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: 9/10/2014

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: 10/13/2014

Who approves Turnaround Option Plans?

The State Board of Education (SBE) approves Turnaround Option Plans. Districts submit draft plans (TOP-2) to the Regional Executive Director (RED) for feedback. Once final edits are made by the district, the RED records his or her agreement or reservation with each component of the plan, as well as the plan as a whole, and sends back to the district for superintendent signature. The district submits the signed version to the Bureau of School Improvement at bsi@fldoe.org by August 29 for inclusion on the September SBE meeting agenda.
Last Updated: 8/17/2014

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

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

No. The DIAP is only required of districts with Focus or Priority schools. However, districts are welcome to complete it if they choose.
Last Updated: 10/14/2014

When is the district improvement and assistance plan (DIAP) due?

The submission deadlines for the 2014-15 DIAP for districts with Priority or Focus schools are as follows:
  • October 10, 2014 - Draft DIAPs must be forwarded in CIMS to the Regional Executive Director (RED) for review and feedback
  • December 1, 2014 - The DIAP must be published in CIMS
Submission deadlines are for archival and research purposes only. The DIAP is intended to be used and refined throughout the year. 

Last Updated: 2/24/2015

Do the answers for the Step Zero guiding questions have to be entered into CIMS?

The Step Zero module is designed to display data in a more visual, digestible format. There is not any information to "enter" in this section (Part II), but rather discussions to be had regarding problem identification, problem analysis and strategic goal formulation. On the Step Zero graphic, the Problem ID box links to the data visualizations.

Support for the Problem Analysis component can be found in the Problem Solving Toolkit. We recommend beginning with the CIMS Offline Worksheet - Step Zero to guide your team as you engage in Step Zero. It will give you a place to record your answers and "put pen to paper." 

Some of the information that comes from the discussions, such as your strategic goals and data targets identified for improvement, will be recorded in Step 1a and 1b of Problem Solving (Part III).

Last Updated: 8/29/2014

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: 8/29/2014

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: 9/30/2014

In Step 1b of Problem Solving, there are many possible targets for schools to set for the upcoming year. Are schools required to set targets for all of the indicators available? If not, how should a school choose the targets on which to focus?

For Step 1b of Problem Solving, the bureau neither requires nor encourages schools to set targets for each and every indicator available in the menu. This is not to imply that some data points are unimportant. Instead, the design of this year’s school improvement plan recognizes that schools need to focus on the highest priority areas of strength and weakness. The long list of indicators allows schools to select those targets that are relevant to the customized strategic goals identified in Step 1a as a result of the work done in Step Zero. Keep in mind that Step 1a and Step 1b together create a theory of action – that is, if the school realizes the strategic goal (1a), then the set targets would be reached (1b).

Last Updated: 9/14/2014

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: 8/29/2014

How can we set proficiency targets for reading and mathematics when we are transitioning to a new statewide assessment?

In the targeting setting portion of Problem Solving (Step 1b), schools now have the option to set targets in terms of “percent” or “percentile.” To support understanding of performance as a percentile, a new tool is available in CIMS to help schools establish percentile targets. Within Step Zero, you will find a bubble chart that displays a comparison of the school’s performance on FCAT 2.0 relative to others in the state for overall performance and year-over-year change in performance. Keep in mind, since the Florida Standards Assessment will be administered statewide, schools can still set meaningful targets for 2014-15 by considering their performance relative to others. 

To navigate to this tool, review the Step Zero Quick Guide – Percentile Ranking, which can be located in the Toolkit. The bubble chart shows how a school’s percent proficient in a given school grade cell compares to all other schools in the state. For instance, a school that has reading proficiency of 69 percent for 2013 would be in the 53rd percentile – meaning the school outperformed more than half of the schools in the state. Additionally, the chart conveys the school’s year-over-year change in performance compared to other schools in the state. For instance, a school that has increased reading proficiency from 63 to 69 percent from 2012 to 2013 would be in the 33rd percentile – meaning the school showed a change in points earned greater than that of two-thirds of schools in the state. Note: This does not mean that two-thirds of the students made learning gains.

Last Updated: 8/29/2014

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: 9/25/2014

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: 9/25/2014

What courses are included in the calculation for middle school performance on high school end-of-course (EOC) assessments and industry certifications?

Applicable courses for EOC assessments can be located on page 22 of the 2014 Guide to Calculating School Grades. To be included, industry certification outcomes must be on the Industry Certification Funding List and must not be restricted to grade levels 6-8, as the components of the acceleration measure are required to be high-school-level elements. 
Last Updated: 9/25/2014

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: 9/26/2014

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: 9/26/2014

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: 9/26/2014

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: 2/23/2015

Who is eligible to apply?

Districts with Title I schoolwide or Title I-eligible schools identified as “Priority” or “Focus” under Florida’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility waiver, excluding schools that have since closed or are receiving SIG 1003(g) funds in 2013-14, are eligible to apply for FFY13 funds.

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

  • Member of SIG Cohorts 1 or 2
  • Earned grade of D or F in 2011-12
  • Earned graduation rate below 60% (regardless of school grade) in 2011-12

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: 2/13/2014

The December 20, 2013, memorandum to superintendents states that schools receiving SIG 1003(g) funds during the 2013-14 school year are excluded from the proposed eligibility list for FFY13 funds. Will these same schools be excluded from eligibility for SIG funding in the future?

Per U.S. Department of Education requirement, schools that are currently receiving SIG 1003(g) funds are ineligible to apply for new SIG awards through a SIG competition. This means that schools cannot apply for a new award in the same year they are receiving funds for an old award, which, for some schools, may result in an “off year” between receiving funds and starting a new award. These schools are not excluded permanently, just from the FFY13 competition.
Last Updated: 3/3/2014

Are districts disqualified from applying for SIG 1003(g) FFY13 funds for an eligible school if they have other schools currently receiving funding for Cohorts 1 or 2?

No. Districts with schools on the published eligibility list may apply for the SIG 1003(g) FFY13 competition on behalf of those eligible schools, regardless of whether they have Cohort 1 or 2 schools currently receiving funds. 
Last Updated: 3/3/2014

SIG 1003(g) eligibility for Cohort 3 is based on 2011-12 school grades. For SIG eligibility in future cohorts, will more current school grades be used?

The eligibility waiver in Florida’s SIG application allows us to use the list published in our ESEA flexibility waiver request as our persistently lowest-achieving schools list, instead of relying on Annual Yearly Progress (AYP) to make this determination. Since Florida no longer calculates AYP as an accountability measure, it was necessary to apply for this waiver in order to move forward with the SIG application. The future of SIG eligibility will depend on the requirements posted by the U.S. Department of Education for upcoming fiscal years, but the Florida Department of Education seeks to use the most recently available data to make decisions wherever possible.
Last Updated: 3/3/2014

What does the SIG 1003(g) FFY13 competition require of eligible districts and schools?

Florida applied to the U.S. Department of Education (USED) for and received funding to make competitive sub-grants to school districts that demonstrate the greatest need for and strongest commitment to use the funds to provide adequate resources in order to raise substantially the achievement of students in their lowest-performing schools. In any eligible school a district chooses to serve that is awarded funds, the district must implement one of four school intervention models. School districts will submit proposals on behalf of the eligible schools they select to serve.

The SIG Final Requirements, available at the USED School Improvement Grant website, provides general details on the program. Full details on Florida’s competition process and Request for Proposal requirements are available in the Toolkit section of the SIP Online.
Last Updated: 4/22/2014

Are eligible districts that submit a complete proposal guaranteed an award?

No. This is a competition, and there are limited resources available. Eligible districts are not guaranteed an award, and all SIG-targeted schools within an awarded district are not guaranteed to be included in the award.
Last Updated: 4/22/2014

What is the proposed timeline for the competition?

February 2014

  • Feb. 4-13: Workshop Offering 1 registration window
  • Feb. 4-17: Workshop Offering 2 registration window
  • Feb. 20-21: Applicant Workshop Offering 1 in Orlando
  • Feb. 24-25: Applicant Workshop Offering 2 in Tallahassee

March

  • Feb. 11 - March 7: Intent to Apply survey window
  • Feb. 17 - March 21: RFP Phase 1 survey window
    • Includes Turnaround Lead, Stakeholder Engagement, Needs Analysis and Intervention Selection sections

April

  • March 7 - April 11: RFP Phase 2 survey window (All proposals are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on April 11, 2014.)
    • Includes Areas of Assurance and Areas of Focus, Budgets and Timelines
  • April 14 - 30: Florida Department of Education teams review and score proposals

May

  • Florida Department of Education determines grantees and funding amounts; announces winners
Last Updated: 4/22/2014

Are SIG-eligible schools in the same district competing against each other for SIG funds?

Districts will submit SIG applications on behalf of eligible schools in their respective districts, so it is a district decision as to how many schools to include in the application. Each SIG-targeted school will receive an individual score based on points earned for district- and school-level components of the RFP. Given the limited amount of funding, it is possible that one or more schools on a district's list of SIG-targeted schools would receive an award, while others would not. 
Last Updated: 4/22/2014

Will small districts be able to compete on a level playing field as larger districts?

While there is not an explicit mechanism in the grant for ensuring small districts are able to win a SIG, the RFP score sheet does award bonus points to districts in which a relatively high proportion of schools are eligible for SIG, using the following criteria:
  • If 10-19.99% of schools receiving a 2012-13 grade in a district are eligible for SIG, the district will receive 1 bonus point on top of each SIG-targeted school's total proposal score
  • If 20-49.99% of schools receiving a 2012-13 grade in a district are eligible for SIG, the district will receive 2 bonus points on top of each SIG-targeted school's total proposal score
  • If 50% or more of schools receiving a 2012-13 grade in a district are eligible for SIG, the district will receive 3 bonus points on top of each SIG-targeted school's total proposal score
Additionally, when making awards the FDOE retains the discretion to ensure an individual district or region is not over-represented in Cohort 3.

Last Updated: 4/22/2014

Are there certain characteristics that will inherently give some schools an advantage over others?

Some individual school scores will earn bonus points based on criteria outlined on page 19 of the Request for Proposals located in the SIG Toolkit. The majority of the points are earned through completion of the proposal itself; therefore, it is most important for districts to focus on submitting a complete, high-quality proposal.

Last Updated: 4/22/2014

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

What is the TAPS number for this project?

The TAPS number is 14A005.
Last Updated: 4/22/2014

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

The original document can be found at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/2010-27313.pdf.

Last Updated: 3/12/2014

Where can I find SIG 1003(g) guidance from the United States Department of Education?

All guidance documents published by the U.S. Department of Education are available at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/legislation.html#guidance.
Last Updated: 3/12/2014

Are districts allowed to consult with their Differentiated Accountability regional executive director and/or team members on matters related to the SIG proposal?

Districts applying for SIG may work with their Differentiated Accountability (DA) regional executive director (RED) and/or team members on concepts related to the SIG proposal. However, working with or accepting advice from these parties does not guarantee an award.

To maintain fairness for all applicants, REDs will not score or provide comment to the Bureau of School Improvement on SIG proposals; DA regional team members will only score proposals for districts with which they have had no current or previous professional involvement.

Last Updated: 3/12/2014

Where can I find SIG proposals for Cohorts 1 and 2?

SIG proposals from Cohort 1 and 2 can be accessed through www.fldoe.org/bsa/title1/parta-1003a-1003g.asp
Last Updated: 3/12/2014

Will the Florida Department of Education offer any training and/or technical assistance sessions to eligible districts prior to the proposal deadline?

Yes. Any district that is considering submitting a proposal for SIG 1003(g) funds is encouraged to send a team of five to 10 people to participate in a two-day applicant workshop hosted by the Bureau of School Improvement in February 2014. Each team should be comprised of those responsible for writing the SIG proposal and developing the District Improvement and Assistance Plan, as well as those responsible for implementation of the SIG program in targeted schools.

Recommended team members include, but are not limited to, the designated turnaround lead, building principals of SIG-targeted schools or another school lead who will remain at the school during the SIG implementation, curriculum directors, fiscal directors, Title I directors, Community Assessment Team members, school board members, School Advisory Council members from the SIG-targeted school(s), and others the district determines are essential to lead and support effective SIG implementation. 
Last Updated: 3/12/2014

Isn’t the SIG application a responsibility of Title I staff? Why do members of the teams developing the District Improvement and Assistance Plan and/or implementing turnaround need to be involved in the workshop?

The impact of the SIG workshop, planning and implementation will depend on having the right team members at the table to do the work. Portions of the SIG proposal will be fulfilled through a collaborative problem-solving process resulting in a plan to address specific SIG Areas of Focus using the District Improvement and Assistance Plan. Annual performance targets for SIG schools will be based on a needs analysis and supportive of the goals developed by the district. Action plans to implement strategies in order to reduce or eliminate barriers to goals will help form the budgets, timelines for implementation and schedule of deliverables. As all areas are inter-dependent, teamwork will be essential to create a cohesive proposal that meets the requirements of the scoring rubric. 
Last Updated: 3/12/2014

Shouldn’t the district’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) contact person be part of the SIG proposal writing and implementation?

Especially given the nature of Area of Focus 1, which is to implement a schoolwide MTSS, it is advisable that the district MTSS contact be included as a member of the SIG planning team, since the team should be representative of all stakeholders who will be impacted by its decisions. This will increase the likelihood that a true understanding of the problems and resources within a system will be attained and action plans developed to address systems change will have the necessary buy-in to be implemented as intended.

Last Updated: 3/12/2014

What is the purpose of the SIG applicant workshop?

The workshop is entitled A Competition, an Opportunity: Using the SIG Program to Build Capacity for Continuous Improvement.

Workshop Objectives: Each district team will—

  • Develop or deepen their understanding of why we practice continuous improvement and why the Bureau of School Improvement selected the 8-step planning and problem-solving (8SPPS) model for this purpose
  • Develop or deepen their understanding of the 8SPPS process
  • Apply the 8SPPS process to the SIG Areas of Focus (the heart of the proposal!)
  • Learn how the District Improvement and Assistance Plan is intertwined with the SIG proposal and implementation
  • Demonstrate commitment and build capacity within the district team to support an effective SIG implementation (a federal requirement of the proposal)
  • Access face-to-face technical assistance on the SIG proposal

Workshop Outcomes: Each district team will—

  • Walk away with a solid start on the SIG proposal and a refined District Improvement and Assistance Plan
  • Walk away knowing those individuals at the FDOE who stand at the ready to support them through the proposal process
Last Updated: 3/12/2014

When and where are the SIG applicant workshops?

The first will be held on February 20-21 in Orlando; the second will be held February 24-25 in Tallahassee. Districts need attend only one. Teams in Regions 1 and 2 are encouraged to attend the Tallahassee session, while teams in Regions 3, 4 and 5 are encouraged to attend in Orlando, though both sessions are open to any eligible district. Preferences will be honored based on available seating.
Last Updated: 3/12/2014

What does our district need to do to prepare for the workshop?

Your district’s SIP Online primary contact will need to log in and complete the Workshop Registration survey for your team by the deadlines in the competition timeline. To get the most out of the workshop, it would be helpful for team members to review the materials posted in the SIG Toolkit.

To register, you will need to have the following information about each team member:

  • Full name of attendee  
  • Attendee’s position title
  • Attendee’s email address
  • Attendee’s direct supervisor name and title
  • Activities in which attendee is involved (check all that apply)
    • Development of the FFY13 SIG 1003(g) proposal 
    • Development of the District Improvement and Assistance Plan or School Improvement Plan
    • Implementation of school improvement strategies in the district and/or schools
  • Whether attendee has participated in an 8SPPS training within the past year (e.g., Differentiated Accountability Academy, district-hosted workshop) 

Plan to bring at least one laptop or tablet per team (preferably one per person) with wireless internet capability; SIP Online login credentials for each district team member, so they may contribute to the SIG proposal and District Improvement and Assistance Plan; and printed copies of the district’s current improvement plan and most recent Annual Measurable Objectives and Florida’s Comprehensive Assessment Test data for SIG-targeted schools for reference and note taking.

Last Updated: 3/12/2014

Are districts allowed to use SIG 1003(g) or Title I, Part A funds to attend the SIG applicant workshop?

Districts may use Title I, Part A funds to cover the workshop costs only for staff of an eligible Title I school. Workshop costs must be based on an approved Title I, Part A application, or districts may submit an amendment. This excludes non-Title I schools and district-level personnel. The use of all SIG funds for these workshops is prohibited.
Last Updated: 3/12/2014

Where can I find the presentations and materials from the SIG workshops held in February 2014?

All workshop presentations and materials have been posted to the SIG 1003(g) Toolkit at https://www.flsiponline.com/downloads?category=sig-1003-g
Last Updated: 3/12/2014

What is the function of the "District Primary SIG Contact"?

The district primary SIG contact receives all announcements and updates related to SIG and is responsible for communicating information to those on the SIG planning team and other stakeholders, as necessary. This contact is also responsible for managing SIP Online access for those district and school staff contributing to the proposal.
Last Updated: 3/13/2014

Is there a file type or size restriction for uploads required for the proposal?

At present there is no size limit imposed for documents that you upload to the proposal. However, the bigger the document the more time it will take for you to upload it and for others to download it. We highly recommend compressing the documents using your preferred zip program in order to keep the size to a minimum. If you do not have a zip/compression program, 7-Zip is a popular free program that you can install and use for this purpose.

Converting your document to PDF before uploading is another way to reduce large documents down to much smaller sizes. Many modern software applications will have a PDF format available when you choose File > Save As. The PDF format has the added benefit of preventing unauthorized changes to your uploaded document. Since PDF viewer software is near-ubiquitous on computers these days, using the PDF format is also helpful in that it does not require the downloader to have the same software and/or version of the software that you used to create the document.

Last Updated: 3/12/2014

Where can I locate the DOE100A Application Form?

As part of Phase 2 of the SIG proposal, the DOE100A Application Form will be generated in the SIP Online system for printing and signature. The original signed copy must be received in the Office of Grants Management, Attention: FFY13 SIG 1003(g) Competition, Florida Department of Education, 325 W. Gaines Street, Tallahassee, Florida, 32399, by 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on April 11, 2014.

Last Updated: 3/31/2014

What is the Intent to Apply survey?

Any eligible district that intends to participate in this competition must submit the Intent to Apply survey through the SIP Online. The survey requires districts to identify which eligible schools it will commit to serve with a SIG award. It will also lead the user through a series of acknowledgements about the SIG competition and program.

The district primary SIG contact on file with the Bureau of School Improvement is the only user who will be able to log in and initiate the Intent to Apply. District leadership may update the name on file by sending an email to bsi@fldoe.org.
Last Updated: 3/11/2014

Is the Intent to Apply (ITA) binding?

No, the ITA is not binding, meaning a district is not required to apply for SIG after the ITA is submitted. However, a district cannot start Phase 1 without completing the ITA by March 7, 2014.
Last Updated: 3/11/2014

Are districts required to include charter schools in the list of SIG-targeted schools selected in the ITA?

No, districts are not required to include charter schools in the SIG proposal. It is the district’s decision which SIG-eligible schools to select to serve with a SIG, Using the SIG proposal, the district will be required to demonstrate commitment to and capacity for a full and effective SIG implementation in SIG-targeted schools. 

Last Updated: 3/11/2014

Can a district change its SIG-targeted schools after submission of the Intent to Apply (ITA)?

Prior to March 7, 2014, the district primary contact may request that the ITA be reopened for editing by sending a message to the developer through Intercom in the SIP Online. 

After March 7, the only changes that can be made are to change the ITA from “yes” to “no” if a district decides to no longer apply for a SIG, or to remove one or more schools from the list of SIG-targeted schools to be included in the proposal. Both of these requests would need to be submitted in writing to bsi@fldoe.org. 

Districts will not be allowed to submit a new ITA or add targeted schools after March 7, 2014. 

Districts will not be allowed to submit any changes to the ITA after April 4, 2014.

Last Updated: 3/11/2014

Can we start on Phase 1 before submission of the Intent to Apply?

No. The three SIG surveys must be completed in sequence. The ITA must be submitted in order to start Phase 1, and Phase 1 must be submitted in order to edit Phase 2.
Last Updated: 3/11/2014

Do we have to submit the ITA in order to start on the DIAP for 2014-15?

No, the ITA does not have to be submitted in order to start the 2014-15 DIAP.

The 2014-15 DIAP is currently available in the SIP Online for SIG-eligible districts only. Certain portions of the DIAP will automatically populate sections of the SIG proposal, so district teams will need to coordinate efforts if different people are responsible for the DIAP than for the SIG proposal. For your reference, the SIG Toolkit contains a helpful handout entitled "DIAP Sections Satisfying SIG and TOP Components."
Last Updated: 3/11/2014

What will Phase 1 of the proposal require of the district?

In the Phase 1 survey, districts will designate a district turnaround lead, complete a needs analysis of each SIG-targeted school and select an intervention model for each school that directly addresses its needs in the areas of leadership, infrastructure and instruction. Also required is documentation of the district’s engagement of stakeholders, including the Community Assessment Team, in the needs analysis and model selection decision.
Last Updated: 3/11/2014

Our Turnaround Lead supervises priority and focus schools but does not evaluate the principals. Will we be able to meet the requirements of Phase 1?

The language in the RFP states that the Turnaround Lead is “the person leading the implementation of turnaround and directly supervising the principals in the schools identified as SIG-targeted in the Intent to Apply survey. This person should report directly to the district superintendent.” It does not say that person must be the evaluator of principals. 

Last Updated: 3/13/2014

How will oversight of principals at charter schools work where they are not supervised by the district but their own boards?

It would be advisable for the district to reach an agreement with the governing board to assign supervisory authority to the turnaround lead. The turnaround lead does not have to evaluate principals in priority and focus schools but must oversee their work.
Last Updated: 3/13/2014

Our district does not have a Community Assessment Team (CAT). How can we address the requirements of Phase 1?

The name of the Community Assessment Team (CAT) is not as important as the function it serves, so it is possible your district has another committee or team that could fulfill the responsibilities of the CAT. The committee must be district level, not school specific, and look broadly at the needs of struggling schools.

Another approach could be documenting present efforts to recruit members to and define the role of a CAT, which will demonstrate your district’s commitment to building capacity for a full and effective SIG implementation. This approach may not meet the rubric standard, but adequate documentation could show the district is "approaching" the standard.

Last Updated: 3/12/2014

If we haven’t started engaging stakeholders yet as described in Phase 1, should we apply for SIG?

Districts that have not started engaging stakeholders prior to the Intent to Apply may still submit a SIG proposal but may or may not be able to meet the Standard or Gold Standard of the rubric. Keep in mind that there are no extensions for any of the SIG deadlines, so stakeholder engagement will need to occur quickly to meet the March 21 deadline for Phase 1.
Last Updated: 3/12/2014

When we complete the needs assessment in Phase 1, do we reference data from the year on which eligibility is based (2011-12), or do we use current data?

In order to address the current needs of the SIG-targeted schools, districts should use the most recent data available.

Last Updated: 3/12/2014

In Phase 1 of the SIG application, the district is required to choose an intervention model for each school it selects to serve with SIG funds. The Turnaround and Transformation models seem similar. What is the major difference between the two?

The two models, which are similar, vary most in their requirements concerning existing school personnel. If the transformation model is selected, the school will be required to identify and reward effective staff, and identify and remove ineffective staff. Those considered ineffective are only removed after receiving ample opportunities to better their professional practice, and demonstrating little or no improvement.

If the turnaround model is selected, the school will be required to screen all existing staff and rehire no more than 50 percent, and select new staff by the start of Year 2 of implementation. If the school implementing a turnaround model has replaced staff members within the last two years as part of a school reform effort, the school may consider counting the staff it has already replaced as part of the 50 percent that would have to be replaced in accordance with the model. A district taking advantage of this flexibility would be required to demonstrate that the retained staff have the experience and skills needed to implement successfully the turnaround model. 

Both transformation and turnaround require that the district replace the principal who led the school prior to commencement of the model. Retention may be considered for principals assigned to the school for less than two years before implementation, in which case the district will be required to provide a rationale. 

Another difference between the two models is that Turnaround specifically requires the district's plan for implementing a schoolwide multi-tiered system of supports (Area of Focus 1) to include appropriate social-emotional and community-oriented services and supports to students. Transformation does not specifically require the district to address this element in Area of Focus 1 in order to meet the standard.
Last Updated: 4/2/2014

Are districts required to implement a particular SIG model for certain schools?

Districts may choose from any of the SIG intervention models listed in Phase 1 (i.e. turnaround, transformation, restart with EMO, restart charter, closure) in accordance with the USED final requirements. Districts will be required to describe how the selected model directly addresses the specific needs of each SIG-targeted school.

Last Updated: 3/12/2014

If a school is currently implementing a turnaround model (e.g. District Managed Turnaround) under Differentiated Accountability (DA), is the district required to change to a different model when applying for SIG?

In accordance with Section I.B.1 of the final requirements, an SEA may award school improvement funds to an LEA for an eligible school that has implemented in whole or in part, an intervention that meets the final requirements within the last two years so that the LEA and school can continue the intervention being implemented in that school. For additional details, review section G-1 of the USED's SIG Guidance.

LEAs will need to keep in mind, however, that SIG final requirements for each intervention model are not entirely captured in Florida's turnaround options, so in selecting one of the available SIG intervention models, the district may need to make some changes to the original plan for that school. Additionally, if awarded the grant they are committing the school to three more years of intervention, regardless of future school grades. 

In any event, the submission of a complete Phase 1 and Phase 2 addressing all components of the RFP will satisfy the requirements of TOP-1 and TOP-2 for the purposes of DA.
Last Updated: 3/13/2014

If a school implemented a SIG model (e.g. Transformation, Turnaround) as part of Cohort 1, do they have to choose a different SIG model in the proposal for Cohort 3?

A district may select the same SIG model for a former Cohort 1 school; however, the rationale provided in the SIG model selection section of Phase 1 should clearly explain why the district believes implementing the model for a second time will be effective if it did not help the school get out of priority status the first time around.
Last Updated: 3/12/2014

Is the "hybrid" turnaround option, as described in Form TOP-2, allowable as a SIG model?

No. Under the final requirements published in the Federal Register on October 28, 2010, the LEA must implement one of four school intervention 
models: Turnaround, Transformation, Closure or Restart. In Florida, we have further categorized the restart model into those restarting as a charter school and those restarting with an External Management Organization.

Last Updated: 3/13/2014

Can a district make changes to Phase 1 after it is submitted in the SIP Online?

Phase 1 is due on March 21, 2014, to allow the district plenty of time to start and complete Phase 2 by the April 4 deadline. If necessary, the district may "unsubmit" Phase 1 if they need to make changes after submission by adding a "Request Edits" tracking event. This will cause Phase 2 to lock to any additional edits until they resubmit Phase 1. Districts will not be allowed to submit any changes to Phase 1 after April 4, 2014.

Last Updated: 3/12/2014

What final actions should be taken before the SIG deadline?

Each district applying for SIG should ensure that the SIG Phase 2 survey has been submitted in the SIP Online and the survey status shows “Submitted” on the district’s Plans page prior to 11:59 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 18, 2014. The district should also contact the Office of Grants Management at (850) 245-0496 before 5:00 p.m. to make sure its signed Form DOE100A for TAPS 14A005 has been received.

Last Updated: 4/22/2014

How do I submit my district's SIG proposal?

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 FDOE Office of Grants Management by 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday, April 18, 2014.

To submit the complete SIG proposal, the district must first ensure that all sections have been marked "Complete"; the proposal cannot be submitted until this has been done. Then, click the orange Submit button in the SIG Phase 2 survey, or the orange Tracking button on the Plans page, to navigate to the Tracking page. Users with SIG editing rights will see a blue Submit Plan button. Click this button to submit your SIG proposal. You will be asked to confirm your submission. Visit the Plans page again to verify that the SIG Phase 2 survey now has a status of “Submitted.”

Last Updated: 4/22/2014

Do districts need to include professional development and technical assistance in the plan to address the Areas of Focus?

To meet the Standard for Area of Focus 5, the SIG proposal PDF must include a professional development (PD) and technical assistance (TA) outline for each school, which at a minimum includes sending a leadership team from each school along with a district leadership team to the Differentiated Accountability Summer Academy.

To fulfill the first indicator of the Gold Standard, the SIG proposal must include, at a minimum, one PD opportunity and one TA item per SIG-targeted school for each of the first four Areas of Focus. 
This requirement may be satisfied by PD opportunities and TA items that are identified as district wide and/or school specific.


Last Updated: 4/22/2014

Is there any flexibility on Assurance 9, which requires the principal to be replaced for Transformation, Turnaround and Restart with EMO?

The USED provides flexibility on Assurance 9 for principals who were hired within the past two years (during or after the 2012-13 school year). The 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. To take advantage of this flexibility, the district will need to demonstrate in the rationale in the proposal that: (1) the prior principal in the school at issue was replaced as part of a broader reform effort, and (2) the new principal has the experience and skills needed to implement successfully a turnaround, restart, or transformation model. Additional information may be found in the SIG Final Requirements and SIG Guidance.

Additionally, the USED is offering a new waiver for the SIG Cohort 3 program that allows retention of principals who were hired as part of the implementation of SIG Cohort 1. If a district selects to retain a principal who was hired during or after the 2010-11 school year, the SIG Cohort 3 proposal must include a rationale describing the evidence that was used to determine the principal is effective and should be retained. Any decisions recorded in Assurance 9 should support the leadership needs of the school captured in Phase 1 SIG Model Selection.

The deliverable for this requirement is as follows: By October 1, 2014, the Florida Department of Education Staff Information Database, Survey 2 history will show the principal of record changed after the 2011-12 school year; for those schools that were part of SIG Cohort 1, Survey 2 history will show the principal of record changed after the 2009-10 school year. The credentials and 3-year performance record, as populated from Survey 2 for the principal of record as of October 1, 2014, will demonstrate the principal is able to lead full implementation of the turnaround model.

Last Updated: 4/22/2014

Is there an evaluation after Phase 1 to determine eligibility for Phase 2?

No, there is not an evaluation of Phase 1 to determine eligibility for Phase 2. Both sections will be reviewed, evaluated and scored as one unit. However, Phase 2 is built upon the SIG-models selected in Phase 1, so Phase 2 cannot be edited until Phase 1 is submitted.
Last Updated: 4/18/2014

What will Phase 2 of the proposal require of the district?

Phase 2 is divided into two parts: Areas of Assurance and Areas of Focus. For Area of Assurance, the district must check that it agrees to fulfill the stated requirement, provide descriptions and/or upload evidence of fulfillment, and enter any necessary budget information.

Districts will address each Area of Focus by engaging in and documenting the 8-step planning and problem-solving process using the District Improvement and Assistance Plan within the SIP Online. The applicant workshop will provide training on this process.

Last Updated: 4/18/2014

Are districts required to complete each Area of Assurance once for every SIG-targeted school?

Districts will complete only the Areas of Assurance applicable to the models they have selected in Phase 1. Since many of the assurances apply to multiple models, the district will only be required to complete them once.

Last Updated: 4/18/2014

To satisfy Assurance 9, does the new principal need to be named in the proposal?

No, the principal of record must change by the time the FDOE Staff Information Database, Survey 2 is completed. Thus, by October 1, 2014, Survey 2 will show the principal of record changed after the 2011-12 school year.

Last Updated: 4/18/2014

Is there any flexibility on Assurance 11, which requires districts selecting the Turnaround model to screen all existing staff and rehire no more than 50 percent at the school?

The USED Guidance does not allow any exception for school staff who were hired more than two years ago. If a district selects the Turnaround model for a school and has replaced staff members within the last two years as part of a school reform effort, the school may count the staff it has already replaced in determining the number of additional staff that would have to be replaced in accordance with the model. For a definition of "staff" as pertains to this assurance, see USED FY 2010 Guidance, Item B-3. For more information on how to calculate the 50 percent, see USED FY 2010 Guidance, Item G-1c. Both are available at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/sigguidance03012012.doc

The deliverable for this requirement is as follows: By October 1, 2015, survey 2 data reported to the FDOE on staff rosters for 2015-16 will demonstrate at least 50% turnover of staff members who were at the school in 2011-12. The district will upload a list of schools where the district has reassigned teachers.

Last Updated: 4/18/2014

What is the definition of "staff" as used in the final requirements for the turnaround model?

For the purposes of the turnaround model, "staff" includes all instructional staff; however, the district may choose whether or not "staff" also includes non-instructional staff. Additional details can be found in the guidance documents at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/sif/legislation.html#guidance.
Last Updated: 4/18/2014

Is pre-kindergarten included in the implementation of a SIG?

Expanding a school program to include pre-kindergarten is a permissible activity if it is included in the SIG proposal and explicitly aligned to a district goal addressing one of the areas of focus.
Last Updated: 4/18/2014

Do we have to revise our DIAP in order to meet the requirements of the Areas of Focus?

Districts applying for SIG must consider whether to add new goals to the DIAP or modify existing ones that rolled over from 2013-14. Your SIG goals may be different than your DIAP goals. Your DIAP goals may broadly impact all focus and priority schools, but for SIG purposes, targets and, ultimately, action steps with budgets, will need to be specific to each SIG-targeted school.

Last Updated: 4/18/2014

Will our 2013-14 information roll over into our 2014-15 DIAP?

When possible, information from the 2013-14 DIAP will roll over into the 2014-15 DIAP, particularly the contents of the problem-solving section. Some content and formats within the DIAP template were modified for alignment with the SIG proposal and for general improvements to the planning process. Due to these changes, not all content can be prepopulated from the previous DIAP. 
Last Updated: 4/18/2014

Our 2014-15 DIAP already includes district-wide goals that rolled over from last year. Do we have to incorporate these into the Areas of Focus?

No, districts are not required to use goals already in the DIAP to address Areas of Focus, though a district may decide to use a goal already established if it is appropriate for the SIG proposal. Districts may create new goals and/or strategies to address the Areas of Focus.
Last Updated: 4/18/2014

Do we have to complete an entire DIAP for 2014-15 in order to submit Phase 2?

No, the 2014-15 DIAP does not need to be submitted and approved for the relevant sections to prepopulate Phase 2. A district must complete those sections of the DIAP applicable to the SIG proposal by the SIG deadlines. Work may continue on the DIAP in those sections that are not SIG related in accordance with the timeline provided by the FDOE.

If after April 4, 2014, the district wishes to make substantive edits to portions of the DIAP that are included in the SIG proposal, it will need to wait until notice of award (tentatively set for end of May) and then submit a formal amendment.
Last Updated: 4/18/2014

Does the goal in Step 1 of the DIAP require a format of "if...then"?

In the 8-step planning and problem solving process used in the DIAP, the goal in Step 1a does not necessarily need to include an "if…then" statement, but paired with 1b should form a coherent theory of action, in which the goal (1a) describes the desired state, and the targets (1b) express the expected data outcomes in each year of implementation to show the goal is being achieved.

Last Updated: 4/18/2014

Can we use a single goal for more than one SIG-targeted school to address an Area of Focus?

Yes. Districts have flexibility to decide how to use goals to address Areas of Focus. If the team finds it appropriate to establish a goal for more than one school, they would indicate this by selecting annual targets in Step 1b for each school included in that goal. At the action step level, the district will be able to further specify budget lines that need to be assigned to specific schools included in that goal.
Last Updated: 4/18/2014

For each goal we set in Step 1a, do we have to establish targets for all of the indicators in the Step 1b menu?

No, districts do not have to set targets for all of the data indicators in the Step 1b menu. Rather, districts should select data indicators and set targets for those that align to the goal(s) the district is trying to achieve. For the purposes of SIG 1003(g), districts must, at a minimum, establish annual goals for Year 1, 2, and 3, for proficiency on the State’s assessments in both reading and mathematics. These have been established through Annual Measurable Objectives (AMOs) for all students in reading and mathematics, set by the FDOE through 2016-17. However, for the purposes of SIG annual review and renewal only, the district may establish a target for reading proficiency in FCAT 2.0 (or future equivalent) and a target for mathematics proficiency in FCAT 2.0 (or future equivalent) for each SIG-targeted school in Step 1b if they wish to use these instead of AMOs. Selected targets may be entered under one goal or they could be spread across multiple goals, depending on how the district has structured its plan. The goals to which targets are attached must be pasted into at least one Area of Focus in Phase II in order for the targets to be included in the SIG proposal.

Last Updated: 9/14/2014

Is it necessary to address all five Areas of Focus (AoF) in each SIG-related goal in the DIAP?

It is entirely up to the district how to address the Areas of Focus in the DIAP goals, whether it be all under the umbrella of one goal, or if they break out different areas of focus into different goals, or some combination thereof. The phase 2 survey will allow them to copy and paste one or more goals and/or strategies beneath AoF #1 through #4 to show which are intended to address the respective AoF.  

Area of Focus #5 will be met through the PD and TA outlines that are prepopulated from the action steps districts tag as PD or TA underneath each of their SIG strategies applied to Areas of Focus 1-4.

For samples of how a team might configure goals and strategies to address the Areas of Focus, districts may wish to review the SIG Workshop Module 4 presentation (particularly slides 9-13), available in the SIG Toolkit.

Last Updated: 4/18/2014

What level of detail do we need to provide for each strategy in the DIAP? Is there an ideal number of action steps?

For the action plan to a selected strategy, the district should include each step, or "milestone," necessary to move from non-implementation to implementation. The level of detail and number of steps will vary according to the scope and complexity of the strategy to be implemented. In any case, the steps should be worded and organized in a way that is both meaningful to the district and school implementing the strategy, as well as to the reviewers for scoring purposes. Jumbling multiple steps together in one box makes project management and monitoring much more difficult.

Last Updated: 4/18/2014

Do the goals and action plans created in the DIAP to address Areas of Focus need to span a three-year period?

The plan districts build for SIG-targeted schools in the DIAP should demonstrate what activities and expenditures will occur during pre-implementation, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3. Districts may use the start/end dates and budget lines in the action steps to delineate timelines and costs.

Last Updated: 4/18/2014

Are outside subject area consultants (money for services, such as professional development and school support) considered external providers?

Yes, the consultants referenced above are considered external providers, if they are used to provide technical expertise in implementing particular requirements of the school intervention models. All external providers must be screened to ensure they have a meaningful plan for contributing to the reform efforts in the targeted school.
Last Updated: 4/18/2014

Do district plans for the Areas of Assurance need to be included in the 8-step planning and problem-solving process in the DIAP?

For the purposes of the SIG proposal, districts are not required to address Areas of Assurance using the 8-step planning and problem-solving process. If budget items are needed to implement an assurance, budget lines are available within each respective assurance page.

However, if the district finds it helpful with their implementation, they are welcome to use the 8-step process in the DIAP to develop plans in support of the Areas of Assurance. This additional information will not have any bearing on the points awarded for Areas of Assurance in the SIG proposal.
Last Updated: 4/18/2014

If a school already has increased learning time, is it required to add hours on top to meet the SIG requirement?

If increased learning time was implemented within the two years prior to the SIG implementation as a result of a previous reform effort, those hours may satisfy the SIG requirement. For additional information regarding increased learning time, reference the SIG Guidance, as well as the Addendum to Guidance from February, 16, 2011.
Last Updated: 4/18/2014

If we are using the same strategy in each of our SIG-targeted schools, may we select 'District' for the Focus field, or do we need to create the strategy separately for each SIG-targeted school?

If an identical strategy is being used in all SIG-targeted schools, you may select District as the Focus and enter the strategy only once. 

The "Focus" field is provided in case districts want to use different strategies in different schools. Similarly, if you are using one strategy in all SIG-targeted schools, but different action steps at different schools, you may keep the strategy Focus set to District, but then distinguish between schools at the action step level by setting the Focus to the respective school as you add different action steps. 

Last Updated: 4/18/2014

May districts request an extended Year 3 end date so that activities, such as performance awards and summer programs, may be fully implemented for the last school year?

No, for the purposes of the SIG proposal, districts should keep its plan within the June 30 time frame. However, upon award, the department will consider granting no-cost extensions on a case-by-case basis during the program close-out period. 
Last Updated: 4/22/2014

How should the district account for indirect costs in the SIG budget lines?

The district may add a line for indirect costs, which includes administrative costs, for the first year not to exceed its 2013-14 or 2014-15 negotiated rate (if known); this rate should also be used to plan for each succeeding year of the three-year cycle. Upon award, the line for indirect costs will be adjusted year to year by the district to reflect the most current negotiated rate.

The line for indirect costs may be added to the budget within any Area of Assurance or Area of Focus. Entering this budget line early in the SIG Phase 2 survey, such as in Area of Assurance 1, may make it easier to locate if the amount needs adjustment later.
Last Updated: 4/22/2014

Are administrative costs allowed in the SIG 1003(g) budget? If so, what is the percentage cut-off?

Yes, administrative costs are allowed. For SIG 1003(g), administrative costs are included in the indirect cost calculation when the negotiated rate is determined each year. Therefore, administrative costs are capped at the district's approved negotiated rate for indirect costs. 


Last Updated: 4/22/2014

How will the FDOE determine whether the proposed use of SIG funds is allowable?

All of the SIG funds a district uses in a SIG-targeted school must be used to support the implementation of the selected SIG model.

The FDOE will consider the following when determining whether the proposed use of SIG funds is allowable: whether the proposed use is directly related to full and effective implementation of the model selected by the district, whether it will address the school needs identified by the district and whether it will advance the overall goal of the SIG program of improving student achievement in persistently lowest-achieving schools. Also, the district will want to ensure that the proposed use of SIG funds would not run afoul of the “supplement not supplant” requirement.

Last Updated: 4/22/2014

When completing Form DOE 100A, should districts enter the total funds requested for Year 1 or for all three years?

Form DOE 100A must include the total funds requested for Year 1, plus any amount budgeted for pre-implementation.
Last Updated: 4/22/2014

Where can I find Florida's Project Application and Amendment Procedures for Federal and State Programs (i.e., "green book")?

Florida's Project Application and Amendment Procedures for Federal and State Programs (i.e., "green book") is available at http://www.fldoe.org/grants/greenbook/default.asp.
Last Updated: 4/16/2014

What is the pre-implementation period?

The pre-implementation period begins when the district receives the official notice of award from the Florida Department of Education and ends upon the start of Year 1. Funds may be expended on approved activities during the pre-implementation period if they are outlined in the pre-implementation budget submitted as part of the approved SIG proposal.
Last Updated: 4/16/2014

Is it required that a district budget for the pre-implementation period?

It is not required that the district budget for the pre-implementation period, unless they intend to implement SIG-funded activities during the pre-implementation period. Districts will not be able to expend funds during the pre-implementation period unless they have been explicitly budgeted as such.
Last Updated: 4/16/2014

When does Year 1 begin?

Year 1 begins on July 1, 2014 or on the date the FDOE notifies the district of the award, whichever is later. If FDOE notifies the district of the award prior to July 1, 2014, the period of time between that date and July 1, 2014 is considered the pre-implementation period.

If FDOE notifies the district of the award on or after July 1, 2014, there will be no pre-implementation period. In this case, any amount the district had budgeted for pre-implementation would be combined with Year 1.
Last Updated: 4/16/2014

When does Year 3 end?

Districts should plan for June 30, 2017, as the end of Year 3, as all funds must be encumbered by that date.
Last Updated: 4/16/2014

In the Budget Lines and DOE Form 101S, what does "% Allocated to this Project" mean, and are we required to use it?

The "% Allocated to Project" field only needs to be used if the district is partially funding a budget line with SIG 1003(g) funds. For instance, if the total cost for a proposed purchase is $5,000, but the purchase will only be used in fulfillment of the SIG proposal 25% of the time, the district should indicate "25%" in the "% Allocated to Project" field, and the total amount requested for that budget line should be $1,250 (25% of the total cost).
Last Updated: 4/16/2014

Can districts hire personnel to support charter schools?

Yes, if personnel are included in the SIG proposal as necessary and reasonable support for full and effective implementation of a SIG model in a charter school, it could be an allowable expense. 
Last Updated: 4/16/2014

Our charter school works on a reimbursement basis. Does that affect grant distribution?

Districts may use their own fiscal policies and are not required to operate on a reimbursement basis with charter school grantees.
Last Updated: 4/16/2014

Can SIG 1003(g) funding be used to satisfy requirements of Form TOP-1 and Form TOP-2?

As the requirements contained in the Turnaround Option Plan (Forms TOP-1 and TOP-2) are outlined in Florida's Elementary and Secondary Education Act Flexibility waiver, it is permissible to use SIG funding for allowable costs which satisfy the requirements of Forms TOP-1 and TOP-2.

Last Updated: 4/16/2014

Can districts use SIG 1003(g) funds to cover travel costs for attending DA summer academies?

Yes, districts may use SIG funds to cover travel expenses related to attending the Differentiated Accountability (DA) Summer Academy. As a requirement of the SIG proposal, districts must create a plan to provide staff ongoing, high quality, job-embedded professional development, which includes, at a minimum, sending a leadership team from each school along with a district leadership team to the DA Summer Academy.
Last Updated: 4/16/2014

Is there a limit to what can be budgeted for technology?

There is no limit for the amount that can be budgeted for technology within the range of $50,000 to $2 million per year, per school; however, all budget items will be evaluated to determine if they are allowable, reasonable and necessary. For example, it is unlikely that a budget consisting of only technology items will be approved.

Last Updated: 4/16/2014

Can the FDOE award a district for a smaller amount than the district requests in the proposal budget?

Yes, if budget items are not considered to be allowable, reasonable and necessary, then the FDOE reserves the right to award a smaller amount. Project funds must be used for activities that directly support the accomplishment of the project purpose, priorities and expected outcomes. All expenditures must be consistent with applicable state and federal laws, regulations and guidance.

Last Updated: 4/16/2014

Can districts change budget allocations to individual schools after a SIG is awarded?

Award recipients shall obtain prior approval through a formal amendment process in order to make changes in budget allocations to an approved proposal. All revisions must be reasonable, necessary, allowable and legal to promote the objectives of the program. Total budget allocations may not exceed the total amount awarded to the district.
Last Updated: 4/16/2014

When will districts be notified of their award status?

The FDOE will seek to make awards by the end of May 2014. Districts may begin drawing funds upon official notice of award in accordance with their approved budgets and timelines for pre-implementation and Year 1.

Last Updated: 4/16/2014

If the majority of time for instruction in core subjects is available to all students, can enrichment activities be offered to targeted groups (e.g., Level 1 students)?

Yes, if the majority of time for instruction in core subjects is available to all students, enrichment activities may be offered to targeted groups.
Last Updated: 4/16/2014

Is summer school considered “increasing the length of the school year” and therefore an allowable expense?

For school improvement grant purposes, implementing summer school may be considered an increase in the length of the school year in certain instances and would be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. FDOE will use the following criteria in the context of the plan to address Area of Focus 4 to determine if summer school is allowable:

  • Whether the school historically has offered summer school. If yes, it may not be allowable.
  • Whether summer school is only available to a certain group of students. If yes, it may not be allowable.
  • Whether core academic instruction is part of the summer school. If no, it may not be allowable.

Last Updated: 4/16/2014

Should we include additional funding sources in our SIG budget lines, if they will be used to fund activities in part?

No, the SIG budget should be made up of SIG 1003(g)-funded expenses only. 

Last Updated: 4/16/2014

Are we required to include a budget line for each Area of Assurance?

No. Budget lines are not required within the Areas of Assurance, but are available for district convenience. If SIG 1003(g) funds are not needed for the district to implement the respective assurance, the budget lines for that assurance may be left blank.

 

Last Updated: 4/16/2014

If a budget item is applicable to several assurances - should it be duplicated?

No. Place the budget line in the most relevant location but do not duplicate budget lines or the system will over-estimate your total amount requested. If needed, use the Notes field to note that the budget line satisfies more than one assurance. The budget report will automatically calculate the total based on all SIG 1003(g) budget lines entered in Areas of Assurance and action steps.

Last Updated: 4/16/2014

The Student Success Act requires us to implement performance pay district wide. Does this satisfy Assurance 12 of the SIG proposal, and if so, may SIG 1003(g) funds be used for this purpose?

The LEA may use its LEA-wide performance pay plan to satisfy Assurance 12 in the SIG application. SIG funds may be used to support SIG-awarded schools in the implementation of an LEA-wide performance pay plan.  

Last Updated: 4/16/2014

If a budget item is for district-level activity, should it also be split out showing the amount to be spent in each eligible school?

No. District-level activities are those the district will implement and fund in their SIG Cohort 3 schools named in the grant. School-level activities are those for which the district will allocate SIG dollars for the school to implement, with the intention that the school will expend the funds.
Last Updated: 4/16/2014

The range of the funding allowed for each school is $50,000 to $2 million. Is this per year or is it a total per school for the entire three-year project?

The range of funding is $50,000 to $2 million per year for three years, so the maximum possible three-year total is $6 million.
Last Updated: 4/16/2014

~NEW~ When will the department begin notifying districts of awards?

The department is currently finalizing the prioritized funding list and we are hopeful to begin notifying districts in early June. 
Last Updated: 5/29/2014

How many districts submitted a SIG Phase 2 survey on Friday, April 18, 2014?

A total of 24 districts submitted a SIG Phase 2 survey on Friday, April 18. There are 56 SIG-targeted schools represented within these SIG proposals. 
Last Updated: 5/29/2014

Who will be responsible for reviewing and scoring the SIG proposals?

Each proposal that was submitted by the deadline and includes all required components and signatures will be reviewed and scored by at least three qualified reviewers representing experienced education professionals. Review teams will include one regional Differentiated Accountability team member who has no prior connection with the district applying.

The Florida Department of Education grants office will review proposals for compliance with the programmatic and fiscal policies of the project and make recommendations for revisions. The grants office does not score proposals.

Last Updated: 5/29/2014

Are district employees allowed to review and score proposals?

Yes, unless they are currently employed in a district that has submitted an Intent to Apply. Additionally, all reviewers must sign a conflict of interest statement and identify any district in which they have had prior involvement. Reviewers will not be assigned to score proposals for these districts.
Last Updated: 5/29/2014

The SIG Request for Proposal indicates a point value for each component. How are these points applied to determine a final score?

Some components of the proposal earn points applied per district, while others earn points applied per school. Each SIG-targeted school will receive an individual score based on the total of school-level and district-level earned points. If a district selects more than one model, it will earn one set of points per model, which will apply to each school selected to implement the respective model.

For example, if a district selects the transformation model in one school and the turnaround model in another school, the district must complete the Areas of Assurance and Areas of Focus applicable to those two models. Since many of the assurances and Areas of Focus apply to multiple models, the district will only be required to complete them once. The district points earned for the transformation model will be applied to the school being targeted for transformation, and the district points earned for the turnaround model will be applied to the school being targeted for turnaround.
Last Updated: 5/29/2014

How will the SIG proposals be evaluated, scored and ranked?

Project proposals are screened by the FDOE program staff to ensure that federal regulations and state requirements (as conditions for acceptance) in the Request for Proposal are addressed. Proposals that meet all requirements are evaluated and scored according to the following process:

  • Each reviewer will first read the entire Phase 1 and Phase 2 to gain a holistic understanding of the district's proposal. Then, using the SIG proposal rubric, the reviewer will assign a score to each component of the proposal, which will be tallied and submitted to the program office via the SIP Online system.
  • The scores will be averaged together. Proposals earning a score of zero for any component or with an average proposal score of less than 70% of possible points (not including bonus points) will not be eligible for funding consideration.
  • Bonus points may be added to scores prior to ranking for criteria such as having a high proportion of SIG-eligible schools, high poverty rates, low graduation rates, low school grade points, planning for or implementing a turnaround model under Florida statute, and successful implementation of a previous SIG.
  • After bonus points are applied, the program office will rank the proposals in order from highest to lowest score to determine funding priority. Awards are subject to the availability of funds. The FDOE reserves the right to ensure no district or region is over-represented in the final list of grantees.
Last Updated: 5/29/2014

Will each reviewer read entire proposals, or will they be assigned to read specific components?

Each reviewer will be assigned to read a proposal in its entirety first (including Phases 1 and 2, including DIAP components) and then assign a score to each component of the proposal using the rubrics. This process is intended to ensure the reviewer understands the project as a whole before evaluating individual parts.
Last Updated: 5/29/2014

Where can I find the methodology for calculating bonus points?

The methodology for calculating bonus points is available in the SIG Toolkit at https://www.flsiponline.com/downloads?category=sig-1003-g.
Last Updated: 5/29/2014

Can elementary and middle schools get the low-graduation bonus point for the graduation rates of their feeder pattern high schools?

No, FDOE does not keep a central database of feeder patterns and cannot independently verify which high schools’ graduation rates would apply to the elementary and middle school SIG applicants. Additionally, the graduation bonus is intended to increase the likelihood that high schools are represented in the award list.
Last Updated: 5/29/2014

Are the calculations for bonus points rounded up?

No, the calculations for bonus points are not rounded up.
Last Updated: 5/29/2014

After rank ordering proposal scores, what if there is a tie for the final available slot(s) in Cohort 3?

After bonus points are applied, the FDOE will rank all proposals in order from highest to lowest score to determine award recipients. The number of awards will depend both on the number of high-quality proposals received and the amount of funding required for full implementation of the proposals. In the event of a tie for the last remaining slot(s), the FDOE will use the following methodology to determine the rank order: 

  • Tie-breaker 1: Preference will be given to the school(s) whose district or region are not otherwise represented in the award pool.
  • Tie-breaker 2: If a tie still exists after Tie-breaker 1 is applied, preference will be given to school(s) earning a lower proportion of school grades points, as calculated in Bonus 4. 
  • Tie-breaker 3: If a tie still exists after Tie-breakers 1 and 2 are applied, preference will be given to school(s) with higher poverty rates, as calculated in Bonus 3.
Last Updated: 5/29/2014

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

Our SIG-targeted high school just received its first grade of F in the December 2013 school grades release. Aren’t high schools allowed 18 months from the release of high school grades to plan for turnaround?

Any district with a SIG-awarded high school scheduled to receive a turnaround planning year in 2014-15 under s. 1008.33, Florida Statutes, will automatically waive the planning year and must fully implement the selected SIG model in 2014-15.
Last Updated: 2/27/2014

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

Will all of our DIAP goals be "pushed" to the SIPs of SIG-awarded schools?

No, only the goals identified as SIG related and connected to a specific SIG-awarded school will be pushed to the respective SIP.

Last Updated: 3/13/2014

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?

No. Some school districts require their schools to complete the department's SIP. Otherwise, only schools categorized for Differentiated Accountability (DA) support, which are those that received a D or F in the most recent grades release or have received a grade of F within the last three years (i.e., "Former F" schools), are required to complete the department's template. Charter schools are not categorized for DA and must follow the requirements of Rule 6A-1.099827, F.A.C.
Last Updated: 7/24/2014

Do schools that are not in DA (i.e., charter and A-, B-, C- or non-graded schools) need to submit a waiver if they do not plan to use the department's SIP template?

No. However, each school district is required to sign assurances at the end of each school year stating all its schools are in compliance with statutes related to the SIP.
Last Updated: 10/28/2014

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

When is the school improvement plan (SIP) due?

Districts may set earlier deadlines for schools to follow, but department deadlines for D, F, and Former F schools (i.e., schools receiving an F within the prior three years) are as follows:
  • September 5, 2014 - Draft SIPs are due to the Regional Executive Director (RED) for review and feedback
  • December 1, 2014 - The SIP must be fully entered into CIMS. Please note on December 1 or the first date of publication, whichever is later, the Early Warning Systems data table in Part I.A.3b and the targets the school has set in Step 1b of Problem Solving will be locked; however, the rest of the plan will remain editable throughout the year. 

Submission deadlines are for archival and research purposes only. The SIP is intended to be used and refined throughout the year. 

Last Updated: 10/31/2014

When are baseline and mid-year data uploads due?

The department is not requiring these uploads for 2014-15. 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 the BSI website. 
Last Updated: 10/28/2014

When is the Mid-Year Reflection (formerly, the mid-year narrative) due?

The Mid-Year Reflection has been incorporated directly into the SIP survey in CIMSSchools must log-in and complete a series of yes/no questions for each SIP goal within 30 days after the release of the district's mid-year assessment data.

Last Updated: 2/24/2015

When will the data targets in the SIP be "locked"?

On December 1, 2014, or the date of first publication, whichever is later, the Early Warning Systems table in Part I.A.3b and the data targets in Step 1b of Problem Solving will be locked for the 2014-15 school year. Data in these two areas will not be locked until after the plan is published for the first time. 
Last Updated: 10/31/2014

What type of assistance will be 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:

  • SIP Toolkit with helpful tools and resources 
  • Blue guidance tabs on each page of the SIP survey provide assistance in the context of that page 
  • Differentiated Accountability (DA) regional teams provide facilitated team-planning opportunities during the DA Summer Academies offered in June and July throughout the state; they also provide ongoing support throughout the year at district and school sites
  • The Intercom button in the bottom right of each page allows logged in users to request technical assistance
  • The Bureau of School Improvement has a YouTube channel where CIMS video tutorials are posted https://www.youtube.com/user/floridacims.
Last Updated: 8/14/2014

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

Will the 2014-15 SIP be prepopulated with the 2013-14 information?

Where possible, yes. However, several sections have been redesigned and/or had new questions added, making it necessary for schools to enter new information. 
Last Updated: 7/12/2014

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 two ways. They may go to the Plans page at https://www.floridacims.org/plans and click the black Export button next to the plan they wish to print. This will generate a PDF file that may be saved to the user's computer and/or printed. Alternatively, users already working within the plan may find the black Export button in the left navigation tree of any page within the SIP.

Parts IV, V, and VI of the 2014-15 SIP are not yet appearing in the Export; these will be added in addition to a Table of Contents prior to the department's SIP publication deadline for DA schools. 

Part II (Needs Analysis) does not appear in the SIP Export because it links to an external module for the Step Zero graphics. However, you may print graphics directly from Step Zero by clicking on the small gray icon (three stacked horizontal lines) in the bottom-right corner of any of the graphs and charts. We are working on a solution for easier printing and attaching to the SIP Export.

Last Updated: 10/30/2014

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

Should the number of students who received a Level 1 on the statewide, standardized assessment in writing be included in the early warning systems (EWS) data reported?

Current research on EWS only takes into account achievement data for reading and mathematics; therefore, schools are not required to report the number of students receiving Level 1 writing scores.

However, if writing is an additional indicator that the district or school would like to include in the EWS, then we recommend that you report the number of students who did not reach a Level 2 (i.e., unscorable, 1.0 and 1.5).

Last Updated: 10/30/2014

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 inform the needs assessment process prior to determining strategic goals for the coming school year; therefore, prior year data should be used and measures taken during the 2013-14 school year considered.

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, you should look at the most recent data available.

Last Updated: 10/30/2014

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

How can charter schools satisfy the requirements of Rule 6A-1.099827, Florida Administrative Code, using the standard SIP survey in CIMS?

A crosswalk has been developed that provides a list of all components a charter school with a current grade of “D” or “F” must include in its plan, pursuant to Rule 6A-1.099827, Florida Administrative Code, and the location within the department’s 2014-15 SIP template where each component may be satisfied. The document, titled Using the 2014-15 SIP to Meet Charter School SIP Components, can be found in the SIP Toolkit.
Last Updated: 10/30/2014

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

Does the department have a SIP template for DJJ programs?

No. Starting in 2013-14, the department no longer produces a separate SIP template for DJJ programs. Districts may develop their own template for DJJ sites or use the standard SIP survey in CIMSwhich includes a feature allowing schools to mark "N/A" for sections that are not applicable to them.


Last Updated: 10/30/2014

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

Does the department have a SIP template for virtual schools?

No, the department does not provide a separate SIP template for virtual schools. Districts may develop their own template or use the standard SIP survey in CIMS.
Last Updated: 10/30/2014

Why is my school’s FRL rate showing a lower number than expected in 2013-14?

Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) schools were eligible for this meal option for first time in 2013-14 (pilot year). The poverty rate in CEP eligible schools 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 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: 9/18/2014

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

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 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: 9/3/2014

How do I delete a user?

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. 
Last Updated: 9/3/2014