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Supt. Dorn Releases List of Schools Receiving Federal Improvement Grants
Three-year commitment will help schools turn around

OLYMPIA — May 8, 2014 — State Superintendent Randy Dorn today released a list of 13 schools that will receive federal money to help improve student learning.

Known as School Improvement Grants, the program provides grants ranging from $50,000 to $2 million annually for three years. The money can be used for a variety of activities, including targeted professional development, supplies and materials and before- and after-school programs.

The schools receiving SIG money are:




Taholah Elementary/Middle School

Mt. Adams

White Swan High School


Brewster Junior High


Cascade Middle School


Chinook Middle School


Rainier Beach High School


First Creek Middle School


Roosevelt Elementary School


Lyle Middle School


McKinley Elementary


Barge Lincoln Elementary


Martin Luther King Elementary


Bridgeport Elementary School

“We’ve known for a long time that basic education is being underfunded at the state level,” Dorn said. “These schools represent some of our most vulnerable in the state. So I’m glad that they’re getting money for a program that’s working very well.”

This is the third group of SIG grants. Analysis done on the first group by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction showed that three out of every four schools made single- or double-digit gains in reading scores. More than nine out of 10 schools (95 percent) made single- or double-digit gains in math scores.

Schools receiving money must be identified as priority schools in 2013-14. A priority school is defined as being among the lowest 5 percent of Title I schools in the state, based on state test results. Other factors that were considered when selecting grant winners included the geographic distribution of the schools, the number of schools served and the size of each school.

What SIG schools must do
Schools selected for SIG money will be required to adopt one of four federal intervention models:

  1. Turnaround: Replace the principal, rehire no more than 50 percent of the staff and grant the new principal sufficient operational flexibility (including in staffing, calendars/time and budgeting) to fully implement a comprehensive approach to substantially improve student outcomes.
  2. Restart: Convert the school or close and reopen it under a charter school operator, a charter management organization or an education management organization that has been selected through a rigorous review process.
  3. School closure: Close the school and enroll the students who attended that school in other schools in the district that are higher achieving.
  4. Transformation: Implement each of the following strategies: (1) replace the principal and take steps to increase teacher and school leader effectiveness; (2) institute comprehensive instructional reforms; (3) increase learning time and create community-oriented schools; and (4) provide operational flexibility and sustained support.

A total of 64 schools were eligible to apply for SIG money. Schools that declined to apply for the grants are still required to engage in an improvement process focused on the turnaround model as defined in state law.

The School Improvement Grants are part of the federal Title I program, which provides money to districts and schools with high numbers or high percentages of low-income children.

For more information:


About OSPI
The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is the primary agency charged with overseeing K–12 education in Washington state. Led by State School Superintendent Randy Dorn, OSPI works with the state’s 295 school districts and nine educational service districts to administer basic education programs and implement education reform on behalf of more than one million public school students.

OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director at (360) 725-6162 or P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200.

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Nathan Olson
OSPI Communications Manager
(360) 725-6015

The OSPI Communications Office serves as the central point of contact for local, regional and national media covering K-12 education issues.

Communications Manager
Nathan Olson
(360) 725-6015


   Updated 8/21/2014

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