Which Florida Statute authorizes Differentiated Accountability (DA)?

Section 1008.33, Florida Statutes, provides the State Board of Education with the authority to enforce public school improvement through a statewide system of supports and intervention, and authorizes Rule 6A-1.099811, Florida Administrative Code, which establishes differentiated intervention and support strategies for traditional public schools, delineates the responsibilities of the school, district, and Department of Education, sets timelines for intervention and support strategies, prescribes reporting requirements to review and monitor progress of schools, and sets forth submission and approval criteria for turnaround implementation plans.
Last Updated: 8/4/2016

Are charter schools subject to Differentiated Accountability under section 1008.33, Florida Statutes?

No, charter schools are exempt from this statute, pursuant to section 1002.33(16), Florida Statutes. If a charter has a current grade of D or F, they must follow the accountability requirements of Rule 6A-1.099827, Florida Administrative Code.
Last Updated: 6/6/2016

Are schools on the 2015-16 Differentiated Accountability (DA) list that receive a grade of C or higher in the 2014-15 school grades release excused from the requirements of the DA school checklist (Form DA-1)?

No, they are not excused from fulfilling the requirements of the DA school checklist.

Pursuant to Rule 6A-1.099811(3)(a), Florida Administrative Code, the DA list is established once per year based upon the most recently released school grades. Since the 2015-16 DA list posted in August 2015 was based upon 2013-14 school grades (the most recently available grades at the time), the 2014-15 school grades transition clause in section 1008.34(7)(a), Florida Statutes, (i.e., “hold harmless”) does not apply to this list.

The Florida Department of Education will not make any changes to the 2015-16 DA list based upon 2014-15 school grades. Schools that were on the DA list at the beginning of the 2015-16 school year should continue to follow the requirements of the DA school checklist (Form DA-2) until the end of the school year; likewise, their districts should continue to follow the DA district checklist (Form DA-1). A mid-year reflection is one of the requirements of the checklist.

Note: Pursuant to section 1008.34(7)(a), Florida Statutes, districts with schools identified as “planning” or “implementing” on the 2015-16 DA list may stop planning for or implementing a turnaround plan if the school's official 2014-15 grade improves to a C or higher. 

Last Updated: 6/6/2016

How are "Monitoring Only - Former F" schools determined for the DA list?

As required by Rule 6A-1.099811(5)(d), Florida Administrative Code, the department must monitor the implementation of strategies and progress toward goals outlined in the SIP for three years following a school’s improvement from a grade of “F” to a “C” or higher. Schools are first identified as “Former F” in the school year following the receipt of a grade of “C” or higher, regardless of whether the improvement immediately follows the grade of “F.” For example, schools with a grades history of FC, FDC, and FDDC, would all be identified as Former F, Year 1 in the school year following the improvement to a grade of “C.”

Schools identified as “Former F” are required to use the department's school improvement plan template, Form SIP-1, which is completed online at https://www.floridacims.org/

Note: A 2015 baseline grade of "F" did not restart the monitoring clock for "Former F" schools, as the grades were issued for informational purposes only.

Last Updated: 8/8/2016

Does the Florida Department of Education have the discretion to modify a requirement of the Turnaround Option Plan (Form TOP-2)?

Yes. A district may request to modify the requirements of the plan, and the State Board of Education has the discretion to approve the request. Form TOP-2 is incorporated in Rule 6A-1.099811, F.A.C.  As part of the instructions, this form provides as follows:

“Modification of the Common and Option-Specific Requirements of this form may be approved based upon the following:

1.       The request is made on this form.

2.       The request includes evidence that the modification will not impede school improvement.

3.       The request includes evidence that the modification is not contrary to statutory requirement.” 

Last Updated: 8/17/2014

What is the timeline for submission of turnaround option plans (TOPs)?

Pursuant to Rule 6A-1.099811, F.A.C., the following timeline provides dates of deliverables required in 2017 for districts with schools identified on the 2016-17 DA Support List with a Turnaround Status of Planning (Year 1) or Implementing (Year 2 and 3 only).

  • May 1, 2017: Submit TOP Phase 1 to bsi@fldoe.org. Districts must work with their regional executive director (RED) to review the needs assessment and turnaround options prior to submitting Phase 1.
  • June 5-14, 2017: Complete survey to provide baseline data for subsequent progress monitoring data reviews. More details will be emailed to district contacts in mid-May.
  • Two weeks after 2017 school grades are posted or by July 31, 2017, whichever comes first: Submit TOP Phase 2 to bsi@fldoe.org on behalf of all schools included in Phase 1 that do not improve the school grade in 2017. Note: The 2017 TOP Phase 2 Template and Companion Guide will be posted in May. Districts must work with their RED on the development of Phase 2 prior to its final submission.
The above dates and deliverables are subject to change based upon the timing of the 2017 school grades release and requests by the State Board of Education. District contacts will be notified of any changes.
Last Updated: 4/13/2017

Are districts without Focus or Priority schools required to complete the DIAP?

No. The District Improvement and Assistance Plan (DIAP) is only required of districts with Focus or Priority schools. However, all districts are welcome to complete it if they choose.
Last Updated: 3/8/2015

When is the District Improvement and Assistance Plan (DIAP) due?

For districts with one or more Priority or Focus schools based upon 2016 school grades, the following timeline applies for the 2016-17 school year:

  • May 3, 2016: 2016-17 DIAP opens in CIMS
  • By August 31, 2016: Draft DIAP forwarded in CIMS to the regional executive director (RED) for review and feedback
  • By September 14, 2016: DIAP feedback provided to the district by the RED; district then revises DIAP in CIMS, if needed, before approval by district school improvement contact
  • By September 30, 2016: DIAP approved by district school improvement contact and published in CIMS

It is worth noting that districts submitting turnaround plans (TOPs) have an earlier DIAP deadline and will be notified directly by the Bureau of School Improvement.

Submission deadlines are important milestones for auditing purposes; however, the DIAP is intended to be used and refined throughout the year.

Last Updated: 8/23/2016

Where can I find FAQs related to Step Zero?

FAQs related to Step Zero can be located in the Problem Solving tab of the CIMS FAQ.
Last Updated: 7/6/2015

Where can I find FAQs related to 8-step planning and problem solving?

FAQs related to 8-step planning and problem solving can be located in the Problem Solving tab of the CIMS FAQ.
Last Updated: 7/6/2015

How can I ensure my school is considered for nomination?

All Florida public schools are automatically considered for nomination and checked against the eligibility criteria.

Last Updated: 10/31/2016

How do Florida schools qualify for nomination?

Each state must develop a nomination plan annually that includes, at a minimum, the eligibility criteria outlined by the U.S. Department of Education (USED), which can be found at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/eligibility.html. Additional USED-established criteria can be found in the front matter of the application itself. Schools are nominated by the Florida Department of Education based on the criteria outlined in the USED-approved nomination plan.

Last Updated: 10/31/2016

How many Florida public schools can be nominated each year?

Florida can nominate up to 13 schools each year; although, due to the strict criteria, fewer than 13 schools may be eligible. At least one third of the nominated schools must have at least 40 percent of their students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Last Updated: 10/31/2016

What is the timeline for the program?

The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) nominates eligible schools in the winter and then nominated schools receive a formal invitation from the U.S. Department of Education (USED) to apply for the award. The application deadline is in the spring. After a rigorous application review process by USED and certification by the FDOE, award recipients are announced in the fall by the Secretary of Education. The detailed timeline, which varies slightly each year, can be found at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/nclbbrs/applicant.html.

Last Updated: 10/31/2016

Are private schools eligible for nomination? If so, how are these nominations determined?

Yes, the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) nominates schools that meet the criteria for recognition. Non-public schools interested in being nominated should contact CAPE directly at brs@capenet.org; additional information can be found at www.capenet.org/brs.html.

Last Updated: 10/31/2016

Why does Read-Only mode turn on each time I navigate to a new page of the District Problem Solving module?

The District Problem Solving module is a shared repository of strategic goals for the district, which can be used in fulfillment of the DIAP, TIPA, and/or SIG. For this reason, it is possible that multiple district users could be working within District Problem Solving at the same time. To avoid accidentally overwriting someone else's work, district beta testers requested an added layer of security. District Problem Solving now defaults to Read-Only mode when navigating. When you are ready to enter information, simply click the red Edit Mode Off button so that it turns gray and reads Edit Mode On.

Last Updated: 7/6/2015

What does the gray key icon with an alphanumeric code (e.g., M248096) represent?

This icon is called a Quick Key and each is unique to a field in the Problem Solving module. Registered users can use the Quick Key to go directly to the point of entry for any given goal, barrier, strategy, action step, or monitoring activity within the Problem Solving module. Simply enter the key in the search field at the top-right corner of any page in Problem Solving. Each Quick Key begins with a letter, which provides a clue regarding the field it represents; for example, if the key begins with a "M," then that key is connected to a monitoring activity (captured in Step 6, 7, or 8).

The Quick Key is most useful when referencing a printed export of a SIP or DIAP and trying to locate its content in CIMS. Although the numbering in a source code (e.g., G1.B2.S1) may change over time as items are added, removed, or reordered, the Quick Key will remain the same.

Last Updated: 5/20/2016

What is the "Unearned Points by Student" chart?

The "Unearned Points by Student" chart represents lost opportunity in statewide assessments and helps us identify the greatest opportunity for improvement among the school grading formula cells. The taller the bar, the greater the number of points “left on the table” per student in a denominator of the school grade.

Each vertical bar represents a ratio. The numerator is the number of points unearned (out of 100 possible points) for a given grading formula cell (e.g., reading proficiency, math learning gains, etc.), while the denominator is the number of students in the cohort tested for a cell. The chart is intended to inform allocation of resources and strategic goal choices in those situations where resources are scarce.

Additional information about the academic outcomes charts in Step Zero is available at https://www.floridacims.org/downloads/108.


Last Updated: 7/12/2015

How can I print the data charts from Step Zero?

Look for the small gray menu icon (three horizontal stacked lines) in the corner of each chart. When you click on the icon it will give you a quick print option as well as a menu of download formats.
Last Updated: 7/12/2015

Why is there no data appearing for my school in Step Zero?

Schools that receive a school improvement rating or did not receive a school grade in prior years (e.g., schools that only serve students in non-tested grade levels and new schools) are not included in the Step Zero data visualizations. For the time being, Step Zero is only populated with data from the School Grades file.

Schools with no data appearing in Step Zero should use data available at the local level to engage in problem identification. The resources available for problem analysis and goal formulation, especially the CIMS Offline Worksheet - Step Zero, will still be useful and can be found in the Problem Solving Toolkit.

Last Updated: 7/12/2015

As a district user, when I access Step Zero through a school improvement plan, why don't I automatically see the data visualizations for that particular school?

A district user has access to school grades data in Step Zero for all schools in the district that receive a school grade. Therefore, regardless of how a district user accesses the Step Zero module, they will always find the full list of schools in the district that fit within the parameters established by the teal filters at the top of the Academic Outcomes page. 
Last Updated: 7/22/2015

What are the requirements for setting targets in Step 1b of Problem Solving?

The Department does not require a specific number of or emphasis for targets. Rather, districts and schools are encouraged to review available state and local data through a needs assessment (problem identification and root cause analysis), consider each of the five domains that research demonstrates are conditions necessary for successful schools (Effective Leadership, Ambitious Instruction, Collaborative Teaching, Safe/Supportive Environment, and Family/Community Engagement), and focus on the highest priority areas of strength and weakness for the school or district. 

The exhaustive list of indicators in CIMS allows teams to set targets that are relevant to the strategic goals they have identified in Step 1a as a result of the needs assessment. Keep in mind that Step 1a and Step 1b together create a theory of action – that is, by realizing the strategic goal (1a), the set targets would also be reached (1b). Thus, the purpose for setting targets in problem solving is not to predict results but rather to ensure the team is considering from the beginning the conditions for success and examining results objectively to determine if strategies are working, with systematic and urgent focus on how students are learning.

Last Updated: 7/14/2015

How can we set proficiency targets for FSA reading and mathematics before cut scores are established?

In the target-setting portion of Problem Solving (Step 1b), the Florida Standards Assessment indicators include the option to set targets in terms of “percent” or “percentile.” Within the Academic Outcomes Plot in Step Zero, teams will find a "bubble chart" that displays percentile rankings information for the school, including a comparison of the school’s overall performance in each of the eight standard school grading cells in 2012-13 and 2013-14 (y-axis), and the year-over-year change in performance for the same cells and academic years (x-axis). Percentile rankings allow us to understand the school's position relative to all other schools of the same type in the state, regardless of the statewide assessment being used. The school can view its trajectory in terms of percentile rankings and then apply that trajectory to the 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years for the purpose of setting targets for the Florida Standards Assessment. 

For example, if a school was in the 23rd percentile for FCAT 2.0 reading proficiency in 2013 and the 26th percentile for FCAT 2.0 reading proficiency in 2014, progress monitoring data over the 14-15 school year showed promising results in reading and writing, and the team has committed to improving its implementation of strategies designed to develop literacy, the school might logically project its percentile ranking for FSA Reading to increase in 15-16, even before knowing the proficiency results for 2015. 

There is no formula for setting targets; rather, the leadership team makes a projection according to its situational awareness and access to and understanding of reliable early warning and progress monitoring data. For additional support with this process, please view the Problem Solving Toolkit.

 

Last Updated: 7/14/2015

Can we modify the target indicators that are available in Step 1b?

The main school improvement contact for each district is able to manage the list of indicators that will appear in their district's school improvement plans by going to the Districts page, clicking on their respective district name from the list of districts, clicking the black Manage Information button at the top-right corner, and then clicking the Manage Targets tab. This tab will display a list of all indicators currently available in CIMS, each with its own check box. If a check mark appears in the box, then that indicator will be included in the list that appears in the school improvement plans for the district; to hide an indicator from that list, simply click the box so a check mark no longer appears.

If you are not the main contact and wish for an indicator to be added, please email your main contact with the request. On the Plan Dashboard for any survey, this person is listed as General under District Contacts. If the indicator is not already available in CIMS, the main contact may request it by submitting an Intercom message or emailing bsi@fldoe.org with the description of the indicator(s) being requested, including any definitions or calculations.
Last Updated: 7/15/2015

Is a Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) target the same as an Annual Measurable Objectives (AMO) target? If not, how should a FSA target be calculated?

No, the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) English Language Arts and Mathematics targets are not the same as AMO targets. FSA targets are for the new Florida Standards Assessments in English language arts and mathematics and are stand-alone indicators; AMO targets are a combination of FCAT 2.0 and FAA proficiency scores for reading and FCAT 2.0, FAA, and EOC assessment proficiency scores for mathematics.

FSA proficiency targets cannot yet be calculated in terms of percent, but they can be set in terms of percentile. For more information, please reference the Step Zero Quick Guide - Percentile Ranking in the Toolkit and utilize Step Zero in CIMS.
Last Updated: 7/14/2015

Why is a separate writing indicator not included as an option in Step 1b?

Although the Florida Standards Assessment (FSA) in English language arts will include a writing component, only one score will be provided; there will not be a separate writing component score. As such, we have not included writing as a separate indicator in CIMS.

While you cannot set an FSA target for writing alone in Step 1b, you can certainly address writing as part of a strategic goal. In Steps 4 and 5, writing-specific strategies and action steps can be added, along with accompanying monitoring activities in Steps 6 and 7.

Last Updated: 7/14/2015

What is the denominator for calculating middle school performance on high school end-of-course (EOC) assessments and industry certifications?

The denominator of the middle school acceleration performance measure is the unduplicated count of students from the numerator of the participation component who have a valid score. Students are included in the numerator for performance if they score at Achievement Level 3 or higher on an EOC assessment or have a passing industry certification outcome. For students with more than one successful outcome, an additional 0.1 points are credited to the student for each successful outcome beyond the first, which is weighted at 1.0 points. As with the acceleration performance component for high school grades, middle schools can earn additional successful completions for students who achieve industry certifications that result in credit for more than one college course through Statewide Articulation Agreements.

Last Updated: 7/14/2015

Does the college ready target address only the Postsecondary Education Readiness Test (P.E.R.T.) or does it also include the equivalent students (e.g., those who have taken the SAT or ACT)?

This includes on-time graduates scoring "college ready" in reading or mathematics on the P.E.R.T. or any college placement test authorized under Rule 6A-10.0315, F.A.C.
Last Updated: 7/14/2015

Where does graduation rate fit in as a target? Should we include a separate goal that addresses graduation rate?

If graduation rate is a priority concern for the school, and a strategic goal has been developed that will improve the graduation rate, then it is appropriate that one or more of the graduation rate indicators be selected as targets for that strategic goal. 

Last Updated: 7/14/2015

What is the definition of "on-time graduates"?

The number of on-time graduates is the count of students who earn diplomas within four years of the first time they entered grade 9. GED diploma recipients in high school exit option programs, as well as special diploma recipients, are not counted as graduates. However, students in the cohort who received a standard high school diploma through an adult education program are counted as graduates.

There is an indicator in Step 1b of Problem Solving for four year and five year graduation rates. The five-year graduation rate is a follow-up to the prior year’s four-year cohort. 

Last Updated: 7/14/2015

Why do I have to add each point person responsible for carrying out action steps or monitoring activities as users in CIMS?

The field type for the Who in Steps 5-8 of Problem Solving changed in 2014-15 from a text box to a drop-down menu, which is populated with all Level 1 and 2 users for school problem solving, and with all Level 3 and 4 users for district problem solving. This change was made both to encourage the inclusion of multiple stakeholders in the planning and implementation processes, and in preparation for upcoming project management features that will be incorporated into CIMS, such as automated reminder messages to point persons identified in Problem Solving.  Note: Many times, these point persons are also members of a leadership team within the school or district. If a user was already added to the system during the completion of Part I of the SIP or DIAP, their name will appear in all drop-down menus throughout the plan; they will not need to be added again.

Last Updated: 9/12/2014

Why can't I select more than one person to be responsible for each action step or monitoring activity?

Often times when multiple people are assigned to oversee an activity, deadlines are missed because one point person assumed the other point person was handling that aspect of the project, compromising the fidelity of implementation. For this reason, CIMS only allows users to identify one point person from the drop-down menu for each action step or monitoring activity.

If multiple point persons are necessary, we recommend that a main point person is selected to serve as the "central contact" for that step or activity, with the intent that the central contact would oversee the action steps or monitoring being done by other internally-noted point persons.
Last Updated: 10/9/2014

Who is required to complete the Mid-Year Reflection?

Any school that is required to complete Florida's SIP template pursuant to Rule 6A-1.099811, F.A.C., which includes Focus, Priority, and Former F schools, is also required to complete the Mid-Year Reflection for all goals in the SIP. SIG Cohort 3 schools, regardless of DA category, are required to complete the Mid-Year Reflection for all goals in the SIP in order to earn participation points for the annual renewal process. 

Districts with Focus or Priority schools are required to complete the Mid-Year Reflection for any goals in District Problem Solving that are tagged to the DIAP. Districts with SIG Cohort 3 schools are required to complete the Mid-Year Reflection for any goals in District Problem Solving that are tagged to SIG in order to earn participation points for the annual renewal process.
Last Updated: 5/4/2016

Does CIMS have an end-of-year closeout/reflection tool?

The Reflection module can be used multiple times throughout the year, if desired. For example, a school may wish to complete an end-of-year reflection to close out the year before starting on the next year's School Improvement Plan. To do this, make sure the previously entered Reflection for each goal listed has been been marked Complete and the entire Reflection recorded (by using the green Record button). If the responses have been recorded you will see a date in the Last Recorded column of the Reflection Index page. You will also find a PDF version of the recorded Reflection saved on the plan's Tracking page.

Once recorded to the Tracking page, users may overwrite the responses in the Reflection module without fear of losing the old information. Simply click the View button for each goal and change the green Complete status at the top-right corner back to Editing. Then you may change the responses and toggle back to Complete. After all goals are marked Complete, make sure to click that Record button again so a new PDF is saved to the plan's Tracking page.

A detailed Reflection How-to Guide for Schools is available at https://www.floridacims.org/downloads/149 and a Reflection How-to Guide for Districts is available at https://www.floridacims.org/downloads/150.

Last Updated: 5/4/2016

What is a School Advisory Council (SAC)?

The School Advisory Council (SAC) is a school-based group intended to represent the school, the community, and those persons closest to the students. The group shares responsibility for guiding the school toward continuous improvement. The district school board is responsible, by Florida law, for establishing an advisory council for each school in the district and shall develop procedures for the election and appointment of advisory council members. Each SAC shall include in its name the words "school advisory council." For further information, please see Section 1001.452(1)(a), Florida Statutes.
Last Updated: 6/1/2016

What is the role of the SAC?

The School Advisory Council is responsible for final decision making at the school relating to the implementation of the provisions of the annual School Improvement Plan (SIP). The SAC assists in the annual preparation and evaluation of both the SIP and the school's annual budget. For further information, please see Section 1001.452(1)(a), Florida Statutes

Last Updated: 6/1/2016

Who serves on the SAC?

A SAC should be composed of the principal and an appropriately balanced number of teachers, education support employees, students, parents, and other business and community citizens who are representative of the ethnic, racial, and economic community served by the school.  Certain members are elected by their peers, while business and community members are appointed, and the principal automatically serves.  Only students in secondary schools serve on a SAC.  It is also a requirement that the majority of the members of the School Advisory Council are persons who are not employed by the school district.  For further information, please see Section 1001.452(1)(a), Florida Statutes.

Last Updated: 6/1/2016

How much funding is allotted to each SAC?

The annual General Appropriations Act provides each SAC with up to $5.00 per unweighted, full-time enrolled (FTE) student to be used for implementing the School Improvement Plan.  If funds are insufficient to provide $5.00 per student after the distribution of school recognition funds, the available funds will be prorated.  The money is sent by FDOE to each district, which forwards allocations to each local school’s SAC.  For further information, please see Section 1001.42(18)(d), Florida Statutes and s. 24.121(5)(c), F.S.

Last Updated: 6/1/2016

Where can I find more information about SACs?

Most school districts provide information about their schools' SACs on their district and/or the school websites. There's also a more expansive FAQ located in the CIMS Toolkit. The Bureau of School Improvement is working to provide clearer and more robust guidance on SAC laws and requirements, including the development of presentations and eLearning courses to be used as training tools for SAC members. These resources are scheduled to be available by the end of 2016. 
Last Updated: 6/1/2016

How many districts/schools submitted the Intent to Apply?

As of March 31, 2014, 25 districts have indicated an intent to apply for a total of 58 targeted schools.
Last Updated: 4/22/2014

Who are the grantees in SIG Cohort 3?

The list of SIG Cohort 3 grantees is as follows:

Last Updated: 12/19/2016

What is required of a school and its district that receives a SIG 1003(g) award, but improves its school grade during the funding period?

All SIG-awarded schools and their districts are required to fully implement the SIG model for three years, as well as accept support, monitoring and technical assistance from the Differentiated Accountability team and use CIMS for planning and monitoring throughout the life of the grant, regardless of future school grades.
Last Updated: 8/23/2014

What happens if a district uses the SIG proposal to meet the requirements of TOP-1 and TOP-2, but does not receive an award for that school?

Any district with a SIG-targeted school that is required to implement a turnaround model in 2014-15 pursuant to Rule 6A-1.099811, F.A.C., but is not awarded SIG funds for that school will be allowed to amend the plan accordingly prior to the 2014-15 school year.

Any district with a SIG-targeted school that is not required to implement a turnaround model in 2014-15 pursuant to Rule 6A-1.099811, F.A.C., and is not awarded SIG funds for that school will not be required to implement the plan.
Last Updated: 4/26/2014

Will there be a formal amendment process if we need to adjust our plan and/or budget after we receive a SIG award?

Yes, districts that receive a SIG award will be provided technical assistance on the amendment process to be used within CIMS. Any substantive edits to the project scope or budget would need to be approved by FDOE.
Last Updated: 8/23/2014

Will there be an annual evaluation and renewal process for awarded schools to receive funding in Year 2 and 3?

Yes, the FDOE will make three-year awards using FFY13 funds. However, funds will be released annually based on renewal rubrics that will be scored in three parts: documentation, implementation and performance. The renewal process is outlined in the RFP located in the SIG Toolkit.
Last Updated: 3/13/2014

Who is eligible to apply for SIG Cohort 4?

Districts with Title I schools identified as “Priority” or “Focus” under Florida’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) waiver, excluding schools that have since closed, received a new master school identification (MSID) number, or are receiving SIG 1003(g) funds in 2016-17, are eligible to apply for SIG Cohort 4. This list is posted at https://www.floridacims.org/downloads/202.

The ESEA Flexibility Priority and Focus list includes all schools falling into one or more of the following categories:

  • Earned grade of D or F in 2013-14
  • Earned graduation rate below 60% (regardless of school grade) in 2013-14

The ESEA list defined above is distinct from the Differentiated Accountability list which is updated annually and defines Priority and Focus based on the most recently released school grades.

Last Updated: 8/4/2016

Are charter schools eligible to apply?

A charter school on the SIG4 eligibility list may be included in the district's proposal. Charter schools may not apply separately from the district.
Last Updated: 8/4/2016

When is the deadline for the SIG4 Intent to Apply?

The SIG4 Intent to Apply (ITA) must be completed and submitted in CIMS by 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, on Thursday, December 22, 2016, in order to maintain eligibility for the SIG4 competition. As a requirement of the ITA, the district must reach out to their regional executive director for a consultation on the site selection and methodology for the needs assessment. The consultation must occur prior to the ITA deadline.
Last Updated: 12/8/2016

The SIG4 Intent to Apply requires the district to have a Risk Analysis (DOE 610) on file. What is this form?

To apply for SIG4, an eligible district must have an approved Risk Analysis (DOE 610) on file with the Florida Department of Education in order to be eligible for federal funding. Districts deemed "High Risk" according to the DOE 610 form are disqualified from the SIG4 competition. More information is available in Section C of the Green Book. Or, contact the Bureau of Contracts, Grants and Procurement at CGPmailbox@fldoe.org.
Last Updated: 8/4/2016

Can a district apply for multiple schools under a single proposal?

A district may only submit one proposal, and may select one or more implementation sites from the list of eligible schools to include in that proposal. The district must be able to demonstrate capacity to implement the selected intervention fully and effectively in each school included in the proposal. It is worth noting that given the limited amount of funds and the department's goal of awarding a cohort that is diverse in both district size and geographic location, a district is unlikely to be awarded for a proposal that includes more than 3-5 schools. 
Last Updated: 8/4/2016

What criteria must we use to determine whether to select or exclude an eligible school as an implementation site in the SIG4 Intent to Apply and Proposal?

The district must select only the implementation site(s) in which the district has the capacity to implement a SIG intervention fully and effectively.

If a district intends to serve one or more Focus schools, it must first serve all of its Priority schools, including charters. See also https://www.floridacims.org/faqs/270

If a district intends to exclude a Priority school, it must demonstrate one of the following rationales in the SIG4 Intent to Apply:

  1. The district is already implementing a SIG intervention model or an intervention aligned with all of the ESEA flexibility turnaround principles in that school using funds other than SIG funds.
  2. The district lacks sufficient capacity to implement an intervention in the Priority school.
  3. For charter Priority schools only, the district has provided an opportunity to the school to participate in the SIG4 proposal, and the charter school has declined.
Note: An LEA might demonstrate that it lacks sufficient capacity to serve one or more of its Priority schools by documenting efforts such as its unsuccessful attempts to recruit a sufficient number of new principals to implement the turnaround or transformation model in that school or the unavailability of CMOs or EMOs willing to restart schools in the LEA. An LEA may not demonstrate that it lacks capacity to serve one or more Priority schools based on its intent to serve Focus schools or the fact that it is currently serving Focus schools. 
Last Updated: 8/10/2016

Can you clarify the differences in the four questions found in Part III.C. Selection Rationale of the SIG4 Intent to Apply?

While there is some overlap in the questions related to the selection rationale, each question requests that the district consider and provide distinct pieces of information.

Question 1
(By what criteria or rubric did you select and determine the district’s capacity to serve the site(s)?)
This question is asking about district capacity, meaning how the district has determined it will be able to support a full and effective implementation of a SIG intervention in all selected sites. A formal rubric or criteria list is not required but may be uploaded in Question 4 if it helps to support the description; otherwise, a description will suffice.

Question 2
(If selecting more than one site, describe why multiple sites are necessary to the district’s learning process.)
This question is applicable only if the district is proposing to serve more than one eligible site. (If not applicable, type N/A in the text field.) Even if the district finds it has the capacity to support a SIG intervention in multiple sites, why does the district find it necessary to do so? A response might include what the district hopes to improve reliably at scale through the implementation of SIG at the selected sites and/or the specific characteristics or circumstances at the sites that together will contribute to the desired learning objectives of the project.

Question 3
(If applicable, what is the district’s rationale for not including one or more eligible sites in the proposal?)
This question is applicable only if the district is not serving all of its eligible sites. (If not applicable, type N/A in the text field.) If choosing to exclude one or more sites, the district should provide a description of why the decision was made. The response may be related to the district’s capacity, or may address other reasons determined by the district, such as school-level data showing an intervention is not needed or because of other initiatives already in place at the site. For more information on the rationale for excluding sites, please see https://www.floridacims.org/faqs/270 and https://www.floridacims.org/faqs/284.

Question 4
(Documentation of the selection criteria may be uploaded in the online application, if applicable.)
This question is optional. The district should upload files only as needed to support the responses provided in Questions 1-3.
Last Updated: 8/10/2016

Should the description of the needs assessment methodology describe what we plan to do, or what we have already done?

The description of the needs assessment methodology in the Intent to Apply (ITA) can include what the district has done already, and/or what the district will do to determine the needs of the implementation site(s) in order to select appropriate interventions in the proposal.

The proposal will require the district to document the results of the needs assessment, so the ITA is asking only for a summary of the methodology.
Last Updated: 8/10/2016

How many districts will receive awards?

Without knowing how many districts will submit proposals or how much money will be requested by each, we can only estimate that approximately 10-15 districts will receive SIG4 awards.

Last Updated: 8/4/2016

Are Priority schools given preference over Focus schools in the competition?

A district that has both Priority and Focus schools on the SIG4 eligibility list must include all of its Priority schools, including charters, before any Focus schools.  

For example, if a district is interested in supporting one of its Focus schools, but it has two Priority schools on the eligibility list that are not implementing an intervention aligned to the turnaround principles, the district would need to include its two Priority schools along with the one Focus school, and demonstrate in the proposal that the district has the capacity to serve all three schools in a full and effective implementation. 

Note: A district may exclude one or more of its eligible schools by demonstrating that it is already implementing a SIG intervention (such as restart, EMO, or whole school reform) or an intervention aligned with all of the ESEA flexibility turnaround principles (such as a State Board approved TOP) in that school using funds other than SIG 1003(g). Districts must use Question III.C.3 Excluded Sites in the Intent to Apply as needed to document the rationale for excluding one or more sites.

See related FAQ at https://www.floridacims.org/faqs/284
Last Updated: 8/10/2016

Will 2016 school grades play a role in consideration of proposals for SIG Cohort 4?

Districts are encouraged to use the latest available data in determining which implementation sites to include from the eligibility list, determining needs of those sites, and selecting appropriate interventions. Reviewers will look for evidence that the district used multiple sources of data, including information from stakeholders; analyzed data trends over time; and conducted problem analysis to identify root causes and design strategic goals. For more information, see the Round 2 and Round 3 Protocols.


Last Updated: 8/4/2016

Will districts receive a rubric to accompany the proposal?

Unlike the SIG3 competition, there is no single scoring rubric for the SIG4 competition; however, there are a few documents that outline what the department will be looking for in a district's proposal.

  1. The Round 1 Checklist will be used in the first round of the SIG4 competition to determine the extent to which the proposal demonstrates understanding and documentation of the requirements and optional components. A component of this process includes the review of the intervention-specific checklist(s) submitted by the district with the proposal. The intervention checklists are each posted at https://www.floridacims.org/downloads?category=sig-cohort-4

  2. The Round 2 Protocol will be used to prepare summary information for the expert panels in Round 3.

  3. The Round 3 Protocol will be used by the expert panels to guide the review and discussion of each proposal in Round 3.
Last Updated: 8/9/2016

When will SIG4 grant recipients be announced?

Review of district SIG4 proposals began on Monday, September 12, 2016.  The Bureau of School Improvement anticipates the four rounds of the competitive review process concluding in mid-November, followed by award decisions in mid-December, and district notification by January 2017.

A PowerPoint presentation that includes the SIG4 projected timeline is available in the CIMS Toolkit at https://www.floridacims.org/downloads/237.

Last Updated: 10/10/2016

If our district is already receiving School Improvement Grant (SIG) 1003(a) funds, can the district still compete for a SIG 1003(g) in Cohort 4?

Yes, a district receiving SIG 1003(a) funds with schools on the SIG 1003(g) eligibility list may apply for SIG 1003(g). The two fund sources complement each other; therefore, the district should coordinate so that SIG 1003(g) funding is used in addition to, rather than instead of, 1003(a) funding. 

Last Updated: 12/7/2016

What is the revised timeline for the SIG4 competition?

The revised timeline for the competition, awards, and implementation is as follows:

  • November 30, 2016: FDOE announces reopened competition
  • December 29, 2016: New or revised district proposals are due to FDOE
  • January–April 2017: FDOE notifies districts of award status
  • May–July 2017: FDOE conducts budget negotiations with grantees
  • August 2017: FDOE issues multi-year awards to districts in accordance with the schedule below
    • Year 1: August 1, 2017–July 31, 2018
    • Year 2: August 1, 2018–July 31, 2019
    • Year 3: August 1, 2019–July 31, 2020
    • Year 4: August 1, 2020–July 31, 2021
    • Year 5: August 1, 2021 – July 31, 2022
Last Updated: 12/6/2016

When is the deadline for the SIG4 proposal?

The SIG4 Proposal survey must be completed and submitted in CIMS by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) on Friday, September 9, 2016.

Form DOE 100A is the only document that requires a hard copy to be submitted; this form, with the original superintendent signature, must be received by the Florida Department of Education Office of Grants Management by 5:00 p.m. EDT on September 9, 2016. Keep in mind, a scanned copy of the completed form must also be uploaded to and submitted with the SIG4 Proposal survey in CIMS.

Last Updated: 8/9/2016

Is there an option to select N/A on assurances that do not apply to our selected intervention(s)?

There is not an option to select N/A on assurances. The default setting for all assurances is NO. For any that do not apply to your selected intervention(s), meaning any that do not have a colored badge in Section II.A., leave them set to NO, unless your district is opting in to the assurance. 

Note: the intervention badges remain grey until one or more interventions are selected in Section I.B.2. If a decision is made to change interventions during the development of the proposal, the district must look for any corresponding changes to the required fields.


Last Updated: 9/6/2016

Should Part V (i.e., Executive Summary) focus on the district's five-year vision or address only plans for Year 1?

Part V serves as the place where the district pulls all the pieces together to ensure the reviewers have a clear understanding of the proposal. Think of this as a high-level overview. The summary and PowerPoint presentation should address where you want your implementation site(s) to be in five years, what you want to learn as a district, and what you want to know how to scale up, sustainably, by the end of the grant. Keep in mind, that awarded districts will build upon the PowerPoint presentation annually to share lessons learned to a cross-district group (see Part II: B.3.b.).

Last Updated: 9/6/2016

When referencing the 5Essentials framework, why is the term "Professional Capacity" used instead of "Collaborative Teachers" in the SIG4 Proposal?

When adopting the 5Essentials as an organizational framework for district-level work, we use "Professional Capacity" because it goes beyond the scope of the indicators measured by the school-level survey for "Collaborative Teachers."

Last Updated: 9/6/2016

Are districts required to upload a completed "Year 1 External Provider Information" form to the proposal if they do not yet have contracts with external providers in place?

An External Provider Information Form must be uploaded to the proposal only in cases where a district has already selected an external provider and are working on a contract to implement in Year 1. See related FAQ at https://www.floridacims.org/faqs/308


However, in the proposal, all districts must assure that any future contracts with external providers, funded through SIG4, will be submitted and approved as a project amendment or during the annual renewal process (see Section II.B.5.b.), and that the district will disclose through the quarterly deliverable process any significant events or changes (such as new or terminated contracts with external providers) that will impact implementation of the SIG4 plan throughout the project period (see Section II.B.8.a.). 

Last Updated: 9/8/2016

Does each district administering the 5Essentials Survey need to upload a completed "External Provider Information Form" for UChicago Impact, the administrator of the survey?

No, a completed "External Provider Information Form" for UChicago Impact is already on-file with the Bureau of School Improvement. Therefore, the district is not required to upload one. For reference, the completed form can be found in the SIG Cohort 4 tab of the Toolkit. Keep in mind, if your district proposes to use a comparable survey instrument, the "External Provider Information Form" will need to be completed and uploaded for the administrator of that survey.

Last Updated: 9/8/2016

Can the word limit for individual text fields in the proposal be increased?

To encourage districts to be concise and refrain from repeating content throughout the proposal, the majority of text fields in the SIG4 Proposal have a default limit of 150 words. Some exceptions are the Needs Assessment Results (Part I: A.), Intervention Rationale (Part I: B.2.), and Families and Communities (Part II: A.4.), which have higher word limits due to the scope of information requested.

As you adjust your responses to fit within the established word limits, keep in mind that the proposal will be reviewed holistically. Therefore, you may be able to find another spot in the SIG4 Proposal where it makes sense to provide some of the detail, such as the Strategy Rationale text field in Step 4 of District Problem Solving.

Should you desire for the BSI team to consider an increase in word limit for a specific question, you may submit a request via Intercom. Given the reviewers will each read up to 24 proposals, please use this option sparingly.

Last Updated: 9/8/2016

Why can't I submit the proposal? Everything is marked complete.

The SIG4 Proposal survey must be submitted by the main SIG contact, who is listed on the Plan Dashboard.
Last Updated: 9/8/2016

For which years do we need to set targets in the proposal?

While your SIG4 goals (Step 1a) should reflect a long-term, 5-year vision for the SIG4 program, the targets set in Step 1b are needed for Year 1 only (2017-18). Thereafter, targets will be set for each year as part of the annual planning and renewal process.

Last Updated: 12/6/2016

Can we add new goals in Problem Solving for the SIG4 proposal, or must we use only existing goals that were created for the DIAP?

The district may either add new goals or build upon existing goals. Keep in mind, District Problem Solving is a central repository of district goals, barriers, and strategies for school improvement. The district must determine whether to use shared goals across the DIAP and SIG4 proposal, or to have distinct goals for each.

To include a goal in a specific plan or proposal, the respective “tag” must be applied to one or more of its strategies in Step 4. Each strategy may be tagged to the District Improvement and Assistance Plan (DIAP) and/or to a school improvement grant proposal (SIG3 and/or SIG4), which indicates to the system that the accompanying goal should be included in that particular plan and/or proposal. For detailed information on the District Problem Solving module, please review the District Problem Solving How-to Guide located in the Navigation Guides tab of the Toolkit; the tagging feature is described on pages 9-10.

Last Updated: 12/6/2016

Are we required to label each section of the online proposal with the intervention checklist component(s) that are addressed by the response?

Districts are not required to label each section of the proposal narrative or implementation plan to indicate which intervention criteria is met by each response, though some find it helpful for their own purposes. However, districts must use the appropriate intervention checklist (e.g., Transformation, Early Learning) to identify the location in the proposal (e.g., Part II: A.1.d.1.-2., G1.B2.S1) where each item (e.g., TRAN 1, TRAN 2) has been addressed, whether in a narrative response and/or in the implementation plan. Completed checklists must be uploaded to Part V:C. of the proposal, and will be referenced during the Round 1 review process.

Last Updated: 12/12/2016

A new principal will be placed at a proposed SIG4 implementation site prior to the start of Year. How do we indicate this in the proposal?

Under Part II.A.1. Effective Leadership, complete the following steps:
  1. Change the slider on section d.1 Intent to Replace Principal to Yes
  2. In the text box for Desired Competencies for Replacement, provide a brief summary of the desired experience and competencies the district will look for (or already has looked for) in a replacement 
  3. In the text box for Rationale for Principal Retention, type N/A
  4. In section 2. Retained Principal Resume, if a new principal has been identified after the start of the SIG4 competition but prior to the December 29 deadline, provide the resume.
Last Updated: 12/12/2016

May we include action steps beyond Year 1 in the proposal?

Yes, action steps for Years 2-5 may be entered in District Problem Solving, if desired. However, it is important to note that no single action step should span more than one award year; this means that all Year 1 action steps should have start and end dates that occur during the period beginning August 1, 2017, and ending July 31, 2018. All Year 2 action steps should occur between August 1, 2018, and July 31, 2019, and so on.

While action steps beyond Year 1 can be included in the proposal, budget lines should only be added for Year 1 action steps! That is, do not add budget lines to action steps occurring in Years 2-5; a one-year budget will be built annually during the renewal process.

Last Updated: 12/22/2016

Do districts have a choice of intervention options?

Districts may select from six intervention options: 
  • Closure 
  • Restart 
  • Turnaround* 
  • Transformation* 
  • Early Learning (for schools serving elementary grades)
  • Evidence-based Whole School Reform 
 *Districts meeting USED eligibility requirements for RLIS may use the Rural Accommodation to modify one requirement of the Turnaround or Transformation interventions.
Last Updated: 8/26/2016

Where can I find the "final requirements" for School Improvement Grants authorized under section 1003(g) of Title I of the ESEA?

Which developers meet the requirements of the evidence-based, whole-school reform model for SIG4?

USED has determined the following developers have models that meet the requirements of the evidence-based, whole-school reform model:

The list will be updated if additional developers are found to meet the requirements. More information can be found at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/sigevidencebased/index.html

Last Updated: 12/19/2016

Is there flexibility in the requirement to replace the principal for Transformation, Turnaround and Early Learning?

The Turnaround, Transformation and Early Learning Model interventions require the district to replace the principal who led the implementation site prior to commencement of the intervention. However, the federal regulations allow flexibility if the district is able to demonstrate:
  1. The principal at the site was replaced after the 2013-14 school year as part of a broader reform effort, and
  2. The current principal has the experience and skills needed to implement the SIG plan
USED Guidance emphasizes that this flexibility is not intended to protect the job of that principal, but rather to permit the district to continue a previously implemented intervention aimed at turning around a low-achieving school that included hiring a new principal for that purpose. 


Note: An LEA eligible for services under subpart 1 or 2 of part B of title VI of the ESEA may modify one element of the turnaround or transformation model so long as the modification meets the intent and purpose of the original element.

Last Updated: 12/19/2016

What is the definition of "operational flexibility"?

Operational flexibility is a requirement of the Turnaround, Transformation and Early Learning interventions. USED does not define operational flexibility but requires it to be “sufficient” to implementing the intervention fully and effectively, and provides examples, such as staffing, calendars/time, and budgeting. In determining where to offer flexibility to the school, the district should consider what changes in decision-making policies and mechanisms or in operational practice will be needed for the implementation site to implement the site-level responsibilities of the selected intervention.

Consider engaging stakeholders such as the current leadership team at the intervention site(s), union representation, and/or district staff who provide direct support to the site(s), in determining where additional flexibility would be beneficial.

Citation: Redding, S., Dunn, L., & McCauley, C. (2015). School Improvement Grants: Guidance and tools for the 2015 amended regulations: Maximizing the optional planning/pre-implementation year. San Francisco: WestEd.

Last Updated: 12/19/2016

Where can I find SIG information and guidance offered by USED?

The SIG 1003(g) website contains a wealth of resources published by the U.S. Department of Education: http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/index.html
Last Updated: 12/19/2016

May the early learning intervention be selected for any school type?

No, only schools serving early grades (i.e., elementary or combination) may select the early learning intervention.

It is worth noting that any of the requirements of early learning (e.g., principal replacement) apply to the implementation site, not to the preschool if the preschool is provided through a community-based provider with which the school contracts. 

The SIG 1003(g) website also contains a wealth of resources published by the U.S. Department of Education, including the final requirements.

Last Updated: 12/19/2016

The SIG4 Proposal states, “Each district with one or more implementation site planning for turnaround must have a single community assessment team (CAT).” Does this apply to interventions other than Turnaround?

In this instance, the word “turnaround” refers to a comprehensive plan to dramatically improve the school, which is not limited to the Turnaround intervention offered under SIG.

All districts applying for SIG4 must have a CAT (or an equivalent districtwide group under a different name) that is representative of the demographics of the low-performing sites’ communities and is comprised of (but not limited to) parents, business representatives, educators, representatives of local governments, community activists, and the DA regional executive director (RED). For the purposes of SIG4 discussions, representatives of each site’s feeder patterns should also be included. 

Last Updated: 12/19/2016

Is “pay for performance” required for the Early Learning intervention?

The SIG4 Proposal requires a district that selects the Transformation or Early Learning intervention to use its evaluation system to identify and reward implementation site leaders, teachers, and other staff who, in implementing the selected intervention for three years, have increased student achievement and, when applicable, high school graduation rates. 
Last Updated: 12/19/2016

If a district is starting a Prekindergarten program for four-year-old students, would the district be required to use state-provided Voluntary Pre-kindergarten (VPK) funds/programming before using SIG4 funds?

In accordance with Guidance oSchool Improvement Grants Under Section 1003(g) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (March 2015), district must provide a Title I school operating a schoolwide program all of the non-Federal funds the school would have received were it not a schoolwide school; like Title I, Part A and other Federal education funds, SIG funds must supplement those non-Federal funds.  

For more information, see Section F-4 of http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/sigguidance032015.doc.

Last Updated: 12/19/2016

Can a district serve students under the age of three in the Early Learning intervention?

The federal regulations for SIG 1003(g) do not set an age limit on the Early Learning intervention. If an intervention site already has a Voluntary Pre-kindergarten (VPK) Education Program for four-year-olds, an Early Learning intervention may expand the program to younger children.

Last Updated: 12/19/2016

Can we provide transportation for Voluntary Pre-kindergarten (VPK) under the Early Learning intervention?

Yes, as long as SIG 1003(g) funds supplement and do not supplant non-Federal funds provided for transportation. For additional information see https://www.floridacims.org/faqs/311

Last Updated: 12/19/2016

What is the requirement for increased learning time in SIG4?

For the Turnaround and Transformation interventions, the district must review and modify the master schedule in each implementation site to make more efficient use of time for core instruction and enrichment activities, and if applicable, extend the school day, week, or year. The number of hours in an extended day, week, or year is not specified in the final requirements.

For the Early Learning intervention, the district must offer full day preschool and kindergarten.

Last Updated: 12/19/2016

Do all five of the 5Essentials-inspired domains need to be addressed in the SIG4 proposal?

For each implementation site that a district commits to serve, the district must demonstrate through the Needs Assessment Results (Part I:A.) that it has analyzed the needs of the site and the school system, including needs identified by families and the community, in the following five domains, inspired by the 5Essentials Framework: Effective Leadership, Professional Capacity, Ambitious Instruction and Learning, Safe and Supportive Environment, and Family and Community Engagement.

In the Intervention Rationale (Part I:B.3.), the district must summarize how the selected intervention will address the root causes of identified needs in at least three of those domains, one of which must must be Family and Community Engagement.

Then, the district can tag each strategy entered via District Problem Solving to one or more of the domains, which are displayed under Essential Conditions (Part III:C.), to show the alignment between the strategies to be implemented and the identified needs.

Last Updated: 12/19/2016

What is the requirement for screening and replacing staff under the Turnaround intervention?

A district implementing the Turnaround intervention must use locally adopted competencies to measure the effectiveness of staff who can work within the turnaround environment to meet the needs of students, screen all existing staff and rehire no more than 50 percent, and select new staff. The screening must be completed and new staff must be in place no later than August 1, 2018.
Last Updated: 12/19/2016

What is the difference between SIG 1003(g) and SIG 1003(a)?

SIG 1003(g) is a competitive grant awarded to districts for implementing one of six interventions designed to reform an entire school. Districts with specific questions regarding SIG 1003(g) should contact the Bureau of School Improvement at bsi@fldoe.org or 850-245-0426. 

SIG 1003(a) is a formula-based, entitlement grant awarded to districts for implementing strategies designed to improve targeted needs. Districts with specific questions regarding SIG 1003(a) should contact Pamela Godwin in the Bureau of Federal Educational Programs at 850-245-0726 or Pamela.Godwin@fldoe.org.
Last Updated: 12/19/2016

Is it allowable to enroll students in a SIG 1003(g)-funded preschool program who are not zoned for a SIG-awarded elementary school but are zoned for a SIG-awarded middle or high school?

No, a district may not enroll students in a preschool program supported with SIG 1003(g) funds who are not zoned for a SIG-awarded elementary school, even if they may eventually attend a SIG-awarded middle school.
Last Updated: 12/19/2016

How is the SIG Cohort 4 continuous improvement director (CID) position funded?

Expenses for a district administrator who will serve as continuous improvement director (CID) will be funded through a SIG4 award and must be addressed in District Problem Solving. Budget lines for associated CID expenses must be added to action steps for the appropriate SIG4-tagged strategy. Please consider the following annual expenses, though this is not an exhaustive list:
    • Salary
    • Benefits
    • Travel
    • Computer
    • Printer
    • Cell Phone
    • NVivo Software
    • Materials and Supplies

Last Updated: 8/29/2016

Are districts expected to hire one CID per district or one per implementation site?

Districts that opt to include the CID position in the grant are expected to hire one CID per district, regardless of the number of implementation sites. 
Last Updated: 8/29/2016

Can a district earn bonus points for including a CID position in the proposal?

A district can earn up to 10 bonus points for committing to hiring a continuous improvement director (CID) or proposing an alternative strategy that will meet the responsibilities and expectations of a CID. See page 3 of the Round 1 Checklist.  

Last Updated: 8/29/2016

Does the CID oversee the SIG 1003(g) grant?

No, the continuous improvement director (CID) does not oversee the grant nor supervise the work of grantees. The CID position is supplemental and may not supplant the role of current district administrators.

Each district must assign one district-level point person to communicate with BSI, manage deliverables, amendments, and the annual renewal process. This person cannot be a CID or school-level administrator.

For more information on the role and responsibilities of the CID, see the SIG4 CID Hiring Process and Position Description and the following FAQ: https://www.floridacims.org/faqs/293
Last Updated: 12/12/2016

What does it mean for a CID to be “dedicated to studying and supporting the implementation of SIG”?

As a member of the action research PLC, the CID’s primary responsibility will be in support of the following mission:

Through action research we will identify trends that inform replicable and sustainable school improvement in districts and schools throughout the state of Florida.

The beginning stages of action research involve a great deal of observation and documentation. During Year 1, CIDs should be in the SIG-awarded implementation sites a minimum of three (3) days per week in order to attend, observe, and capture events related to school improvement. This may include conducting focus groups and observing activities, such as district and school leadership team meetings, common planning time, student enrichment activities, parental and community engagement events, professional development opportunities, data reviews, instructional reviews, learning walks, and communications regarding SIG to the School Advisory Council. 

Any travel to observe similar activities outside of the school or district must be clearly related to the research project.

It is important that the observation phase remain pure in Year 1, which requires the CID to not take an active role in the implementation of SIG or school improvement activities at the site. As the research project develops in Year 2 and beyond, the work will shift from purely evidence collection to evidence collection and support.

In all years of the grant, the CID’s calendar should be clear for engagement in a weekly phone call with BSI staff and the other CIDs, who form a PLC. It is worth noting that participation in this conference call must take place in a location where the CID is free to share confidential information critical to the research project with the members of the PLC. Additionally, the CID should have time dedicated each week to complete research work that includes writing field notes, data collection and analysis, and literature documentation.

The CID position is supplemental and may not supplant the role of current district administrators. The CID does not carry out any of the following activities: overseeing the grant; supervising or evaluating the work of grantees; making decisions regarding the school plan or assigning work to the school staff; teaching classes, providing professional development, or sponsoring activities; completing deliverables for the district; and writing or approving amendments. 

Last Updated: 12/12/2016

Will a CID be assigned to work in other districts to conduct work previously done by the differentiated accountability (DA) regional teams?

A CID may participate in research and learning opportunities in other schools and districts across the state for the purpose of fulfilling the action research mission and building capacity within a CID’s own district. For more information, see https://www.floridacims.org/faqs/293 and the SIG4 CID Hiring Process and Position Description.

Last Updated: 8/29/2016

How much time will a CID spend with the regional team?

The CID reports to the regional executive director, who will authorize the schedule of the CID in order to carry out the action research mission. See https://www.floridacims.org/faqs/293 for more details. 

Last Updated: 8/29/2016

Is a district that already hired a CID using SIG3 funds allowed to hire a second CID using SIG4 funds?

A district may budget for a second CID if they think it will be necessary to carry out the mission and will need to include the rationale in the proposal. See https://www.floridacims.org/faqs/293 for more information.

Last Updated: 8/29/2016

Can a district earn SIG4 bonus points by agreeing to maintain their SIG3 CID position throughout the SIG4 program period?

Yes. Budget lines for additional expenses related to travel and supplies associated with supporting more implementation sites should be included in the SIG4 Proposal. During the budget negotiation phase of the Year 1 award process, BSI and the district will discuss a stipend for the SIG3 CID to compensate for increased work associated with additional implementation sites. When SIG3 funds end, all budget items would need to be paid out of SIG4 and should be included in the Year 4 and 5 estimates.

Last Updated: 8/29/2016

To earn bonus points for the CID position in the SIG4 proposal, must a district budget for a CID for all 5 years of the grant?

To earn bonus points in SIG, the district must either assure they will hire and fund the salary, benefits, travel, and supplies for one FTE administrator who will serve as continuous improvement director (CID) dedicated to studying and supporting the implementation of SIG throughout the program period, which ends July 31, 2022. The candidate must be recruited and placed early in Year 1, according to the hiring process stated in the CID Position Description. The district must also assure the CID will participate in the Commissioner's Leadership Academy (CLA) with the full intention of becoming a facilitator.

Alternatively, the district may petition for bonus points without hiring a CID by describing how the district is able to fulfill the qualifications and responsibilities of the CID Position Description without using the hiring process or reporting structure described therein, and assure the candidate will be in place early in Year 1. The district must disclose whether the position will have responsibilities additional to those outlined in the position description and describe the reporting structure and, where applicable, supplemental funding sources. The district must also assure the candidate will participate in the CLA with the full intention of becoming a facilitator.

Last Updated: 12/12/2016

Can a CID be instructional staff?

No, the Continuous Improvement Director cannot be instructional staff. Further, the CID must be hired on a 12-month employee contract.
Last Updated: 12/12/2016

Is participation in the Commissioner's Leadership Academy required for SIG4-awarded districts? If so, who participates?

For SIG4-awarded districts that included the Commissioner's Leadership Academy (CLA) as a bonus strategy in the SIG4 Proposal (see Part II:A.1.f.), one instructional leader of each implementation site and one instructional leader from the district must participate in the CLA starting in Year 2 of the grant with the full intention of becoming facilitators by Year 4.

For awarded districts that included the hiring of a continuous improvement director (CID) as a bonus strategy in the SIG4 Proposal (see Part II:B.2.), the CID or district representative who will be fulfilling the responsibilities of the CID Position Description must participate in the CLA starting in Year 1 of the grant with the intention of becoming a facilitator by Year 3.

Last Updated: 12/20/2016

Will instructional leaders at the implementation site(s) and/or at the district who have previously participated in the CLA be required to participate in again in order to earn bonus points?

If the district has CLA graduates who will be supporting the SIG4 implementation at the school or district level, the district may earn bonus points by agreeing to send one or more of the graduates to the CLA as facilitators-in-training with the intention of becoming facilitators.

Last Updated: 12/14/2016

Is there a participation cost to be factored into the budget for the Commissioner's Leadership Academy (CLA)?

Yes. If a district is hiring a continuous improvement director (CID), then the Year 1 budget should include a line item of $4,000 for the CID to participate in the CLA. This amount includes the content, travel, meals and hotel.

The budget estimates for Years 2, 3 and 4 should incorporate $4,000 for each CID, principal and school or district leader who will attend or facilitate the CLA. For more information, see https://www.floridacims.org/faqs/281
Last Updated: 12/20/2016

Does each district need to include the cost of the 5Essentials Survey, or comparable survey(s), in the SIG4 budget? If so, what are the associated costs?

Yes, each district must include the cost of the 5Essentials Survey, or comparable evidence-based survey(s), in their budget for Year 1 and factor the cost into the budget estimates for Years 2-5, unless the survey(s) will be administered districtwide. If administered districtwide, SIG4 funds cannot be used as that would be considered supplanting.

Remember, regardless of the survey instrument(s) being used, feedback must be collected annually from, at a minimum, students in grades 4-12, teachers, and parents.

For districts that will administer the 5Essentials Survey in their implementation site(s), the annual cost will not exceed $1,748 per school. This cost includes preparation, administration, scoring, and reporting. District leaders, principals, and school leadership teams must complete a two-part, online training program, but this will be provided free of charge through the e-Learning section of the CIMS Toolkit.

For any proposed comparable survey, the district must determine the cost and ensure all associated budget lines are included for Year 1 and factored into the estimates for Years 2-5.

Last Updated: 8/26/2016

What are the annual budget caps for SIG4?

For the SIG4 Proposal survey, the district must enter specific budget lines for Year 1 (August 1, 2017 - July 31, 2018) and estimated budget amounts for Years 2-5. The estimates provided will be adjusted as needed during each annual planning and renewal process.

The Florida Department of Education (FDOE) has instituted the following annual budget caps:

  • For Years 1 and 2 combined, the district budget is not to exceed $2,500,000.
  • For Year 3, the district budget is not to exceed $750,000.
  • For Year 4, the district budget is not to exceed $500,000.
  • For Year 5, the district budget is not to exceed $250,000.

It is also worth noting that the annual district budget may not be less than $50,000.

Last Updated: 12/7/2016

Are there any requirements pertaining to categorical expenses (e.g., technology) in the district's annual SIG4 budget?

No. However, FDOE recommends the following ranges on categorical expenses:

  • Personnel expenditures range from 40% to 60% of the total annual award
  • Professional development expenditures range from 15% to 30% of the total annual award
  • Technology expenditures range from 5% to 15% of the total annual award

Keep in mind, all budget items will be evaluated to determine if they are allowable, reasonable, and necessary.

Last Updated: 8/5/2016

How do we ensure expenditures are grouped correctly in the 5-Year Budget table? For example, should salaries for teachers, salaries for custodians to support afterschool events, pay for substitutes, and stipends for teachers to attend professional development be grouped together in the Salaries row?

We recommend using the Financial & Program Cost Accounting & Reporting for Florida Schools, Red Book 2015 function and object codes as a guide for grouping expenditures. Using your example, salaries for teachers and custodians, pay for substitutes, and teacher stipends, no matter the subcategory (i.e., professional development, student enrichment) would be included in the Salaries row. 

The intention is for districts to think of expenditures in terms of big “buckets” and FDOE recommends the following categorical limits on those expenditures:

    • Personnel expenditures range from 40% to 60% of the total annual award
    • Professional development expenditures range from 15% to 30% of the total annual award
    • Technology expenditures range from 5% to 15% of the total annual award
Last Updated: 9/6/2016

Are five years of funding guaranteed to awarded SIG4 districts?

SIG Cohort 4 grantees are expected to participate in the program and receive funding for five years. However, funds are released annually based upon the district meeting the annual thresholds for renewal. Annual budgets are negotiated as part of the planning and renewal process. The renewal process is outlined on page 6 of the Florida’s Application to USED located in the SIG Toolkit.

Last Updated: 12/19/2016

How do we enter indirect costs in our SIG4 budget?

To enter indirect costs for Year 1, go to the SIG4 Proposal Budget page, click on the Administrative Costs tab, and click the green +Add Budget Line button under Indirect Costs to add one budget line. Select "7200 - General Administration" as the Function Code and "790 - Miscellaneous Expenses" as the Object Code.

Estimated indirect costs for Years 2-5 should be entered on the 5-Year Budget page (Part IV:B.).

Last Updated: 9/1/2016

The 5-Year Budget page sets a $2.5 million cap for Years 1 and 2 combined. Is it up to the district how to divide that up?

Yes. Up to $2.5 million can be distributed according to the district's detailed plan for Year 1 and estimated need for Year 2. Keep in mind, a minimum of $50,000 is required for each year.

Last Updated: 9/6/2016

Are districts required to upload a budget to the SIG4 Proposal?

Budgets cannot be uploaded to the SIG4 Proposal. All budget lines for Year 1, except the budget line for indirect costs, must be entered via the SIG4 Proposal Budget page, under the District Problem Solving tab; the budget line for indirect costs should be entered under the Administrative Costs tab (see https://www.floridacims.org/faqs/302). After budget lines are saved, a CSV file can be downloaded for district reference through the Summary/Reports tab. However, any changes needed to the budget prior to submission must be made by editing the individual budget lines in CIMS; a file cannot be uploaded. 

Individual budget lines should not be entered for Years 2-5; however, districts must enter estimated amounts needed for each year across the categories listed on the 5-Year Budget page.

Last Updated: 9/6/2016

Do we need to enter function and object codes for Years 2-5?

No, function and object codes are only required for the Year 1 budget, entered on the SIG4 Proposal Budget page. For Years 2-5, districts must record only the estimated amounts needed for the list of categorical expenses outlined on the 5-Year Budget page.

Last Updated: 9/6/2016

Should performance bonuses be factored in to the estimated budget for Year 4 or Year 5?

Performance bonuses should be factored into the Year 4 estimated budget in section IV.B. 

Per Assurance II.A.2.h.4. for Early Learning and Transformation interventions, performance bonuses are intended for “implementation site leaders, teachers, and other staff who, in implementing the selected intervention for three years, have increased student achievement and high school graduation rates.” The three years of implementation referenced here are Year 2 (2017-18), Year 3 (2018-19), and Year 4 (2019-20).  Should the relevant 2019-2020 data (e.g., school grades, VAM) not be available by August 30, 2020, the district would need to request a no-cost extension to expend the Year 4 money allocated to performance bonuses.

Last Updated: 9/7/2016

Can a district spend SIG 1003(g) funds in schools that are not included in the proposal?

Generally, no. SIG 1003(g) funds must be used to implement the SIG intervention(s) in the school(s) identified in the approved proposal as "implementation sites."

However, if the district is using SIG 1003(g) funds in one or more implementation sites for a service that it does not provide to all schools in the district, and it does not cost the grant to allow other schools to benefit, it may be allowable to do so. Districts with specific questions regarding allowable uses of SIG 1003(g) funds should email bsi@fldoe.org. 



Last Updated: 12/8/2016

Are district-wide purchases with SIG 1003(g) funds allowable if they are less expensive than individual site purchases?

If a bulk discount is available for district-wide purchases for initiatives approved in the SIG proposal, allowing the district to purchase at a cost lower than that for individual site purchases, then a district-wide purchase may be allowable. However, the cost would need to be pro-rated based on the number of schools benefiting from the purchase, and only the portion of the cost for the SIG implementation sites could be paid for with SIG 1003(g) funds. Districts with specific questions regarding allowable uses of SIG 1003(g) funds should email bsi@fldoe.org.

Last Updated: 12/8/2016

If a district covers the cost of the 5Essentials Survey in a SIG4-eligible school in 2017, and is subsequently awarded a SIG 1003(g), is it allowable to use SIG 1003(g) funds to pay for the 5Essentials Survey administration in 2018?

For districts competing for a SIG 1003(g) in Cohort 4, administering the 5Essentials Survey, or comparable survey(s), in 2017 would provide the district with baseline data in anticipation of receiving a SIG 1003(g) award for 2017-18. Using non-federal funds in 2017, and then using SIG 1003(g) funds in 2018 and for the duration of the project period, is allowable if the district can document that the survey would not be administered should SIG 1003(g) or other federal funds be unavailable. Evidence of this intention is necessary to avoid a presumption of supplanting. Districts with specific questions regarding allowable uses of SIG 1003(g) funds should email bsi@fldoe.org.

Last Updated: 12/8/2016

Is it allowable for a district to use SIG 1003(g) funds for strategies that are already being implemented in the school?

Generally, a district may not use SIG 1003(g) funds for strategies that are already being implemented in the school, such as a State Board-approved turnaround plan. However, a district may use SIG 1003(g) funds to enhance and add to strategies already in place. Additionally, it may be allowable to use SIG 1003(g) funds if other funding sources currently used for the strategy are no longer available. The district must ensure each SIG implementation site continues to receive all local, state, and other federal funds that it would in the absence of SIG 1003(g) funds. Districts with specific questions regarding allowable uses of SIG 1003(g) funds should email bsi@fldoe.org.

Last Updated: 12/13/2016

If a SIG4-eligible school that is on the "Lowest 300 Performing Elementary Schools" list during the SIG4 proposal process comes off the list in a subsequent year, is it allowable for the district to use SIG 1003(g) funds to continue providing an additional hour of reading instruction in that school?

Pursuant to section 1011.62(1)(f), F.S., districts with one or more of the 300 lowest-performing elementary schools based on state reading assessments must use supplemental academic instruction categorical funds, together with the funds provided in the district’s research-based reading instruction allocation and other available funds, to provide an additional hour of intensive reading instruction each day of the entire school year. 

If a SIG4 implementation site that is on the 2016-17 "Lowest 300" list comes off the list for 2017-18, it would be allowable to use non-federal funds in 2016-17, and then SIG 1003(g) funds in 2017-18 and for the duration of the project period, if the district can document that the additional hour would not otherwise be provided in the absence of SIG 1003(g) or other federal funds. Evidence of this intention is necessary to avoid a presumption of supplanting. 

Any changes that are necessary to the district's SIG proposal can be made during the annual renewal process or through a project amendment, depending on the timing of the release of future Low 300 lists. 
Districts with specific questions regarding allowable uses of SIG 1003(g) funds should email bsi@fldoe.org.
Last Updated: 12/14/2016

How does ESSA impact SIG 1003(g)?

Cohort 4 of SIG 1003(g) will continue to be regulated by NCLB throughout the project period (through 2021). The department will monitor any changes to state statute or rule that come as a result of ESSA and will provide technical assistance as needed to ensure alignment is maintained with the SIG 1003(g) grant requirements.
Last Updated: 12/9/2016

What support will be provided to districts for implementation of the intervention?

Each awarded district and implementation site will receive direct support from its regional team, led by the regional executive director. Support will be differentiated according to need, but at a minimum will include annual review and feedback on school and district improvement plans and mid-year reflections on SIG goals, and annual completion of the District Monitoring Toolkit. Each district with a continuous improvement director (CID) will have access to the support and resources provided by the Commissioner’s Leadership Academy and the CID Research Professional Learning Community.

Additionally, the Bureau of School Improvement provides ongoing support through online resources, district convenings, and email communications.

Last Updated: 12/9/2016

Is the 5Essentials Survey timeline for SIG4 implementation sites the same as that for non-SIG schools across the state?

Yes, SIG4-awarded districts and their implementation sites must follow the survey timeline posted annually at https://www.floridacims.org/downloads?category=5essentials

Last Updated: 12/9/2016

Would only staff who were at an implementation site for three full years receive performance bonuses? Does it matter which three years of the five year grant?

The assurance found in Part II:A.2.h.4. for the Early Learning and Transformation interventions states, “the district must use the evaluation system to identify and reward implementation site leaders, teachers, and other staff who, in implementing the selected intervention for three years, have increased student achievement and high school graduation rates.” The intention is that site leaders, teachers, and eligible staff would have been on board for all three years to receive the bonus at the end of Year 4, however, exceptions may arise such as replacing the principal and hiring new coaches or teachers.

Last Updated: 12/9/2016

Must the 5Essentials Survey be administered in SIG Cohort 4 implementation sites?

The district must assure it will administer the 5Essentials Survey, or comparable evidence-based survey(s), to students, teachers, and parents at each implementation site annually, starting in January 2018. If proposing to use a survey instrument, or set of instruments, comparable to the 5Essentials Survey, the district must identify the instrument(s) and provide a rationale for its selection in the proposal. Be sure to follow the instructions provided in the blue Guidance tab when completing Part II:B.4. (i.e., Participation in 5Essentials Survey or Comparable Survey[s]).

Last Updated: 12/9/2016

What is the implementation timeline for SIG Cohort 4?

The implementation timeline is as follows:
  • Year 1: August 1, 2017–July 31, 2018 (Funding during this year may be used for planning and pre-implementation activities)
  • Year 2: August 1, 2018–July 31, 2019 (Full implementation must occur)
  • Year 3: August 1, 2019–July 31, 2020 (Full implementation must occur)
  • Year 4: August 1, 2020–July 31, 2021 (Full implementation must occur)
  • Year 5: August 1, 2021–July 31, 2022 (Funding during this year must be used to implement the sustainability plan)

Last Updated: 12/9/2016

What are examples of planning and other pre-implementation activities?

The following response is compiled from the Guidance on School Improvement Grants posted by the U.S. Department of Education in March 2015.

The following activities are examples of possible planning and pre-implementation activities that an LEA may carry out using SIG funds, depending on the needs of particular SIG schools. This is not an exhaustive list, nor are all activities necessarily appropriate for all LEAs or schools. Rather, they represent activities that might be appropriate if they are directly related to the selected intervention, are reasonable and necessary for full and effective implementation, are designed to address specific needs identified through the needs assessment, represent a meaningful change that could help improve student achievement, are research-based, and represent a significant reform that goes beyond the basic educational program.

Family and Community Engagement: Hold community meetings to review school performance, discuss the school intervention model to be implemented, and develop school improvement plans in line with the intervention model selected; survey students and parents to gauge needs of students, families, and the community; communicate with parents and the community about school status, improvement plans, choice options, and local service providers for health, nutrition, or social services through press releases, newsletters, newspaper announcements, parent outreach coordinators, hotlines, and direct mail.

Rigorous Review of External Providers: Conduct the required rigorous review process to properly recruit, screen, and select any external providers that may be necessary to assist in planning for the implementation of an intervention model (see H-19a).

Staffing: Recruit and hire the incoming principal, leadership team, instructional staff, and administrative support; or evaluate the strengths and areas of need of current staff.

Instructional Programs: Provide remediation and enrichment to students through programs with evidence of raising achievement; identify and purchase instructional materials that are research-based and aligned with State academic standards, and have data-based evidence of raising student achievement; or compensate staff for instructional planning, such as examining student data, developing a curriculum that is aligned to State standards and aligned vertically from one grade level to another, collaborating within and across disciplines, and devising student assessments.

Professional Development and Support: Train staff on the implementation of new or revised instructional programs and policies that are aligned with the school’s comprehensive instructional plan and the school’s intervention model; provide instructional support for returning staff members, such as classroom coaching, structured common planning time, mentoring, consultation with outside experts, and observations of classroom practice, that is aligned with the school’s comprehensive instructional plan and the school’s intervention model; or train staff on the new evaluation system and locally adopted competencies.

Preparation for Accountability Measures: Develop and pilot a data system for use in SIG-funded schools; analyze data on leading baseline indicators; or develop and adopt interim assessments for use in SIG-funded schools.
Last Updated: 12/9/2016

What are examples of activities related to sustaining reforms under SIG 1003(g)?

In order to ensure that improvements made as a result of the grant are sustained after SIG 1003(g) funding ends, the department has instituted annual budget caps that taper over Years 3, 4, and 5.

As provided by Guidance on School Improvement Grants posted by the U.S. Department of Education in March 2015, "Sustainability plans should place an emphasis on building structures, systems, and processes to support reform efforts, including the creation of formal mechanisms and feedback loops to capture data from the field to inform continuous professional development and effective program implementation; shifting existing resources to support activities that have demonstrated success; and creating and sustaining strategic partnerships with community stakeholders that assist in maintaining community support and leveraging resources after the grant period ends.

"Some examples of activities to sustain reforms include training trainers within the LEA or school to develop staff capacity; developing performance management and continuous improvement processes; creating SIG budgets that invest funds strategically and gradually decrease each year; developing leadership pipelines, including distributed leadership strategies; creating ongoing, meaningful family and community engagement opportunities on planning committees, advisory boards and work groups; and involving students in age-appropriate leadership opportunities to increase self-direction and responsibility." 

Last Updated: 12/9/2016

Is it possible for districts to receive funds for implementation prior to August 1, 2017?

No, project funds for Year 1 will not be issued until August 1, 2017. As a result of lessons learned and district feedback during implementation of prior SIG cohorts, it was determined that an August 1–July 31 grant year would be more advantageous for this program. For example, in prior SIG implementations it created a barrier for districts to have summer program funding split between two fiscal years. Additionally, districts were frequently requesting no-cost extensions during the summer months as they awaited data needed to pay out performance bonuses.

By extending the SIG4 competition to December 29, 2016, the resulting review process for the second cycle of proposals will not conclude until Spring 2017; an August 1 start date allows all SIG4-awarded districts to operate on the same implementation timeline. Districts will be notified as soon as possible of their award status so they can begin planning and pre-implementation activities that do not incur costs prior to the award being issued on August 1. For examples of planning and pre-implementation activities, including some that do not incur costs, please review this FAQ.

Last Updated: 12/19/2016

Can districts begin full implementation prior to the start of Year 2, or must Year 1 be reserved for planning and pre-implementation activities?

Districts that are prepared to begin full implementation during Year 1 may certainly do so, if the activities are written into the Year 1 plan. If the district is ahead of schedule, an amendment may need to be submitted.
Last Updated: 12/20/2016

Are all public schools in Florida required to have a school improvement plan (SIP)?

Yes. Section 1001.42, Florida Statutes (F.S.), requires districts to annually approve, and require implementation of, a SIP for each school in the district (including virtual schools and alternative centers such as DJJ or ESE). Charter schools are exempt from this requirement, pursuant to section 1002.33(16), Florida Statutes, unless they have a grade of D or F, in which case they must follow the requirements of Rule 6A-1.099827, Florida Administrative Code.

Note: Regardless of school grade, all Title I schools (charter included) that operate a schoolwide program must have a school improvement plan (a.k.a. schoolwide plan) that addresses the 10 components of a schoolwide program required under No Child Left Behind (NCLB). See Title I sub-category.
Last Updated: 8/29/2014

Are all public schools in Florida required to use the department's SIP template in CIMS?

No. Some school districts require their schools to complete the department's SIP using CIMS. Otherwise, only schools identified for Differentiated Accountability (DA) support and/or recipients of the school improvement grant 1003(g) are required to complete the department's template. 
Last Updated: 1/24/2017

Who approves school improvement plans?

Pursuant to Section 1001.42(18), Florida Statutes, it is the responsibility of each district school board to approve school improvement plans. Priority, Focus, and Former F schools are required to submit their school improvement plans through CIMS for the review and feedback of a regional executive director (RED) in advance of the SIP publication deadline; however, the RED does not formally approve the plan.
Last Updated: 11/25/2014

Who is required to complete a SIP Mid-Year Reflection?

All schools are welcome to use the Reflection module in CIMS to complete a Mid-Year Reflection. However, a Mid-Year Reflection for each 2015-16 SIP goal is required for Focus, Priority, Former F (as identified on the 2015-16 DA List), and SIG 1003(g) Cohort 3 schools. Check out this FAQ for information on the Mid-Year Reflection deadline.

For step-by-step instructions on completing and recording a Reflection, please review the Reflection How-to Guide for Schools located in the Navigation Guides tab of the Toolkit.
Last Updated: 1/20/2016

When is the school improvement plan (SIP) due?

For schools not in Differentiated Accountability (DA), districts may set timelines for the submission and publication of SIPs as desired.

For schools in DA (i.e., Focus, Priority, and Former F schools) based upon 2016 school grades and for all SIG Cohort 3 schools, the following timeline applies for the 2016-17 school year:

  • May 9, 2016: 2016-17 SIP opens in CIMS
  • By August 31, 2016: Draft of the SIP forwarded in CIMS from the district to the regional executive director (RED) for review (schools must submit to the district first)
  • By September 30, 2016: SIP feedback provided by RED or regional team to the district; school then revises SIP in CIMS, if needed, before district approval
  • By October 31, 2016: SIP approved by district and published in CIMS (if edits have been made after the RED review, school must resubmit to district for approval first)

It is worth noting that while the department establishes deadlines to facilitate the DA regional team's review of SIPs, districts may set earlier deadlines for schools to allow for the district’s review process.

Submission deadlines are important milestones for auditing purposes; however, the SIP is intended to be used and refined throughout the year.

Last Updated: 5/20/2016

When are baseline and mid-year data uploads due?

The department stopped requiring these uploads in 2014. DA schools and districts may be asked to gather and present interim assessment data for instructional reviews and site visits, but they will not be required to format it for upload to CIMS. 
Last Updated: 7/12/2015

When is a mid-year Reflection due?

Once a plan has been published, the Reflection module opens for use. Schools on the Differentiated Accountability (DA) List, and/or schools that are members of the School Improvement Grant 1003(g) Cohort 3, must log-in to CIMS, complete the Reflection questions for each SIP goal, and Record the Reflection within 30 days of the release of the district's mid-year assessment data, or by March 15, 2017, whichever comes first.

For step-by-step instructions on completing and recording a Reflection, please review the Reflection How-to Guide for Schools located in the Navigation Guides tab of the Toolkit.

Last Updated: 12/16/2016

What type of assistance is provided by the department to help schools complete the school improvement plan (SIP)?

The Bureau of School Improvement provides the following support for SIP development:

  • The CIMS Toolkit includes how-to guides for navigating the SIP survey, Step Zero, and Problem Solving, as well as worksheets and other resources to guide the planning process
  • The CIMS e-learning library includes e-learning courses for general CIMS navigation and assistance using Step Zero for needs assessments
  • Blue guidance tabs on each page of the SIP survey and Step Zero provide assistance in the context of that page 
  • Differentiated Accountability (DA) regional teams provide facilitated team-planning opportunities and support to districts throughout the year
  • The Intercom button in the bottom right of each page allows logged in users to request technical assistance and provide feedback
Last Updated: 5/27/2016

Are schools allowed to upload a Word version of their SIP to the Bureau of School Improvement (BSI) website?

No. Starting in 2013-14, all schools that use the department's SIP template must submit the plan using the online reporting platform. Word uploads will not be accepted in the system.
Last Updated: 8/14/2014

Since no trashcan button is available, how do I delete the first name in the list of SAC or leadership team members?

By default, the first set of fields in a membership list cannot be deleted. Therefore, if the person identified first in the list is no longer an active member, then you should simply overwrite that listing to reflect a current member. If that current member is already identified further down on the list, then use the red trashcan button to delete the duplicate entry.

Last Updated: 9/1/2016

What should I do if team members are not appearing in the drop-down menu in the School Leadership Team and Literacy Leadership Team sections?

In order for the members to appear in the drop-down menu, they must be registered CIMS users. To add new users, click the Manage Users button at the top-right corner of the screen. If that button is not displayed, you may also click Account > Manage Users and then the green + New User button. Enter the information requested, including a temporary password, and then click the blue Update button. Note: If a user does not need editing rights, you may set them as a Level 1 user and click the Read Only slide bar to display the check mark.

More information on user management can be found in the User Management Guide in the Toolkit.

Last Updated: 10/30/2014

Why do I have to add each member of the School Leadership Team and Literary Leadership Team as users in CIMS?

The field type for these questions, as well as the Who in Steps 5-8 of Problem Solving, changed in 2014-15 from a text box to a drop-down menu, which is populated with all Level 1 and 2 users registered for the school.  This is to acclimate Level 2 users to the user management process in preparation for upcoming project management features that will be incorporated into CIMS, such as automated reminder messages to point persons identified in Problem Solving.  Many times, these point persons are also members of a leadership team within the school so it seemed a logical decision to change the field type of these questions as well.  Note: Once a user is added to the system, their name will appear in all drop-down menus throughout the SIP; they will not need to be added again.

Last Updated: 8/29/2014

How do I print the SIP if it isn't published to the public site?

Logged in users may print an unpublished SIP through its Plan Dashboard. Click Plans in the main menu bar, click the teal Dashboard button next to the plan you wish to print, and then click the green PDF Export button. This will generate a PDF file that may be saved to your computer and/or printed. If you recently worked in the plan, then you can quickly access the Plan Dashboard by clicking the link in the Recently Accessed pod on My Dashboard.

Last Updated: 8/7/2015

Where can I find FAQs related to Step Zero?

FAQs related to Step Zero can be located in the Problem Solving tab of the CIMS FAQ.
Last Updated: 8/17/2014

Where can I find FAQs related to 8-step planning and problem solving?

FAQs related to 8-step planning and problem solving can be located in the Problem Solving tab of the CIMS FAQ.
Last Updated: 8/17/2014

How do the early warning systems (EWS) requirements, passed in Senate Bill 850, affect the school improvement plan?

Section 1001.42(18)(a)2., Florida Statutes, adds the requirement that schools with grades 6, 7 or 8 include the following EWS information and data in their school improvement plans:

  • Information about the system, which must include a list of indicators used, the number of students by grade level that exhibited each indicator in the prior year, the number of students exhibiting two or more indicators in the prior year, and a description of intervention strategies implemented to improve performance of identified students
  • Description of the specific strategies used by the school to implement the instructional practices emphasized by the district’s professional development system.

More information on the implementation of EWS requirements can be found on pages 6-9 and 12-13 of the department’s Senate Bill 850 Technical Assistance Paper.

Last Updated: 9/23/2014

Are all schools required to complete the Early Warning Systems (EWS) section of the school improvement plan?

No, this section is only required for schools with grades 6, 7, or 8, pursuant to section 1001.42(18)(a)2., Florida Statutes. However, as the monitoring of EWS data is a research-based best practice, this section was left “open” to all schools. If this section is not required for your school and you do not wish to complete it, you may mark the page status in the upper right corner as “N/A.”

Last Updated: 8/14/2014

What early warning systems (EWS) data are schools required to provide in the school improvement plan?

Schools with grades 6, 7 or 8 are required to provide, at a minimum, the number of students in grades 6, 7 or 8 by grade level who exhibit each of the following early warning indicators in the prior year:
  • Attendance below 90 percent
  • One or more suspensions
  • Course failure in English language arts or mathematics
  • Level 1 on statewide assessment in English language arts or mathematics
  • Two or more of the indicators above
Schools should also report data for any indicators included in their EWS that are not listed above.
Last Updated: 8/14/2014

What data, current or prior year, should be used to complete the Early Warning Systems (EWS) section of the SIP?

The purpose of recording EWS data in the SIP is to look for trends to inform the needs assessment process prior to determining strategic goals and action plans for the coming school year; therefore, summative data from the previous school year should be used.

This practice is not to be confused with the ongoing use of the EWS throughout the year to identify and support students who become off track. For year-round monitoring, school teams should continue to review the most current data available.

Last Updated: 5/27/2016

Does the department's school improvement plan (SIP) template fulfill all requirements of the Title I schoolwide and targeted assistance plans?

Yes, the Bureau of School Improvement collaborates with the Bureau of Federal Educational Programs to ensure all components required under Sections 1114(b) and (c), P.L. 107-110, NCLB, codified at 20 U.S.C. § 6314 are embedded. More specific references to NCLB are included for each component within CIMS. Additionally, a crosswalk may be found at https://www.floridacims.org/downloads?category=sip.
Last Updated: 8/14/2014

Are charter schools required to have a school improvement plan (SIP)?

Only charter schools (including virtual charter schools) that have received a grade of D or F in the most recent grades release are required to develop and submit a school improvement plan to the sponsor, following the requirements of Rule 6A-1.099827, Florida Administrative Code.
Last Updated: 10/24/2014

What is required to be in the SIP for charter schools with a current grade of D or F?

Rule 6A-1.099827, Florida Administrative Code, outlines the requirements for a charter school SIP, which must include, at a minimum, the following components:

  1. Mission statement of school

  2. Academic data for most recent three years, if available

  3. Student achievement objectives included in the charter contract or most recent sponsor approved school improvement plan

  4. Analysis of student performance data including academic performance by each subgroup

  5. Detailed plan for addressing each identified deficiency in student performance, including specific actions, person responsible, resources needed, and timeline

  6. Identification of each component of school’s approved educational program that has not been implemented as described in the school’s approved charter application or charter contract

  7. Detailed plan for addressing each identified deficiency (required in number six above), including specific actions, person responsible, resources needed, and timeline

  8. Identification of other barriers to student success, with a detailed plan for addressing each barrier including specific actions, person responsible, resources needed, and timeline

  9. Specific student achievement outcomes to be achieved
Last Updated: 10/30/2014

Does the department have a SIP template for charter schools?

No, the department does not provide a separate SIP template for charter schools. Districts may develop their own template for charter schools or use the standard SIP survey provided in CIMS.
Last Updated: 10/24/2014

Are charter schools with a current grade of D or F required to submit their school improvement plan by the DA deadlines?

No, unless the district has required the same deadline. While charter schools are required to have a school improvement plan, they are not subject to the requirements of Differentiated Accountability. If a charter school has a current grade of D or F, they must follow the accountability requirements of Rule 6A-1.099827, Florida Administrative Code.
Last Updated: 10/24/2014

Are charter schools required to have their SIPs reviewed by the DA regional executive director prior to district approval?

No. While charter schools with a current grade of D or F are required to have a school improvement plan, they are not subject to the requirements of Differentiated Accountability. Charter schools must follow the accountability requirements of Rule 6A-1.099827, Florida Administrative Code.
Last Updated: 10/30/2014

Are Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) programs required to have a school improvement plan (SIP)?

Yes. Section 1001.42, Florida Statutes (F.S.), requires districts to annually approve, and require implementation of, a SIP for each school in the district, which includes alternative centers such as DJJ or exceptional student education (ESE). 
Last Updated: 8/6/2014

Who is the department's primary contact for DJJ programs?

For additional information regarding DJJ programs, please contact Curtis Williams in the Bureau of Exceptional Education and Student Services at 850-245-0928 or Curtis.Williams@fldoe.org.
Last Updated: 8/14/2014

Are virtual schools required to have a school improvement plan (SIP)?

Yes, some virtual school types are required to develop and submit a SIP pursuant to section 1001.42, Florida Statutes (F.S.). Florida Virtual School (FLVS) Full-Time K-8 and FLVS Full-Time 9-12 as well as FLVS district franchises and full-time district virtual instruction programs are required to have a SIP. Virtual instruction programs managed by an approved provider, as described in section 1002.45 F.S., are only required to submit a SIP if the school has received a grade of D or F in the most recent grades release. 
Last Updated: 8/14/2014

Why won't the Budget page save the budget line amount I entered? The amount keeps reverting back to zero.

The budget amount fields in CIMS do not accept the dollar sign, so make sure to enter numbers and decimals only before saving. Refresh your browser after saving new budget lines to update the total amount that appears in the tab at the top of the page.

Last Updated: 9/6/2016

Why is my school’s FRL rate showing a lower number than expected?

Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools were eligible for this meal option for first time in 2013-14 (pilot year). The poverty rate of schools participating in CEP only includes students who are identified as eligible for free meals based upon the Direct Certification determination (or the extension of eligibility to the household due to eligibility of an identified direct-certified student). This causes the school’s poverty rate to appear lower than in previous years when the rate included students eligible for free and reduced-priced lunch. For more information about the CEP, see http://www.fns.usda.gov/school-meals/community-eligibility-provision

Last Updated: 6/29/2016

Where do I find information about Step Zero?

Please go to https://www.floridacims.org/faqs?category=problem-solving#faqSub3-0 for information about Step Zero.
Last Updated: 9/7/2014

My school's information is listed incorrectly in CIMS. How can I correct this?

The following school information is populated to CIMS from Florida's Master School Identification (MSID) file:
  • School Name
  • School Address
  • School Website URL
  • Principal Name
  • Active/Closed Status
  • School Type and Grades Served
  • Primary Service Type
  • Charter Status
To correct information on the MSID file, please email askeias@fldoe.org to make the request.
Last Updated: 10/28/2016

What is the maximum file size I can upload in CIMS?

The maximum file size allowed for uploads is 10MB. 

Last Updated: 5/28/2015

Which file formats are supported for uploads in CIMS?

Although PDF is preferred, the following formats can be uploaded in CIMS.

Images

  • png
  • jpeg
  • gif

Documents

  • pdf
  • txt
  • doc, docx
  • xls, xlsx
  • ppt, pptx
Last Updated: 5/28/2015

Why is my CSV file not uploading correctly?

To ensure the CSV file uploads correctly, please review the following tips:

  • The file must be a CSV (i.e., comma-separated values) format file. The file downloaded from CIMS originally was in this format. Any other format, such as a full Excel spreadsheet, will not be understood by the system; think of it as a format that speaks a different language than the system. If you have been working in Excel, be sure to save your data as a CSV file and then upload that version to CIMS.

  • If you have been working in Excel, keep in mind that Excel tends to change grade spans (e.g., 6-8) into dates (e.g., June 8). You can avoid this by entering a single-quote (') ahead of the grade span (e.g., '6-8). This tells Excel that you would like the content of the cell to be evaluated as text only. Again, be sure to save your data as CSV file when you are ready to upload that version.

  • Be sure that any quotation marks used are straight up-and-down single quotes (i.e., ' ). Quotation marks that tilt in one direction or another (aka “curly quotes") cause problems for computer programs and should not be used in your data file.
Last Updated: 8/4/2015

Can several people work on the plan at the same time?

It can be done, but it is only recommended with reservations, due to the high risk that one person will over-write the work of another.

Web applications work via requests. You send a request to a web page to view it, then you fill out a form and send another request to submit that information to the server and get back a response. The web is stateless, which means one request does not know anything about previous or future requests made by you or any other user. We have also implemented an auto-save feature in our application - when you click the "Next" or "Previous" buttons, for instance, the application automatically saves your page - which complicates matters further.

So what can possibly happen goes like this:

  • Person A requests a plan page
  • Person B requests the same plan page
  • Person A makes changes and submits the page
  • Person B clicks the "Next" button
    • Auto-save kicks in, which submits the original page data
      • This results in over-writing the changes Person A made

We have implemented some features and steps you can take to help to prevent accidental over-writes.

  • Each user should have his/her own login account
  • Each user should become familiar with the use of Read Only mode (see https://www.floridacims.org/faqs/180)
  • Each user should stay in Read Only mode unless intending to edit something on the page
  • If multiple people are working simultaneously in the same plan, make sure that each user is working in completely different sections

Last Updated: 9/7/2014

What is Read-Only mode?

Read Only mode is a temporary, user-controlled setting that allows the user to move around in a survey without inadvertently changing anything via the auto-save feature.

The Read Only button is located at the top of the left navigation tree in any given plan. If it is red, you are in read only mode. Click the button to toggle into edit mode. Click it again to go back to read only mode. It is a good rule of thumb to leave the button toggled to Read Only until you are ready to make edits to a given page.
Last Updated: 9/7/2014

What should I do if a team member’s name is not appearing in the drop-down menu?

In order for team members to appear in a drop-down menu, they must be registered CIMS users. To add new users, click the blue Manage Users button in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. If that button is not displayed, you may also click Account > Manage Users and then the green + New User button. Enter the information requested, including a temporary password, and then click the blue Update button. Note: You must have Level 2 or 4 access in order to manage users. If a user does not need editing rights, you may set them as a Level 1 user and click the Read Only slide bar to display the check mark.

More information on user management can be found in the User Management Guide in the Toolkit.



Last Updated: 9/14/2014

How do I publish my plan so that it is available to the public?

In order for a plan to be published, it must go through an approval process in CIMS, which varies based on the survey (e.g., SIP, DIAP) and whether the respective school or district is subject to the requirements of Differentiated Accountability. In all cases, the process ends with a district contact who has "Can Approve" access clicking the Approve button in Tracking.

Once a plan is approved, it will be published by an automated process that runs on a regular schedule throughout the day. After approval, but before publishing, the plan will be locked to editing. Once a snapshot of the plan is published, the plan is reopened for editing. For more detailed information about the approval processes, see the SIP Submission How-to Guide located in the Navigation Guides tab of the Toolkit.
Last Updated: 11/24/2014

Why is the content in my PDF running off the right side of the page?

It's important to remember that PDF documents generated by CIMS are really just PDF renderings of specific HTML pages. When you click the PRINT PREVIEW button for a particular document, you are seeing the same HTML page on-screen that will ultimately become the PDF document when you get the PDF export.

Unlike a word processor, which will cut content right in the middle in order to wrap to the specific size settings that you have specified, a web browser will generally only line-break content at recognized end-of-content markers: spaces, punctuation marks, etc. If a string of content does not have any of the normal end-of-content markers, then the web browser will instead usually expand the box wrapping the content to fit the content. When that happens, you can get a ripple effect throughout the document such that all content expands to match the one box that has been outsized.

Very long URLs for links are a common source of content that runs to multiple lines without any of the normal end-of-content markers, and are the most common cause of PDF layout in CIMS going awry and running off the right side of the page.

To fix this problem, find any very long URLs in your content and, using a link shortening service such as http://bit.ly or http://tinyurl.com, substitute a shorter URL for the original one. Once you have done this, refresh the Print Preview and you should see everything line up correctly. Then you can generate your PDF and it, too, will be laid out without the run-off issues.
Last Updated: 8/4/2015

How do I delete a user from CIMS?

If you have Level 2, 4 or 6 access, you may remove users from your list by going to Account > Manage Users. Click the teal Edit User button beside the name of the user you need to remove. Next, un-check all schools, districts, or regions for which they currently have access. Then, set the user's Role to Level 0 and click the blue Update button. This will limit the user to the level of access of a public visitor and remove them from your lists. See related FAQ: https://www.floridacims.org/faqs/170.
Last Updated: 8/20/2016

How do I switch a user from one school to another?

Although school leadership (i.e., Level 2 users) can modify accounts for users already attached to their school, they cannot switch a user from another school to their own. Therefore, a district contact (i.e., Level 4 user) will need to either (1) make the change for the school, or (2) make the user a Level 0 so school leadership can find the account and attach it to their school. Instructions for Level 4 users needing to make these changes can be found in the User Management Guide.

Once a user account is made a Level 0, a Level 2 user for the school can locate the account by navigating to Account > Manage Users and changing the Access Level filter to Level 0. This will display all Level 0 users in the system alphabetically. Scroll down to locate the account that needs to be updated and make the necessary changes. You may also search for an account on the Users page by typing a user name in the User field.
Last Updated: 8/20/2016

Why am I receiving an "email has already been taken" error message when I try to add a new user?

If you receive this error message, it means that the user you are trying to add already has an account. However, because the user is not assigned to your school, you cannot see him/her in your Manage Users list.

It is likely that the user was previously assigned to a different school and his/her access has been deactivated, or set to Level 0. If this is the case, you can locate the account by navigating to Account > Manage Users and changing the Access Level filter to Level 0. This will display all Level 0 users in the system alphabetically, so you can scroll down and find the account you need to update.

If the user's name appears on the Level 0 list, click the Edit button for that account, set the user's access to the appropriate level, and attach them to your school. If the user's name does not appear on the Level 0 list, then the account is still active and attached to another school. In this case, you will need to reach out to your district school improvement contact (found on your SIP's Tracking page) to change the account, as they have access to all schools in your district and will be able to make the necessary changes.
Last Updated: 8/20/2016

What should I do if a drop-down menu does not contain the job title I need? Can new titles be added to the menu?

The job title menus in CIMS are populated with data from Appendix J: Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Line Numbers of DOE Information Data Base Requirements: Volume II - Automated Staff Information System. Since the options in the list cannot be altered, please select the job title that most closely matches.
Last Updated: 8/20/2016

Who has access rights to edit the TIPA application?

The system is initially configured to allow TIPA editing rights to two people in the district: the main TIPA contact and the main CIMS contact (in some cases, this is the same person). All other district users (i.e., Level 3 and 4 users) have read-only access. It is a district decision to determine who will be collaborating on the completion of the TIPA application and thus provided with editing rights. 

As needed, the main contacts can add or change TIPA editing rights for other users in the district using the following steps:

  1. When logged in, click the purple Manage Users button on the user dashboard
  2. Ensure the page filters are set to show Level 3 and/or 4 users.
  3. Click the teal Edit User button beside the name of the relevant district user
  4. From that user's account information, slide the TIPA Editor button to show a red check mark, if they need editing rights, or OFF, if they do not need editing rights. 
Last Updated: 6/1/2015

When is the 2015-16 Title I, Part A (TIPA) application due?

There are two deadlines to keep in mind for the TIPA application.

  1. To ensure a project effective date of July 1, 2015, districts must submit a DOE 100A form (i.e., the “Florida Department of Education Project Application”) bearing the original signature of the superintendent to the Office of Grants Management (OGM) by 5:00 p.m. on or before July 1, 2015. DOE 100A forms received after July 1, 2015, will have a project effective date based upon the date documents are received in OGM.

    The signed form DOE 100A must be mailed to the OGM at the following address:

    Florida Department of Education
    325 W. Gaines Street, Room 332
    Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400
  2. The complete Title I, Part A application must be submitted in CIMS by 5:00 p.m. on July 31, 2015. Extensions beyond July 31, 2015, should be requested by contacting Wanda.Young@fldoe.org with the Bureau of Federal Educational Programs.
Last Updated: 7/2/2015

Is the “General Assurances, Terms, and Conditions for Participation in Federal and State Programs” certification submitted through CIMS?

No. The “General Assurances, Terms, and Conditions for Participation in Federal and State Programs” certification, bearing the original signature of the current agency head, must be submitted to the Florida Department of Education (FDOE), Bureau of the Comptroller at the following address:

Florida Department of Education
Bureau of the Comptroller
325 West Gaines Street, Room 914
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400

The certification remains in effect indefinitely, and does not need to be resubmitted unless a change occurs in federal or state law, or there are other significant changes in the circumstances affecting a term, assurance, or condition. Typically, the form may be found in Section D of the Project Application and Amendment Procedures for Federal and State Programs, also known as the Green Book.

However, due to changes in the Uniform Grant Guidance, the Green Book and associated grants forms needed to be updated to reflect current requirements. As such, all districts will need to resubmit the certification for the 2015-16 school year. FDOE leadership is in the process of finalizing these changes and will send a letter to superintendents and chief financial officers as soon as the documents are available.

Last Updated: 6/9/2015

What resources are available to help me complete the TIPA application?

The FDOE is committed to supporting your completion of the application in CIMS in a timely and efficient manner. To this end, we have provided the following resources—

  • Technical navigation training presentations, delivered to over 200 district personnel during the FASFEPA Spring Forum on May 4-5 and webinars on May 15, 2015, available in the TIPA Toolkit.
  • TIPA Survey How-to Guide with step-by-step technical instructions for creating and completing the TIPA application, including screen shots, available in the Navigation Guides Toolkit.  
  • Guidance tabs with page-specific instructions, tips, and best practice suggestions, embedded throughout the application.
  • TIPA FAQ, searchable by keyword and maintained by BSI as common questions are asked and answered, available in the TIPA FAQ. Upon logging into CIMS, each user’s dashboard will also display the latest updates to the FAQ.
  • CIMS for New Registered Users, a 45-minute e-learning course for users who need a comprehensive overview of CIMS, available in the e-Learning Resource Library.
  • Intercom, a messaging system for communication between logged-in users and the CIMS development team, available from any page in CIMS through the Intercom button (i.e., question mark icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen). If users have questions that the how-to guide, guidance tabs, or FAQ do not address, or if they need to report a “bug” in the software, they may click the Intercom button to send a message directly to the CIMS development team who will either respond, if it is regarding the technology, or route it to FDOE staff to respond. Users receive an email notification when a response is provided.
Last Updated: 7/15/2015

How can I enter the District Mission and Vision into the TIPA application? It is grayed out.

The vision and mission populate automatically from information entered on the District Information page in CIMS. Only the general district contact has the access rights to update this page. The name of the general district contact can be found by clicking on the teal Dashboard button in the navigation tree on any page in the survey.

To edit the vision and mission, the general district contact should log in, click Districts in the main menu bar, click the respective district name, and then click the Manage District Information button at the top-right corner. On the Vision/Mission tab of this page, the contact can enter or edit the mission and vision and save the changes by clicking the green Save Changes button. This will automatically update the TIPA application, and any other plan in the system that uses the district vision and mission, the next time the page is refreshed or saved.

Last Updated: 7/29/2015

In the Needs Assessment section, will data uploaded by the user using the Upload File feature be converted to and displayed as graphs or charts on the page?

No, for each data upload, the hyperlink to the file and description entered by the user will be displayed. Only data captured in a Portfolio from the Step Zero module and pulled into the Title I, Part A survey will display as graphs and charts embedded within the Needs Assessment page. 

Last Updated: 5/29/2015

Are we required to use the Step Zero module to create a Portfolio for our Needs Assessment?

The Step Zero module and Portfolios feature are optional tools available in CIMS to assist in the district's needs assessment process. The only fields required on the Part II: Needs Assessment page in the TIPA application are the narrative responses labeled Problem Identification Summary and Problem Analysis.
Last Updated: 6/19/2015

Is an LEA required to add activities in each subsection of I.D. Title I, Part A Program Requirements?

No, the LEA is not required to add activities for all of the Program Requirements. Although the Activities feature is available in 10 of the 12 subsections, the LEA should add activities aligned to the needs identified in II. Needs Assessment within the relevant Program Requirement subsection(s). It is worth noting that LEAs may also choose to add activities using the District Problem Solving module. 

Last Updated: 5/28/2015

For an activity that could fit under multiple Program Requirements, should the LEA record that activity in each applicable subsection?

No, the LEA should record each activity only once to avoid duplication in the application. Therefore, the LEA should review the applicable Program Requirements and capture the activity under the one that seems to be the “best fit.” 

Last Updated: 5/28/2015

If we opt to use the District Problem Solving module to add strategies (i.e., activities), should we also add those activities to relevant subsections of I.D. Title I, Part A Program Requirements?

No, the LEA should record each activity only once to avoid duplication in the application. 

Last Updated: 5/28/2015

Why can I only select one point person for each activity entered in I.D. Program Requirements?

Often times when multiple people are assigned to oversee an activity, deadlines are missed because one point person assumed the other point person was handling that aspect of the project, compromising the fidelity of implementation. For this reason, CIMS only allows users to identify one point person from the drop-down menu for each activity entered in Programs Requirements.

However, when creating a district-level action plan, there will be instances where multiple people will be implementing an activity (e.g., an activity that is to be implemented by the principal of each elementary school in the district). In cases such as these, you may find that it works best to select a main district point person to serve as the "central contact" for that activity, with the intent that that person would be knowledgeable of the implementation of the other internally-noted point persons (e.g., elementary school principals).

Last Updated: 6/3/2015

What should I do if the plan to monitor fidelity requires selection of more than one person responsible?

Often times when multiple people are assigned to oversee an activity, deadlines are missed because one point person assumed the other point person was handling that aspect of the project, compromising the fidelity of implementation. For this reason, CIMS only allows users to identify one point person from the drop-down menu for each monitoring activity in a district-level application.

However, when creating a district-level plan, there will be instances where multiple people will be monitoring the fidelity of implementation or effectiveness of a strategy (e.g., an activity that is to be monitored locally by the principal of each school in the district). In cases such as these, you may find that it works best to select a main district point person to serve as the "central contact" for that monitoring activity, with the intent that that person would be knowledgeable of and oversee the monitoring being done by the other internally-noted point persons (e.g., school principals).

Last Updated: 6/29/2015

Is it problematic that the Goal, Barrier and Strategy summary markers each display a zero on our TIPA Plan Dashboard?

The summary markers on each Plan Dashboard indicate the number of strategies, as well as the associated goals and barriers, that have been tagged to that specific survey via the District Problem Solving module. If no strategies were tagged TIPA in Step 4 of District Problem Solving, then all three markers will display a zero on the Plan Dashboard for the 2015-16 TIPA survey. 

As District Problem Solving is an optional component of the TIPA application, the number of summary markers on the Plan Dashboard has no bearing on the submission of the 2015-16 TIPA survey.

Last Updated: 7/22/2015

What types of expenses can be added to the Title I, Part A budget in CIMS?

There are five types of expenses that can be added as budget lines in the TIPA application:

  1. District-level expenses with set-aside codes – These are expenses the LEA takes off the top of its TIPA allocation, before allocating funds to eligible school attendance areas that are directly tied to an activity under Program RequirementsDistrict Initiatives or District Problem Solving. In the relevant budget line(s) in CIMS, these expenses are indicated by leaving the Budget Focus set to District and selecting one of the set-aside codes from the drop-down menu labeled SA

  2. District-level expenses without set-aside codes – These are expenses the LEA takes off the top of its TIPA allocation, before allocating funds to eligible school attendance areas that are not directly tied to an activity. These expenses must be entered as budget lines within the Administrative Costs tab of the TIPA Budget page, and are indicated by leaving the Budget Focus set to District and the set-aside code (SA) marked as N/A

  3. School-level expenses with B-1 set-aside code – These are aggregate, school-level expenses accounting for how the funds allocated in the Public School Eligibility Survey for parental involvement activities (i.e., the Parental Involvement Reservation) will be expended. They may be added to the TIPA Budget page under Program Requirements or District Problem Solving. In the relevant budget line(s) in CIMS, these expenses are indicated by setting the Budget Focus to Public Schools Allocation and selecting B-1 from the list of set-aside codes found under SA

  4. School-level expenses for public school services – These are aggregate, school-level expenses accounting for how the funds allocated in the Public School Eligibility Survey will be expended. They may be added to activities under Program Requirements or District Problem Solving. In the relevant budget line(s) in CIMS, these expenses are indicated by setting the Budget Focus to Public Schools Allocation and leaving the set-aside code (SA) marked as N/A

  5. School-level expenses for private school services – These are aggregate, school-level expenses accounting for how the funds generated in the Private School Eligibility Survey will be expended. They may be added to activities under Program Requirements or District Problem Solving. In the relevant budget line(s) in CIMS, these expenses are indicated by setting the Budget Focus to Private Schools Reservation and leaving the set-aside code (SA) marked as N/A.
Last Updated: 7/13/2015

Do LEAs have the ability to enter budget lines that are not associated with activities?

Yes, an LEA can add direct and indirect costs under the Administrative Costs tab of the TIPA Budget page. For more information on the Budget, review the Title I, Part A Survey How-to Guide located in the TIPA tab of the CIMS Toolkit.

Last Updated: 7/12/2015

When adding budget lines, do LEAs have the ability to use object codes that are specific to the LEA (e.g., Object Code 121 for stipends for teachers)?

Section 1010.01, Florida Statutes, provides for a uniform classification of accounts. Each school district should prepare all accounting records, including the budget, using the uniform chart of accounts in the Financial and Program Cost Accounting and Reporting for Florida Schools (Red Book) pursuant to rule 6A-1.001, Florida Administrative Code. If a school district has its own unique chart of accounts, it must devise a crosswalk to conform and report the budget in accordance with the accounts in the Red Book. 

For the TIPA budget, LEAs may use the Notes text field in each budget line to list any relevant LEA-specific codes. 

 


Last Updated: 8/21/2015

Lab schools use different function and object codes from traditional districts. Are these codes included in the drop-down menus on the TIPA Budget page?

Yes, the most commonly used university codes are included. University lab schools should leave the function code set to N/A and scroll to the bottom of the object code menu to find the 6-digit university codes. If you find a code that you need is missing, please contact bsi@fldoe.org.
Last Updated: 7/12/2015

Could an LEA opt to address LEA Plan requirements using the District Problem Solving module?

Yes, an LEA could choose to address an LEA Plan requirement using the District Problem Solving module. In this case, it would be advisable for the LEA to write a clear statement of reference in place of the response to the respective LEA Plan question(s) in the TIPA survey (e.g., "See Goal 1, Barrier 1, Strategy 1, which addresses this component.”). The strategy being used in District Problem Solving to address the component would also need to be tagged “TIPA” so that it appears in the application.

Last Updated: 7/30/2015

Why does Read-Only mode turn on each time I navigate to a new page of District Problem Solving?

The District Problem Solving module is a shared repository of strategic goals for the district, which can be used in fulfillment of the TIPA, DIAP and/or SIG. For this reason, it is possible that multiple district users could be working within District Problem Solving at the same time. To avoid accidentally overwriting someone else's work, district beta testers requested an added layer of security. District Problem Solving now defaults to Read-Only mode when navigating. When you are ready to enter information, simply click the red Edit Mode Off button so that it turns gray and reads Edit Mode On.
Last Updated: 7/30/2015

How can I ensure my Public School Eligibility Survey uploads correctly?

If you are completing the Public School Eligibility Survey by using the CSV template, please review the following uploading tips:

  • The file must be a CSV (i.e., comma-separated values) format file. The file downloaded from CIMS originally was in this format. Any other format, such as a full Excel spreadsheet, will not be understood by the system; think of it as a format that speaks a different language than the system. If you have been working in Excel, be sure to save your data as a CSV file and then upload that version to CIMS.

  • Columns in the CSV file must not be added, deleted, rearranged, or relabeled.

  • The prepopulated data found in columns A through H must not be changed.

  • Enter only those response options outlined in the Title I, Part A Public School Eligibility Survey How-to Guide found in the Navigation Guides tab of the Toolkit.

  • If you have been working in Excel, keep in mind that Excel tends to change grade spans (e.g., 6-8) into dates (e.g., June 8). You can avoid this by entering a single-quote (') ahead of the grade span (e.g., '6-8). This tells Excel that you would like the content of the cell to be evaluated as text only. Again, be sure to save your data as CSV file when you are ready to upload that version.

  • Be sure that any apostrophes in school names and any quotation marks used are straight up-and-down, single quotes (i.e., ' ). Quotation marks that tilt in one direction or another (aka "curly quotes") cause problems for computer programs and should not be used in your data file.
Last Updated: 8/4/2015

How can I ensure that my Private School Eligibility Survey data file uploads correctly?

If you are completing the Private School Eligibility Survey (PvSES) by using the CSV template, please review the following uploading tips:

  • The file must be a CSV (i.e., comma-separated values) format file. The file downloaded from CIMS originally was in this format. Any other format, such as a full Excel spreadsheet, will not be understood by the system; think of it as a format that speaks a different language than the system. If you have been working in Excel, be sure to save your data as a CSV file and then upload that version to CIMS.

  • The template is specific to the selection you made under Form Type and, therefore, will not upload if you change the selection. For example, if you download the CSV template when Form A – Free and Reduced Price Lunch is selected and then try to upload that file after changing your selection to Form B – Proportionality, then the upload functionality will not work.

    If you change your selection under Form Type after downloading and populating the CSV file, then you must download a new CSV template, copy-and-paste the data from the old CSV file into that new template, and upload the new CSV file.

  • If you have been working in Excel, keep in mind that Excel tends to change grade spans (e.g., 6-8) into dates (e.g., June 8). You can avoid this by entering a single-quote (') ahead of the grade span (e.g., '6-8). This tells Excel that you would like the content of the cell to be evaluated as text only. Again, be sure to save your data as CSV file when you are ready to upload that version.

  • Be sure that any apostrophes in school names and any quotation marks used are straight up-and-down, single quotes (i.e., ' ). Quotation marks that tilt in one direction or another (aka "curly quotes") cause problems for computer programs and should not be used in your data file.
Last Updated: 8/4/2015
Guidance pull

Guidance

FAQ

The FAQ page contains the most commonly asked questions, organized by category and then subcategory. Select a category followed by a subcategory; then, click the desired question to reveal the answer. You will also see the last updated date for the FAQ.

Tip: To quickly search available resources for a keyword or set of words, use the search field at the top-right corner. This will yield results from both FAQ and Toolkit.