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Priority, Focus, and Model Schools Archives

Support for Low Performing Title I Schools

(Priority, Focus, and Model Schools)

In accordance with Oregon’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver with the US Department of Education, the Oregon Department of Education identified 92 Priority and Focus Schools in need of additional supports to see improved student outcomes. These schools were identified for supports of a period of four years, and under the ESEA Flexibility Waiver, would have been eligible to exit identification at the conclusion of 2015-16 school year. In December 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed and ended Oregon’s flexibility waiver effective August of 2016. In March, the US Department of Education issued guidance to states to support an orderly transition from the state plans authored to address the requirements of the Waiver to the new requirements under ESSA. This guidance provided Oregon two options in how to support Priority and Focus Schools (section 1.a).

Given legislative action pertaining to the use of statewide summative assessment data to rate schools, Oregon selected “Option A” and froze the list of Priority and Focus Schools (last updated after the 2014-15 school year).

During this transition year, ODE will continue to work with districts and schools adjusting supports based on a review of qualitative and implementation data, locally reported achievement measures and a review of statewide summative assessment results. The tiers of supports will be communicated to districts and schools and reflected on the official report cards released in October.

For more information regarding the development of Oregon’s statewide plan and changes under ESSA, please visit the ESSA web pages.

School Improvement Grants (SIG)

This page provides information about the U.S. Department of Education (USED) School Improvement Grant program.

Priority, Focus, and Model Schools

Oregon identified 92 Oregon schools which received additional supports and interventions from the state to help increase student achievement and close persistent achievement gaps. Identification of these schools was one component of Oregon’s accountability system approved July 2012 by the U.S. Department of Education.

As part of the federal ESEA Flexibility Waiver, Oregon developed a new accountability system which uses multiple measures to rate schools. For high schools these measures include academic achievement, academic growth, subgroup growth, graduation rates, and subgroup graduation. For elementary and middle schools the first three measures are used. Schools received an overall rating based on how well they did in each of these areas.

In order to provide support to the schools that need it most, ODE identified high poverty (Title I) Priority schools for additional supports and interventions. These 20 schools represented the bottom 5% of high poverty schools in the state and were identified as most in need of assistance in turning around student achievement and growth. Also identified as Priority schools are the 13 schools that received ESEA School Improvement Grants (SIG). In addition, the state identified 60 Focus schools in the bottom 15% of high poverty schools that faced challenges with closing the achievement gap and getting all students to achieve at high levels. These schools also received additional supports from the state. The final category of schools identified are Model schools. These high poverty schools were identified as examples of successful student outcomes and served as models and mentors to other schools around the state. These schools helped by sharing best practices and guided other schools on the journey toward better student outcomes and our state’s 40-40-20 Goal.

Below please find resources and documents related to the designation of Oregon’s Priority, Focus, and Model schools.

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