Prekindergarten through Grade 12 Education

Questions and Answers

2011-12 Title I School Improvement Section 1003(a) Grant Application

The questions and answers below are divided into the following sections: Eligibility, Allocations, Applications, and Allowable Activities. Thank you to all who have contributed by sending questions to SIGA@mail.nysed.gov.


  1. I want to make sure that I understand the eligibility requirements for the School Improvement Grant, due Nov. 12th. Is a school eligible for the grant if they are a SINI school, but non-Title 1?

    Answer: No, only LEAs with Title I schools identified for Improvement, Corrective Action or Restructuring in 2011-12 are eligible to apply for this grant. If your school is Title I eligible, but was designated as Non-Title I the deadline to change the school to Title I is October 31, 2011. Title I school status change instructions: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/nclb/consolidatedappupdate/1011/t1statuschange.html

  2. I received the email with the application and guidelines for applying because I am the new Title 1 officer. However, I am not clear whether our district would qualify and if I should apply for the grant. We have Title 1 schools but none are in need of improvement. We did have 1 small group of identified students not make AYP last year for ELA. Is our district eligible or not?

    Answer: Your district is not eligible because there are no Title I schools identified for Improvement, Corrective Action or Restructuring. The school that did not make AYP for the first time this year is not an identified school. Schools are first identified when they do not make AYP for the same accountability measure (ELA, Math, Science or Graduation Rate) for two consecutive years.

  3. We are trying to determine if our school is eligible for the School Improvement Grant. As far as we can find, the list of Schools in Need of Improvement is not yet posted on the NYSED site. Can you provide some guidance as to how we can find out if we are eligible to apply for the grant?

    Answer: The public list has not been released, but the August 2011 field memos below provide accountability information:

    Jeffrey Baker (Accountability Status Determinations):

    Ira Schwartz (Accountability Requirements):

  4. If a charter school did not make AYP and is now designated as In Need of Improvement, can they apply for these funds?

    Answer: Title I Charter Schools identified for Improvement, Corrective Action or Restructuring in 2011-12 are eligible to apply for this grant.

  5. Also, if we are eligible – we currently have one elementary school (K only), one middle school (5-8), and one high school (9-11) that is co-located under one charter. Would those be considered 3 separate schools for the $25,000 base?

    Answer: No. Only the identified school (Improvement, Corrective Action or Restructuring) is eligible for the Title I School Improvement Grant. The schools that are In Good Standing for 2011-12 are not eligible for this grant. Only one amount ($25,000 + $10 per pupil) will be allocated for the identified school.

  6. We have one school in our LEA that was designated as a "SINI" school. The school does not qualify for Title I funding because it does not meet the poverty cut-off in the LEA. Is the district eligible to apply for funding under Section 1003 (a) of NCLB?

    Answer: No. Only LEAs with identified Title I schools are eligible for Title I School Improvement Grants. There are no identified Title I schools in your district.

  7. Please clarify whether our school is eligible for the 2011-2012 School Improvement Grant under Section 1003(a). The grant is based upon Title I schools in improvement, corrective action or restructuring. The accountability status for our high school has not yet been determined. Our middle school has been designated as a PLA school, and was approved for a grant under Section 1003(g).

    Answer: The high school will be eligible if it is a Title I identified school. Since it is still pending, you would be eligible to request an extension to apply within 30 days of your final determination. The middle school is not eligible for this grant because it was approved for a 1003(g) School Improvement Grant.


  1. Our LEA has a unique enrollment issue. One of our identified schools closed at the end of 2010-11. As a result of the closure, the enrollment of each of the other elementary schools has increased substantially for 2011-12. Two of the other elementary schools are now identified, but their enrollments do not reflect the additional students who were transferred from the school that closed. Is there any way we can be allowed to use the larger enrollment numbers for 2011-12?

    Answer: Yes, we will work with districts that have reconfigured schools and manually calculate the enrollment based on 2010-11 data for the identified schools that were reconfigured. We can verify the transfer counts from your school registration/closure application and add them to the identified schools total enrollments for 2010-11.

    We also have the total school enrollments broken down by grade level, and will use that as needed for schools that split or merged to create new grade level configurations.


  1. I am a technical assistance network provider working with a Title I school listed as a Title 1 and as an SQR basic. They have not received the grant application that is due on 11/12 and are concerned about time. Can you shed any light?

    Answer: The application announcement was sent to all Title I Coordinators and LEA Superintendents on October 18 via the Title I listserv.

    The grant is found at: http://www.p12.nysed.gov/funding/2011-12-1003a/

    LEAs with Title I schools identified for Improvement, Corrective Action or Restructuring in 2011-12 are eligible to apply for this grant.

    Applications must be postmarked by November 12, 2011.

    LEAs must either submit an application or formally request an application extension. Extensions may only be requested for schools with late accountability determinations.

    For additional assistance with the grant, have the LEA contact SIGA@mail.nysed.gov.

    Please advise the LEA that they must meet the deadline, but we only need basic information for initial applications for newly identified schools. They will be able to apply for specific amounts to conduct the intervention, complete the reports, and develop the plan; but the other activities will depend on the report recommendations and Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP). They will have an opportunity to revise their school charts and budgets once their reviewer contacts them.

  2. The SED website notifying us of the 2011-12 Title I School Improvement Section 1003(a) Grant Application says: "IMPORTANT NOTE: This is an LEA grant only. Applications and/or budgets for individual schools will not be accepted." Does this mean that a middle school cannot apply for the grant?

    Answer: Only LEAs can submit applications for grants because schools are not fiscal agents. The LEA applies for all eligible Title I schools in one application and budget.

  3. We have a Title 1 school which has been recently identified as an Improvement year 1 Focused and required to complete the School Quality Review (SQR). Since they are just beginning the process, they do not have a CEP plan. The Principal is trying to write a CEP plan to include with the Title 1 grant which is due Nov 12th. I am assuming the CEP that is referred to in the application is an existing CEP for schools who were identified in 2010-2011? Is this correct?

    Answer: That is correct. Newly identified schools must first complete the intervention (SQR) before writing the CEP. Interventions are designed to assist schools in writing their Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP). It is not appropriate to write the CEP before you complete the SQR.

  4. Concerning the Title 1 School Improvement Grant for schools who have been named a SINI, given that official notification of SINI schools will not be announced until 10/31, is it possible to request an extension of the 11/12 deadline? If so what is the procedure to request that extension?

    Answer: No. Accountability determinations were first available for most schools via NYStart on 8/10/11. Final Differentiated Accountability designations were provided as scheduled on 10/13/11. This is not a late determination. Late determinations are schools that are still pending or awaiting a special determination or appeal decision. Neither situation applies here, so the school is not eligible for an extension.

    For schools that are still pending or awaiting a special determination or appeal decision, send the extension request with the LEA name, School name and BEDS code to SIGA@mail.nysed.gov.

  5. My LEA is interested in applying for this grant; however, the review process won't begin until Nov. 3 and the improvement plan will NOT be completed until after the application deadline of Nov. 12. Can I request a deadline extension for my school district?

    Answer: No. The extension is only for schools that are still pending or file an appeal that is denied. You should submit an application with estimated amounts and activities and revise this during the review process later in the year.

    We do understand you do not have enough information to detail all activities, but you need to calculate the allocation, complete the accountability information in each school chart and estimate the funds needed to conduct the SQR and write the CEP. You can also apply for funds to assist identified schools to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), develop Data Driven Inquiry Systems (DDI), or implement the new teacher and principal evaluation system (APPR). Your reviewer will work with you to approve what is needed and provide guidance about future activities and revisions.

  6. What project number we should use for our SIG application/FS-10? Would that be our Title I Project Number? Thank you.

    Answer: Please leave that blank. Your project number will be assigned after we receive your application.

Allowable Activities

  1. My school is eligible for the Title 1 School Improvement Section 1003(a) Grant Application and I read what funding may not be used for, but was wondering if it could be used for hiring additional professional staff. That was not mentioned at all and I was hoping to get clarification before completing the application.

    Answer: Funds must be used for required Differentiated Accountability interventions and school improvement activities from the following list:

    1. Conducting School Quality Reviews (SQR), External School Curriculum Audits (ESCA) and Joint Intervention Team (JIT) visits,
    2. Hiring an Outside Educational Expert (OEE) or Distinguished Educator (DE) to help implement plans,
    3. Implementing a specific major recommendation of a SQR, ESCA or JIT report that was conducted during the 2010-11 school year (the application must identify the specific recommendation from the report and the page on which it can be found), or
    4. Assisting identified schools to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), develop Data Driven Inquiry Systems (DDI), or implement the new teacher and principal evaluation system (APPR).

    If additional staff is needed for these specific activities, you should submit that in your application. All expenditures are subject to review and approval by NYSED.

    Since your school is newly identified, you should include any expenses for the activities that will occur first such as the School Quality Review and writing the Comprehensive Educational Plan. You can amend your grant later in the year to begin implementation of major recommendations once the CEP is approved.

  2. Are LEAs permitted to apply a portion of their funds to Indirect Costs as per their approved rate?

    Answer: Indirect cost is allowed.

  3. The application states: If the activity is to implement a major recommendation contained in a SQR, ESCA, or JIT report for the 2010-11 school year, indicate the specific recommendation and the page in the report where it can found. Should that say the 2011-2012 school year?

    Answer: No, for most schools the correct year was 2010-11 because the intervention and plan take most of the first year to develop. The second year would be the full implementation of any major recommendations from 2010-11.

    Schools entering a new phase of accountability (Improvement, Corrective Action or Restructuring) must conduct the intervention (SQR, ESCA or JIT) and complete their Comprehensive Educational Plan (CEP) in 2011-12. They will need SED approval for the CEP before they begin implementation of major recommendations from a 2011-12 SQR, ESCA or JIT report.

  4. Does this mean that for schools entering a new phase of accountability they should they wait until next year to apply for SIG funds since it takes a year to develop the plan?

    Answer: No. They should apply for whatever is needed for the allowable activities they will conduct this year. They should include any expenses for the intervention and plan development, and can amend the application to begin implementation of major recommendations once their CEP is approved. All identified schools can apply to use the funds for activity 4 (implement Common Core State Standards, Data Driven Inquiry, or the new teacher and principal evaluation system in the identified school).

Last Updated: October 27, 2011