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Crystal Greene, 503-947-5650

June 27, 2011

Superintendent Castillo Announces $15.5 Million in Federal Funding to Turn Around Seven Persistently Low-Achieving Schools

SALEM – Today, State Schools Superintendent Susan Castillo announced that seven Oregon schools will be receiving a total of $15.55 million through the U.S. Department of Education’s School Improvement Grants (SIG) program. This federal funding is an allocation from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and will be distributed to the selected schools over a three year grant period. These grants are designed to help improve student achievement at persistently low-achieving elementary and secondary schools.

“We know that sometimes dramatic change is needed to turn schools around and improve student outcomes,” said Superintendent Castillo. “These grants give a few of our lowest performing schools the support and funding to really transform the way they support teachers and students. These schools are facing their challenges head on and have committed to making significant changes in how they do business to better serve their students. As a state, we will learn from the work going on in these schools as we continue to improve educational opportunities for all of our kids.”

The Oregon Department of Education identified eligible schools based on a variety of factors including: reading and math scores from 2008 through 2010; their Adequate Yearly Progress status as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act; and graduation rates for secondary schools. The identified schools were invited to apply for the SIG funding and were selected based on their demonstrated need and their commitment to making the changes necessary to substantially raise the achievement of their students.

2011 School Improvement Grant Recipients and Total Award Amounts:

Beaverton School District
Community School – $1,400,000

Bethel School District
Kalapuya High School – $1,000,000

Greater Albany School District
Albany Options School – $850,000

Jefferson County School District
Jefferson County Middle School – $3,400,000

Portland School District
King Elementary – $2,000,000
Madison High School – $3,500,000

Woodburn School District
Washington Elementary – $3,400,000

This is the second round of School Improvement Grants awarded by the U.S. Department of Education. Last year, twelve Oregon schools received funding to transform their schools and raise student achievement. One year into the three year grants, schools are already seeing results in student behavior, student achievement, and graduation rates.

The federal SIG program is authorized under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and is intended to provide all children equal access to education. SIG is designed to improve student achievement in schools identified for improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. Schools receiving School Improvement Grants are required to use the additional resources to fund school turnaround activities designed to make dramatic changes to teaching and learning. To achieve their desired outcomes, the schools have committed to the following: (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. Schools will start implementing interventions for the 2011-12 school year.

For an audio clip of Superintendent Susan Castillo, go to: http://video.orvsd.org/ode/SIG-6-24-11.mp3

For more information on School Improvement Grants, go to: http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/page/?id=2919

To access Oregon’s SIG application: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/summary2010/index.html

Susan Castillo, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Crystal Greene, Acting Communications Director, Telephone (503) 947-5650

Oregon Department of Education News Releases contain information that was originally released to the press as an official release.  Refer to each News Release for the details.

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Oregon Department of Education
Voice: 503-947-5600
Fax: 503-378-5156
255 Capitol Street NE
Salem, OR 97310-0203

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