report Card 2019, and Report Card 2018.​

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