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ESSA Application for School Improvement (EASI)

With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Colorado is taking the opportunity to change the way school improvement (1003a) funds are awarded to LEAs. Rather than multiple applications on separate timelines, CDE is now streamlining school improvement opportunities into a single application and using a “needs-based approach” to award services and funding. This new approach has been designed to: maximize impact on student learning; incentivize innovative ideas; create fair and transparent processes; increase efficacy and efficiency; provide fairness and predictability to LEAs; and prioritize LEAs with high numbers or high percentages of low-performing schools. Ultimately, the intent is to develop a robust process of matching schools’ needs with rigorous, evidence-based strategies and adequate resources. Awarded funds should be used to enhance districts’ and schools’ ability to meet the ESSA requirements (e.g., stakeholder engagement, improvement plan, implementation of evidence-based interventions) in a way that directly benefits students.

Colorado is committed to aligning federal and state accountability to the degree possible. These grants funds are aimed at districts with schools that are designated as Comprehensive Support and Improvement (CS) and Targeted Support and Improvement (TS) under Title I. Identification of schools through the state accountability system (i.e., Priority Improvement, Turnaround) overlaps with the ESSA identification process and will be considered in the application process, including the number of years that a school has been on the state accountability clock. For more information, see the ESSA Method and Criteria for Identification of Schools for Support and Improvement webpage.

EASI Application Routes

The application has been organized into five different routes: exploration supports, district designed and led, CDE offered supports, continuation and districtwide supports. The routes have different criteria and ways of awarding funds geared to a specific intent.

Exploration Supports

LEA is interested in funds and/or services to explore a solution (e.g., planning, community engagement) for the identified school(s). This is a planning phase and does not include implementation activities.

The exploration supports include:

CDE Offered Services

LEA is interested in applying for an existing CDE program or support aimed at improving school systems. Services may include a comprehensive approach that includes planning and implementation phases.

Districtwide Supports

LEA is interested in applying for existing CDE supports or consultation that will be focused at the district level or leveraged strategically for select schools. This is the only route that can work in tandem with another route.

District Designed and Led Improvement Strategies

LEA has a plan or is already implementing a plan that meets requirements for school(s) and is interested in pursuing grant funds to support activities.

Continuation of CDE Offered Services

Identified school(s) is already participating in a program (e.g., Connect for Success, Turnaround Network, Tiered Intervention Grant). CDE and the LEA agree that continuing participation will result in improved results for the school.

Current grantees will work directly with CDE staff to fulfill current grant requirements. Please contact your program contact with any questions.

EASI Application

2018-19 Application coming in September 2018


2017 Application Resources

Note: The 2018-19 Application will be available in September 2018. Below are some resources from the 2018-18 Application.

ESSA Planning Requirements

ESSA requires that identified schools develop and implement an improvement plan that addresses the reasons for the school’s identification and will result in improvement of student outcomes. Plan development, approval, and monitoring vary by identification categories. 

For more information regarding ESSA planning requirements for comprehensive, targeted and additional targeted support and improvement schools, visit the ESSA Planning Requirements page.

Technical Assistance

2018-19 Technical Assistance Schedule coming soon


General Application Questions:

Laura Meushaw
Send an email to Laura

Kim Burnham
Send an email to Kim

Online Application Technical Assistance:

Anna Young
Send an email to Anna

DeLilah Collins
Send an email to DeLilah

Budget Questions:

Evan Davis
Send an email to Evan

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