School Improvement Grants

Each year, starting in 2009-10, the Maine Department of Education names schools to the School Improvement Grant (SIG) eligibility list. The schools meet a series of detailed criteria, established by federal guidelines, and have experienced below average proficiency and growth on State testing.

Schools on the list are eligible to apply for school improvement grants which are spread over a three-year period. Under federal guidelines, if they apply for and receive the funds, they must agree to pursue a plan for turning around the school using one of four models.

The transformation model described below has been the most common choice for Maine schools.

  • Turnaround: Replace the principal, screen existing school staff and rehire no more than half the teachers; adopt a new governance structure; and improve the school through curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time and other strategies.
  • Restart: Convert a school or close it and re-open it as a charter school or under an education management organization.
  • School Closure: Close the school and send the students to higher-achieving schools in the district.
  • Transformation: Replace the principal and improve the school through comprehensive curriculum reform, professional development, extending learning time and other strategies.

SIG in Maine

In 2013-14, the Maine DOE named 13 schools to the SIG eligibility list and named one, the James Otis Kaler Elementary School in South Portland, as the sole recipient of the available funds.

Contact

Rachelle Tome
Chief Academic Officer
207-624-6705
rachelle.tome@maine.gov