The School Improvement and Intervention Section serves over 400 schools in more than 82 LEAs. Beginning with the 2011-12 school year, the work was divided into regions– North, Central and South – to better meet the needs of these LEAs and schools. In concert with our vision and mission, we are providing a tiered approach to our support with all schools in the state – “universal” – having access to school improvement information, such as the planning process, standards and rubrics, and professional development opportunities. The next tier – “targeted” – focuses on all of our schools and LEAs in improvement. These are also known as our “Tier III” schools. We provide regional training on requirements of being in school improvement and the school improvement planning process. We provide training on various topics necessary for a school to improve and we review and monitor implementation of school improvement plans. Funding is also available to a limited number of Tier III schools based on their needs and commitment and capacity to implement their plan.
Our most “intensive” level serve the schools designated as “persistently lowest achieving” or PLA schools. These schools are performing in the bottom 5% of all schools in improvement in Arizona based on student performance on AIMS. These schools receive significant funds in the form of School Improvement Grants (SIG). They go through a rigorous application process requiring that they identify one of four models; turnaround, transformation, closure or restart, and demonstrate the capacity and commitment to implement that model. Once awarded, the LEAs with the PLA schools receive anywhere from weekly to monthly site visits from the education program specialist assigned to them. The LEA/school leadership teams participate in monthly trainings.
The SII Section staff is committed to providing LEAs with a comprehensive system of support by:
- Working as an integrated collaborative team with a unified voice
- Building LEA capacity for sustainability through research, data analysis, and reflection
- Supporting the continuous improvement of schools to ensure high academic student achievement
- Collaborating with other sections and divisions to ensure LEAs access to resources and supports
- Building relationships with district and schools that foster trust, allowing schools and districts to thrive
- Demonstrating a personal commitment to the success of all LEAs and schools in Arizona